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The New Work Safety Act 2008 Expxplained

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Title: The New Work Safety Act 2008 Expxplained


1
The New Work Safety Act 2008 Expxplained
2
mark.mccabe_at_act.gov.au
  • www.worksafety.act.gov.au

3
Housekeeping
  • Copy of overheads available as a download
    www.worksafety.act.gov.au New Legislation
  • Regulations Exposure Draft till 20 July

4
Background
  • OHS Council 2004
  • Scope and Structure Review
  • Exposure Draft for new Act mid 2008

5
Harmonisation
  • Proposed penalties
  • Employers, Officers, Workers, Others
  • 3 Tiers
  • Max for an Officer 600,000 and/or 5 years
    jail
  • Max for an Organisation 3m

6
Harmonisation
  • At least 2 variations from our new Act
  • Private Prosecutions
  • Shield of the Crown

7
Resources
  • www.worksafety.act.gov.au
  • www.worksafety.act.gov.au/about-new-legislation

8
Commencement
  • The ACT Parliament passed the Work Safety Act
    2008 in September 2008. The Act wholly replaces
    the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1989 and
    is due to come into force on 1 October 2009

9
Legislative Hierarchy
  • Principal Act
  • Regulations
  • Codes of Practice
  • Australian Standards
  • Guidance Material

10
Objects
  • Secure and promote work safety of people at work
  • Eliminate, at their source, risks to work safety
  • Protect people from the risks to work safety
    resulting from the activities of people at work
  • Protect workers from injury and illness
  • Provide strategies to protect workers physical
    and psychological needs
  • Fosters cooperation and consultation between
    employers and workers
  • Provide a framework for continuous improvement

11
Summary
  • The primary safety duty is on employers
  • That duty is to take all reasonably practical
    steps to provide a safe working environment for
    their workers
  • The way to protect workers safety is by managing
    risk
  • Employers must consult with their workers
    regarding workplace safety
  • ORS / ACT WorkCover have inspectorial powers to
    enforce the legislation.

12
Safety Duties
  • A person conducting a business or undertaking (an
    employer)
  • A person in control of premises
  • Persons in control of plant or systems
  • Persons in control of design
  • Persons in control of manufacture
  • Persons in control of import or supply
  • Worker
  • Person at a workplace

13
Person Conducting a business or undertaking
  • ensure work safety by managing risk
  • provide a safe workplace and a safe systems of
    work
  • Providing and maintaining plant that is safe and
    operated by qualified people
  • Ensuring the safe use, storage, handling and
    transport of substances

14
Person Conducting a business or undertaking
  • Providing adequate facilities for the work safety
    of people at the workplace
  • Monitoring work safety
  • Keeping info. and records
  • Providing appropriate, information, instruction,
    training and/or supervision
  • Consulting people at the workplace on work safety

15
Person in control of premises
  • Ensure work safety by managing risk
  • Including by maintaining the premises
  • Including by providing safe entry and exit to and
    from the premises

16
Worker
  • A duty not to expose themselves or others to work
    safety risks because of their work
  • Cooperate with the person conducting the business
    or undertaking
  • Comply with instructions
  • Properly use equipment
  • Report any risks, injuries or illnesses connected
    with work

17
Person at a workplace
  • A person at a workplace has a duty not to expose
    others at the workplace to work safety risks
    because of the persons conduct

18
Workers
  • An individual who carries out work in relation to
    a business or undertaking.
  • Employees
  • Independent contractors
  • Outworkers
  • Persons on work experience
  • Whether for reward or otherwise
  • Volunteers
  • (Section 9)

19
Employers
  • A person who engages the worker to carry out work
    in the persons business or undertaking.
  • A principal contractor is an employer of a
    subcontractor
  • A host organisation is an employer of a labour
    hire worker
  • (Section 10)

20
Upstream Duty Holders
  • Eliminate, at their source, risks to work safety
    (Section 6 (1) b)
  • Person in control of import and supply
  • Person in control of design 
  • Person in control of manufacture
  • (Section 26)

21
Managing Risk - 1. Hazard Risk Management
  • Identify the Hazard
  • Identify the Risk
  • Assess the Risk
  • Control the Risk
  • Monitor
  • Review

22
Managing Risk - The Hierarchy of Control
  • 1. Identify, eliminate or, if not possible to
    eliminate, minimise the risk. To minimise a risk,
    the duty holder must consider the following steps
    (in order of preference)
  •  
  • Substitute the thing giving rise to the risk for
    something that gives rise to a lesser risk
  • Isolate the thing giving rise to the risk from
    anyone otherwise put at risk
  • Minimise the risk by engineering means
  • Minimise the risk by administrative means, and
  • Ensure personal protective (PPE) and safety
    equipment is used. (Section 14(2))

23
Reasonably Practicable
  • A duty holder must manage risks as far as is
    reasonably practicable (Section 15)
  • This involves weighing up the seriousness of the
    risk and the availability and suitability of
    strategies for eliminating or minimising the risk
  • The nature of the work and the nature of the
    circumstances are probable determinants of what
    is reasonable

24
Workplace
  • A workplace means a place where work is, has
    been, or is to be, carried out by or for someone
    conducting a business or undertaking

25
Reporting Serious Events or Dangerous Occurrences
  • Serious Event -
  • death
  • injury for gt 7 days
  • serious injury to non-worker
  • a dangerous occurrence
  • Dangerous Occurrence
  • imminent risk of the serious injury or death
    to anyone
  • an occurrence that endangers or is likely to
    endanger the work safety of a person at the
    workplace

26
Reporting Serious Events or Dangerous Occurrences
  • A person in control of a business or undertaking
    must report to ORS / ACT WorkCover serious events
    at or near a workplace of the business or
    undertaking
  • Max. Penalty 100 points (10,000) and/or 1
    years jail.
  • Must keep records of serious events for 5 years

27
Duty to Consult
  • All employers have a duty to consult workers on
    matters that directly affect their work safety
    regardless of the number of workers they have.
  • Failure to consult is an offence !

28
Considerations for Consultation
  • The business size and structure
  • The nature of the work
  • Work arrangements such as shift work and remote
    workers
  • Access to computer facilities
  • Worker characteristics, language, literacy or
    disabilities

29
Worker Consultation Unit
  • The employer and workers may decide that the
    employer will consult the workers using
  • A work safety representative elected by the
    workers (WSR) or
  • A work safety committee elected by the workers
    (WSC) or
  • Another stated method of consultation.

30
Work Safety Representative
  • The functions of a health and safety
    representative for a worker consultation unit
    are
  • (a) to represent the worker consultation unit in
    relation to work
  • safety and
  • (b) to tell the workers employer about potential
    risks and
  • dangerous occurrences at any workplace where
    represented
  • workers work and
  • (c) to tell the employer about work safety
    matters directly
  • affecting the represented workers.

31
Work Safety Representative
  • If not a worker, must have a Cert IV in OHS or
    higher
  • Can be more than one per WCU
  • Elected for up to 2 years
  • WCU can ask WSR election be conducted by
    employer, a registered org., someone else
  • Can also elect deputy WSRs

32
Work Safety Representative
  • Must be trained in a course approved by the OHS
    Council
  • If re-elected, must complete refresher training
    once every 2 years
  • Must be allowed the time that is reasonably
    necessary to carry out their duties
  • Can issue PINs.

33
Work Safety Committee
  • At least half members must be workers from the
    WCU
  • Workers, WSRs, representatives of employers,
    representatives of registered organisations all
    eligible

34
Transitional Arrangements
  • DWG WCU
  • HSR WSR.

35
Record Keeping and Review
  • An employer must keep records of the following
  • The units establishment
  • The units activities
  • Any change to the unit
  • Each review of the unit
  • A Unit may be changed if it becomes apparent that
    it is not serving the interests of work safety
  • An employer must review a worker consultation
    unit every two years or if a worker makes a
    request to consider the effectiveness of the unit

36
Workers Right to Refuse
  • A worker has the right to refuse to do work if
  • (Section 42)
  • An emergency procedure has been activated because
    of a significant risk to work safety (Subsection
    1 (a)), or
  • The worker has a reasonable belief that the work
    involves a significant risk to work safety
    (Subsection 1 (b)).
  • If a worker refuses to do work believed to be
    unsafe, a person in control of a workplace may
    require the worker to do alternative work
    (Subsection 2).

37
Work Safety Regulation 2009
  • Injury and Dangerous Occurrence Reporting and
    Records
  • Provision of Amenities
  • First Aid and Sickness
  • Work Safety Representatives
  • Provisional Improvement Notices
  • Work Safety Committees
  • Authorised Representatives
  • Entries and Exits
  • PPE
  • Prevention of Falls
  • Atmosphere and Ventilation
  • Heat and Cold
  • Surfaces and Floors
  • Electricity
  • Confined Spaces
  • Lighting
  • Noise Management
  • Isolated Work
  • Fire and Explosion
  • Emergencies
  • Licensing High risk Work
  • Carrying out Manual Tasks.

38
Private Prosecution of Offences
  • A prosecution for an offence may be begun by
    (Section 218 Subsection 2)
  • The secretary of a registered organisation
    established to represent the interests of
    workers, or
  • The chief executive of a registered organisation
    established to represent the interests of
    employers.
  • The Director of Public Prosecutions has the right
    to intervene and take over or discontinue a
    private prosecution at any time (Director of
    Public Prosecutions Act 1990).

39
mark.mccabe_at_act.gov.au
  • www.worksafety.act.gov.au
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