Review finds model WHS laws operating as intended

The review of the model WHS laws is complete and the report has been given to WHS ministers for consideration.

The review report makes 34 recommendations designed to enhance the WHS framework.

“I commend the review report to WHS ministers for their consideration. On behalf of Safe Work Australia, I extend my thanks to Marie Boland for undertaking this important work and engaging widely with the community to understand how the model WHS laws are working in practice” said Safe Work Australia Chair Ms. Diane Smith-Gander.

“Safe Work Australia is committed to ensuring the model WHS laws are as effective as possible to keep Australian workers healthy and safe and will continue to conduct regular reviews,” said Ms. Smith-Gander.

Key recommendations of the review report include making regulations on psychological health, higher penalties and other measures to strengthen the compliance and enforcement framework and enhance deterrence, and clarifying requirements for meaningful WHS consultation, representation and participation to improve safety outcomes.

“The model WHS laws are largely operating as intended but I am recommending some changes to provide clarity and to drive greater consistency in the application and enforcement of the laws across jurisdictions,” said independent reviewer Ms. Marie Boland.

“The three-tier legal framework is widely supported, and there is a view that it is sufficiently flexible to accommodate the evolving nature of work and changing work relationships,” said Ms. Boland.

The review of the model WHS laws final report is available on Safe Work Australia website.

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