As part of the expected harmonisation of workplace health and safety laws to commence on 1 January 2012, the Work Health and Safety Bill 2011 was introduced to parliament on 10 May 2011. It will be known as the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.
It is based on the model legislation and there are a number of significant changes, including:
- · The removal of “ensuring” safety absolutely, but only to the extent it is “reasonably practicable”;
- · Removal of the privilege against self incrimination in an investigation;
- · Removal of the deeming provision of deemed offences for officers;
- · Extension of the definition of worker;
- · New due diligence provisions for officers; and
- · Change in jurisdiction from the Industrial Magistrate to Magistrates meaning that appeals will no longer lie to the Industrial Court of Queensland, but the District Court of Queensland in the first instance.
Brisbane Barrister – David Cormack