Queensland will be the first state to adopt the new Work Health and Safety Act 2011 on Monday 6 July with other States and Territories soon to follow.
The new Act is a result of a three-year national reform and will replace the Workplace Health & Safety Act 1995.
In July 2008, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) formally committed to the ‘harmonisation’ of work health and safety legislation and outlined a commitment for the states and territories to develop a nationally consistent framework.
The new laws broaden the definition of ‘worker’ to include labour hire, contractors and subcontractors and impose the onus of proof on the regulatory body to prove an offence.
The legislation also enables the courts to impose significantly higher penalties for breaches of the Act.
For more information, please contact Affinity Lawyers.