On May 7th 2015 the Honourable Curtis Pitt MP, Treasurer, Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships introduced the Work Health and Safety and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 into the Queensland Parliament.
The Treasurer says that the Bill implements election commitments made by the Government as part of the “Improving safety for Queenslanders at Work” policy. In particular, the Treasurer says the Government was committed to restoring elements of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act) that were changed following a review of the model work health and safety (WHS) laws in 2012. This includes:
- restoring right of entry powers allowing WHS entry permit holders to gain immediate access to a workplace to inquire into a suspected contravention of the WHS Act
- empowering trained health and safety representatives (HSR) to direct workers to cease unsafe work.
The Government says that it is also committed to:
- amending the current incident notification requirements to include an additional requirement for employers to notify the regulator when a worker is absent for more than four days due to a workplace injury
- improving electrical safety by re-instating the Electrical Safety Commissioner, Electrical Safety Education Committee, Electrical Equipment Committee which were abolished in 2012.
The Bill has been referred to the relevant Parliamentary Committee for consideration prior to being debated in Parliament. The Bill, explanatory notes and speech are available on the Queensland Parliament website, view here.