Personalised Business - Harmonisation
Update on new Harmonisation laws.
To find out about the latest changes in the harmonisation laws (as of May 2011) go to our OHS Harmonisation Laws Page
For assistance with your OHS requirements please call us on 07 3410 8482
OHS Harmonisation Laws - What’s expected of you as a business owner in Australia
As of 1st January 2012 the Commonwealth, States and Territories have agreed to
implement nationally harmonised WH&S Legislation.
What does this mean for you?
This will bring much of the rest of Australia’s states into line with the QLD regulations. The Act, to be implemented next year, whilst largely similar to the current Queensland Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995, there are a number of important differences that need to be taken into account.
This combined with a change in the fines that Employers are liable for means that keeping up-to-date with the latest in OHS Harmonisation laws is a must for all prudent employers in Australia.
Changes in Business legislation
● Business operators must do what is reasonably practicable to eliminate or minimise
risk to health and safety.
● Company directors will have a positive and proactive duty to exercise due diligence.
This represents a shift away from attributed liability (i.e. being held liable for contraventions by the company) and requires directors to:
○ acquire and keep up-to-date knowledge of health and safety matters
○ gain an understanding of hazards and risks associated with the company’s operations.
○ ensure appropriate resources are available for use to eliminate or minimise risks from work carried out.
○ ensure appropriate processes for obtaining information about incidents, hazards and risks, and responding to them
○ ensure processes for complying with duties are implemented, e.g. reporting, consultation arrangements, training and instruction verify the provision and use of resources for the matters listed above.
Changes in the fine structure
Previously in the Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995 the largest sum of money an individual could be fined was $200,000 and for a corporation $1,000,000 and 3 years imprisonment.
This has now been changed with the new Workplace Health and Safety Act to the largest sum of money an individual can be fined is $600,000 and for a corporation $3,000,000 and 5 years imprisonment.
Increase of $400,000 for individuals, 2 Million dollars for corporations and 2 years in jail.
There are now 3 categories of Offences:-
Recklessly exposes a person to risk of Death or Serious Injury/Ilness
= $3 Million Corporations; $600 000 Individuals; 5 Years imprisonment.
Reckless = Intentional, wilful or grossly negligent
Serious risk of harm without Recklessness.
= $1.5 Million Corporations; $300 000 Individuals
Fails to comply with OH&S Duty
= $0.5 Million Corporations; $100 000 Individuals.
These changes along with others that directly impact Employers and Corporations will also have a positive effect on businesses that include the following:-
● Reduced costs for National Companies conducting business in multiple states of Australia
● A consistent approach to Safety Standards and rights for employees across all states and territories
● Reduced Government expenditure in developing and administering laws as they’re now essentially equal across the board.
For assistance with your OHS requirements please call us on 07 3410 8482.