fbpx

Workplace Health and Safety Reforms 2022 – What You Need To Know

Western Australia has finalised its occupational health and safety (OHS) reform, including new laws and legislation. The reform came into effect on March 31 this year and now aligns Western Australia with the rest of the country, allowing national consistency.

The Act replaces the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 (WA) (OSH Act) and some of the health and safety elements of the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994 (WA), Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources Act 1967 (WA), Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1982 (WA) and Petroleum Pipelines Act 1969 (WA).

What has changed?

Let’s look more closely at the new WHS laws.

Goodbye OSH – hello WHS 

The Work Health and Safety Act 2020 (‘WHS Act’) replaces the existing ‘OSH Act’ (introduced in 1984). The reform brings WA workplaces under a single WHS Act.

New definitions – you could be a ‘PCBU’

The WHS Act introduces the new definition of the ‘person conducting a business or undertaking’ – or PCBU. A PCBU can be:

  • a sole trader (self-employed)
  • individual partners within a partnership
  • a company
  • an unincorporated association
  • a government department of public authority.

Under the new WHS Act, the PCBU has the primary duty of care. But what does that mean? Previously, the OSH Act’s duty of care was based mainly on the employer-employee relationship. Under the new WHS Act, PCBUs primary duty of care is to ensure the health and safety of their workers and others who could be affected by their work. Also, officers and managers of PCBUs will now have a non-delegable duty to ensure they meet safety obligations, which now include the psychological health and safety of workers.

The term ‘workers’ now encompasses different contracts and employment across industries.

Changes to Penalties

The WHS Act now:

  • includes a new offence: industrial manslaughter (s30A) 
  • voids insurance coverage for WHS penalties and imposes penalties for providing or purchasing this insurance
  • introduces what is known as ‘enforceable undertakings.’ 

WHS laws are now similar across Australia

The new laws work to implement consistency Australia-wide.

You have time to change

The WHS Act has implemented transitional arrangements which apply where duties are new or have changed significantly from what they were – so support business owners have time to adapt to the change.

The Team at Soul Legal

If you need some help understanding your obligations under the new laws, our experienced worker’s compensation lawyers in Perth, Baldivis, and Osborne Park, WA, can help.

If you are considering making a worker’s compensation claim or have made one but are seeking further legal advice, We offer a free no-obligation claim assessment and a no-win-no-fee lawyer service if we consider your claim worth pursuing. Our dedicated and empathetic lawyers will help you through every step of the claims process.

As leading Perth worker’s compensation lawyers, we’ll listen and help you through this journey.

Call us today.

Subscribe to SOUL LEGAL Blog

top posts

workers safety

What Happens When You Fall At Work?

If you were unfortunate enough to suffer loss and damage through injuries from a slip and fall at work, there might be good news for you. Most employers’ Worker’s Compensation

Workers-Compensation

Workers Compensation – When You Cease Working

If you are currently receiving worker’s compensation and you’re considering resigning from your current role, you’ll need to find out your rights. While you are entitled to resign while receiving

public liability insurance

Public Liability Insurance and Claims

What is public liability insurance? Business owners are accountable to any third parties that come into contact with their business, including customers, stakeholders, suppliers or anyone else involved with your

injured in a public place

Injured in a Public Place

Everyone has the right to be protected by the law when they are in a public place. If you have been injured while in a public place, then you are

More Articles

soul-legal-white-logo

Contact Soul Legal Personal Injury Lawyers

Receive an Obligation Free Claim Assessment With-in 24 hours

Perth Office

Suite 2/22 St Georges Terrace, Perth WA 6000

Baldivis Office

17 Baskerville Cres, Baldivis WA 6171

Osborne Park Office

Suite 209/396 Scarborough Beach Rd, Osborne Park WA 6017