Amendments have been made to the model WHS Act and model WHS Regulations, including how WHS penalty provisions are expressed, increasing penalty amounts and providing for the indexation of penalty amounts.
The amendments do not automatically apply in a jurisdiction as they have to be enacted first, although a summary of the amendments include areas such as:
- Increase the level of penalties and provide for the indexation of penalties in line with national CPI in both the model WHS Act and model WHS Regulations. These amendments give effect to recommendation 22 of the 2018 Review.
- Introduce new s 30A in the model WHS Act to give effect to the decision of WHS ministers. At the WHS ministers meeting on 28 February 2023, the requisite majority of ministers agreed to amend the model WHS Act to include a jurisdictional note and model penalties for the offence of industrial manslaughter.
- Amend s 31 in the model WHS Act to clarify that an officer may commit a Category 1 offence under s 31 of the Act.
- Introduce new sections 244A – 244D in the model WHS Act allowing for aggregation of conduct for body corporate PCBUs.
- Amend regulations 55C and 55D in the model WHS Regulations (psychosocial regulations) to correct the placement of the regulation 9 note.
For the model WHS Act and model WHS Regulations to have effect in a jurisdiction they must be enacted in that jurisdiction.
For information on WHS laws in your jurisdiction, please contact your WHS regulator.
Source: SafeWork Australia, July 2023