19 October 2011

Safe work week 2011

Safe Work Week 2011 starts on 23 October and runs until 29 October 2011.  It is designed to keep us up to date with the changes in Workplace Health and Safety laws in Queensland and across Australia and is also an opportunity to have a free heart smart BBQ brekkie with Mal Meninga

In May, the Queensland Government was the first government to pass the Work Health and Safety Bill 2011 which will commence on 1 January 2012.  The Queensland bill was largely modelled on the national model.

One of the key changes is that, under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, officers of corporations and unincorporated bodies such as clubs and associations are required to exercise due diligence and proactively ensure that the corporation, club or association meets its work health and safety obligations. 

Other important changes include

•     the definition of "worker" now includes a contractor, subcontractor, and a person of a prescribed class.  It includes a full time nanny employed in your home.

•     the definition of primary duty now includes monitoring of workers' health and conditions at the workplace.

•     the onus of proof is now with the regulator to establish the lack of due diligence

If you haven't done so already, we strongly recommend you review the changes to the legislation and ensure that you are ready to comply when the law comes into force in the new year.  You can do this by:

•     visiting the  Workplace Health and Safety Queensland website where you can read a full summary of the new act including the key differences between the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and Queensland's Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995

•     attending one of the free information sessions being held by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland

•     using the benchmarking tool to assess your current position and access tips that will help you improve management of workplace health and safety

•     using the safe work week tools which include 'injury hotspots' posters, video documentaries and discussion starters

•     going to breakfast with Mal!

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This Newsletter, of necessity, has dealt with matters of a technical nature in general terms only. Clients should contact us for detailed information on any of the items in the Newsletter. No responsibility for loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from acting in reliance upon any material in this Newsletter can be accepted by any member or employee of the firm.

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