New Work Health and Safety Bill to protect workers

The State Government has approved the development of a modernised Work Health and Safety Bill for WA.
Date: Thursday, 13 July 2017

The State Government has given the green light to develop a modernised Work Health and Safety Bill for Western Australia.

Based on the national Work Health and Safety Act, the Bill will improve consistency with the rest of Australia and provide the primary legislation for workplace safety and health across all Western Australian industries.

The Bill will be supported by a number of industry specific regulations to suit the State's unique conditions, enabling the resources sector to continue to use a risk-based approach.

Petroleum and major hazard facility industries will continue to operate under a safety case approach.

The State Government's contemporary, single Act approach has been adopted following collaboration between the former departments of Commerce and Mines and Petroleum (now the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety).

Consistent with the Government's commitment to reduce red tape, the Bill will replace three Acts: Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984, Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994; and Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Safety Levies Act 2011.

The development of the Bill will involve extensive consultation with stakeholders and the community, prior to expected introduction to State Parliament in mid-2019.

Minister for Mines and Petroleum, and Commerce and Industrial Relations Bill Johnston said the safety and health of workers is a high priority for the government.

"Occupational, health and safety legislation in WA is 30 years old and is out of date," Mr Johnston said.

"This is why we're taking action - the new Bill is an important step in updating and improving the regulation of workplace health and safety."