The Western Australian Government has approved the development of an updated Work Health and Safety Bill to improve worker safety, particularly in the state’s resources sector.
The bill, which is based on the national Work Health and Safety Act, will improve consistency with the rest of Australia and provide the primary legislation for workplace health and safety across all WA industries.
It will replace three acts – the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984, Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994, and Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Safety levies Act 2011 – under the state government’s plan to reduce red tape.
The bill will be supported by industry specific regulations to suit the state’s unique conditions, allowing the resources sector to continue to use a risk-based approach.
Petroleum and major hazard facility industries, however, will continue to work under a safety case approach.
WA mines and petroleum minister Bill Johnston said worker health and safety was a high priority.
“Occupational, health and safety legislation in WA is 30 years old and out of date,” he said.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.”
The development of the bill will involve consultation with stakeholders and the community before it is expected to be introduced to State Parliament in mid 2019.