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Work Health and Safety legislation amendments

Amendments to Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws came into effect on 16 May 2014. These amendments implement findings from the Queensland Government's review of national model WHS laws which commenced in Queensland on 1 January 2012.

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Work Health and Safety and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2014

The Work Health and Safety and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2014 (PDF, 347 kB) (amendment Act) was passed in the Queensland Parliament on 3 April 2014 and commenced by proclamation on 16 May 2014.

The amendment Act amends the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 by:

The amendment Act also amends the Electrical Safety Act 2002 to increase the maximum penalty that can be prescribed for offences in the Electrical Safety Regulation 2013 (ES Regulation) to 300 penalty units. This is consistent with the maximum penalty for regulations made under the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 and ensures that nationally consistent penalties can apply to offences in the ES Regulation 2013.

View further information on the changes relating to right of entry.

Work Health and Safety and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2014 (PDF, 347 kB)

Work Health and Safety and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2014 - Explanatory Notes (PDF, 77 kB)

Work Health and Safety and Another Regulation Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2014

The Work Health and Safety and Another Regulation Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2014 (amendment Regulation) commenced on 16 May 2014.

The amendment Regulation includes the following amendments:

Work Health and Safety and Another Regulation Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2014
Audiometric testing
Protective structures on earthmoving machinery
  • Removing the requirement to fit protective structures to earthmoving machinery which had not yet commenced. Other sections in the WHS Regulation 2011 relating to managing risks associated with powered mobile plant continue to apply.
Asbestos
  • Removing the requirement for applicants to nominate a supervisor to the WHS regulator when applying for a class B asbestos removal licence.
  • Removing the requirement for class B asbestos removal supervisors to complete CPCCBC4051A Supervise asbestos removal.
  • Specifying that when class B asbestos removal work is being carried out by more than one person, a supervisor must be readily available. The licence holder must ensure the supervisor:
    • is at least 18 years old
    • has a certificate in has a certificate in either of the new worker courses for asbestos removal (CPCCDE3014A Remove non-friable asbestos or CPCCDE3015A Remove friable asbestos)
    • has at least one year of relevant industry experience.
  • Providing more flexibility around who can do the clearance inspection for class B asbestos removal work.
    • Certification in asbestos removal worker VET courses (CPCCDE3014A Remove non-friable asbestos and CPCCDE3015A Remove friable asbestos) have been added to the definition of a 'competent person'.
    • The competent person can be from the asbestos removal business providing they have not been directly involved in doing the asbestos removal work.
  • Providing additional requirements if a clearance certificate following class B asbestos removal work has been issued when it should not have been (i.e. asbestos debris remains on site). If an inspector issues an improvement or prohibition notice directing the clean up of the site by the licensed removalist, the licensed removalist must ensure there is a new clearance inspection carried out by another competent person who is completely independent. The costs associated with the clean up and new clearance inspection cannot be imposed on the occupier/owner of the asbestos removal area.
  • For workplace buildings, an asbestos register is not required if the building was:
    • constructed after 31 December 1989 (instead of 31 December 2003), and
    • no asbestos has been identified at the workplace, and
    • no asbestos is likely to be present at the workplace from time to time.
  • Clarification that asbestos registers are not required for domestic premises.
Other amendments
  • Specifying what information is to be provided when giving notice of entry for a person assisting a health and safety representative.
  • Amending various provisions in the WHS Regulation so that notifying the WHS Regulator of certain things does not have to be done in writing but can be done by phone instead. Examples include, notifying the regulator of a change of address or when a licence is lost, stolen or destroyed.
  • Allowing the WHS Regulator to publish an online register of high risk work licence holders and accredited assessors.
  • Amending the maximum penalty for breaches of various provisions in the ES Regulation 2013.

Work Health and Safety and Another Regulation Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2014 (PDF, 181 kB)

Work Health and Safety and Another Regulation Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2014 - Explanatory Notes (PDF, 77 kB)

Codes of practice

On 30 May 2014, the new First Aid in the Workplace Code of Practice 2014 was approved under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (PDF, 1.42 MB). This replaces the First Aid Code of Practice 2004 which was revoked on 29 May 2014. The First Aid in the Workplace Code of Practice 2014 is based on the national model first aid code of practice with some minor variations to address issues raised by stakeholders during the review of the WHS laws in Queensland.

The following codes of practice have been varied under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and take effect on 30 May 2014:

The four codes of practice have been amended so they are consistent with the amendments made to the WHS Regulation 2011 as detailed above.

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