Extending workplace occupational health and safety legislation.

Extending workplace occupational health and safety legislation.

Occupational Health and Safety issues can a minefield for the unprepared employer. On 1st January 2012 new Work,
Health, and Safety (WHS Act) clauses became law, replacing the occupational health and safety (OHS) laws in New South
Wales. In creating these new laws the intention was to provide greater certainty and clarity, making it easier for both
employers and employees to understand workplace health and safety duties. This move helps establish more consistency
throughout Australia.

The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act) introduces:

1. A new term, PCBU (“person conducting a business or undertaking”) expands the duty of care for work, health, and safety
to all persons who conduct a business or undertaking. The scope of this includes: public AND private companies; the
partners in a partnership; sole traders; and self-employed people. Similarly, these clauses embrace: government departments
and authorities; associations if they have one or more employees; local government councils; cooperatives; schools and
universities.

2. A new definition of “workers” includes employee, trainee, volunteer, apprentice, contractor or sub-contractor. The upshot
of these new definitions is that every person conducting a business or undertaking must fulfil its health and safety obligations to anyone who may be affected by its operations.