New Health & Safety Laws 2012
According to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulator of NSW, WorkCover NSW, some of the key changes of the Workplace Health and Safety legislation planned for 2012, is the creation of new parties or entities:
The harmonised WHS Act and Regulations see the replacement of “employer” with the term “person conducting business or undertaking”. This change has been made to acknowledge the diversified nature of modern workplaces with one or more employers and a team of workers who may be engaged through a variety of arrangements. The Person Conducting Business or Undertaking (PCBU) has the primary duty of care to ensure all workers are safe at the workplace.
As stated above, the new legislation aims to address the employment relationships of the modern workplace. Gone is the employer and employee relationship and introduced is the term “worker”. A worker is any person who performs work in any capacity for the PCBU including directly employed employees but also labour hire staff, volunteers, work experience students, contractors, sub-contractors, apprentices, trainees and outworkers. The obligations related to safe place and systems of work apply to any worker.
An “Officer” is an individual within the PCBU whose role and authority allow them to make decisions that significantly affect the business. In many organisations this could include the Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer and possibly General Managers. Under the new legislation Officers of the PCBU must exercise a proactive, due diligence to ensure their organisation is complying with requirements. This could include such things as establishing Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSMS), which include OHS auditing ,workplace inspections and other compliance checks.
If your organisation requires assistance determining if it is ready for the new Work Health and Safety Act, contact OSHEM Solutions. Our OHS auditors are currently conducting WHS Compliance Checks
with our clients, as well as assisting in the development of action plans to help them comply.