by Laura Whiteman
Western Australia’s health and safety laws are in the process of being modernised. This is part of harmonising the legislation and codes of practice currently in use throughout Australia. The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS), which is part of the Government of Western Australia, is seeking comments on the regulations that will support the proposed Work Health and Safety Act for Western Australia (WHS Act (WA)). They are looking for feedback on three different sets of regulations, including:
- general industry
- mining sector
- petroleum and geothermal sector
For general industry, the document “Differences between the National Model Work Health and Safety Regulations 2019 and the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996” outlines the main changes in the regulations. This is based on the Model Work Health and Safety Regulations, which were released on 15 January 2019 by Safe Work Australia. Chapter seven covers Hazardous chemicals, and there are some edits in this section to avoid duplication with the WA Dangerous Goods Legislation.
There is a large mining industry in Western Australia, and the WHS regulations for this industry are covered in the “Proposal for Work Health and Safety (Mines) Regulations.” These outline the WHS duties for mine operators, including requirements to provide health information in a mine, health effects of exposure to hazardous chemicals, health monitoring and incident reporting.
The “Proposal for Work Health and Safety (Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Operations) Regulations” is set to be a single set of regulations to replace the current eight sets of regulations for the petroleum and geothermal industries. Some parts of the WHS regulations will also apply to this industry, including restricted hazardous chemicals.
There are various information sessions to be held in Western Australia throughout September. The public consultation period commenced on 26 August 2019 and closes on 26 November 2019.
Recommended Action Items:
- Attend an information session
- If appropriate, make a submission on the consultation package (note these are made publicly available)
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- DMIRS “Develop Work Health and Safety Regulations for Western Australia – Information session”, Web 2 September 2019: https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/worksafe/develop-work-health-and-safety-regulations-western-australia-information-session
- DMIRS “Differences Between the national model Work Health and Safety Regulations and the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996”, Web 2 September 2019: https://msc.ul.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/002991.safety.comm_.pdf
- DMIRS “Proposal for Work Health and Safety (Mines) Regulations for Western Australia”, Web. 2 September 2019: https://msc.ul.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/002096.safety.comms__0.pdf
- DMIRS “Proposal for Work Health and Safety (Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Operations) Regulations for Western Australia”, Web. 2 September 2019: https://msc.ul.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/002237.safety.comms__0.pdf
- DMIRS Publications “Review Process Summary – Develop Work Health and Safety Regulations for Western Australia”, Web. 2 Sept 2019: https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/publications/review-process-summary-develop-work-health-and-safety-regulations-western-australia
- DMIRS Work Safe “Review Process Summary – Develop Work Health and Safety Regulations for Western Australia”, Web. 2 Sept 2019: https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/worksafe/review-process-summary-develop-work-health-and-safety-regulations-western-australia
- Government of Western Australia Media statements, “Feedback wanted for WA’s new Work Health and Safety regulations”, N.p. 27 August 2019, Web. 2 September 2019: https://www.mediastatements.wa.gov.au/Pages/McGowan/2019/08/Feedback-wanted-for-WA’s-new-Work-Health-and-Safety-regulations.aspx
- Western Australia
- Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS)
- Work Health and Safety