Is your business ready for WA's Work Health & Safety Act 2020?
Many businesses are not prepared for the introduction of Western Australia’s new Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws.
In March 2022, the New WA WHS Work Health and Safety
Legislation (Act and Regulations) comes into force. This is significant change to the existing OSH
legislation and will require all WA businesses to ensure their current Safety
Management Systems are updated to comply with the new WHS legal requirements.
There are significant financial penalties for breaches of
the WHS Act and regulations, with imprisonment for gross negligence offences.
Austral Risk Services wholly owned subsidiary, WHS Total Solutions, can assist your organisation to prepare and comply with the requirements of the WHS Legislation.
What are the changes in the new WHS Act?
One March 31, 2022, Western Australia’s new Work Health and Safety Act 2020 (WHS Act) will be implemented. These laws were first tabled in July 2017 and were passed by Parliament on November 3, 2020.
The new laws allow for all Western Australian workplaces to fall under one single Act and are based
on the National harmonised WHS legislation as used in other states and
territories - except for Victoria.
What are the key changes?
- The WHS Legislation is now contained in one Act with three supporting sets of regulations being; WHS (General Regulations), WHS (Mining) Regulations and WHS (Petroleum & Geothermal Energy Operations).
- Businesses must ensure they undertake formal reviews of their current (OSH) Safety Management Systems to ensure compliance with the new WHS Act and Regulations prior to March 2022.
- Significant fines and penalties for non-compliance and breaches of the new WHS Act and Regulations – for example the fine for a Category 1 offence is $3.5 million and an industrial manslaughter offence is $10 million (body corporate) or $5 million / 20 years jail for an Individual or Company Officer.
- Boards, Directors, Partners, Officers and Key Decision Makers within an organisation must be able to demonstrate due diligence, active governance and high-level participation across all corporate WHS matters.
- Businesses must implement
systems and processes to ensure compliance with new requirements around reporting of ‘notifiable incident’ events for serious illness/injuries, dangerous incidents and fatality events.
- Businesses can no longer purchase insurance covers for any breaches of safety related events resulting in financial penalties (fines). The Act prescribes significant fines for any clients attempting to obtain/purchase this type of insurance.
What does your business or organisation need to do?
There are a number of areas that need to be addressed to ensure WHS compliance. These include:
- Does your management team have a clear understanding of the new WHS requirements for your business? There are new definitions and terminology that need to be understood. For example, the new Act includes changes to
the Primary Duty Holder now called a PCBU (person conducting a business or
undertaking) which captures a broader range of contemporary workplace
relationships. There is also a greater focus on mental and physical health for workers. Do your
current WHS procedures reflect these changes?
- Safety Management System (SMS) & Injury Management System (IMS) Reviews - Does your business have the right systems in place? If your organisation's Work Health & Safety procedures haven't been audited or assessed for compliance to the new WHS Legislation you will need to make sure this is done prior to March 2022. A number of key changes need to be made. For example, does your SMS & IMS contain all WHS technical & legislative content to meet the WHS requirements?
- Does your team know about the changes and how it will affect them? The new WHS laws are the most significant change to workplace
safety legislation in Western Australia since the OSH Act of 1984 & Regulations of 1996! There are additional resources to help educate your staff on the 2022
Western Australian WHS Legislation changes available from the WorkSafe Western Australia website.
How can Austral help?
Austral Risk Services has a dedicated people risk solutions business - WHS Total Solutions - focussed on assisting our clients in all aspects of managing WHS within an organisation. From understanding people risks, implementing a compliant and easy-to-use safety and injury management plan to proactive workers’ compensation insurance and claims management, we have you covered.
WHS 2022 Compliance Services
WHS Total Solutions offers a complete solution for WA businesses to manage the new WHS Legislative requirements.
Using our professional range of people risk services, we can significantly reduce the impact and challenges businesses will be required to undertake for WHS compliance.
Our experienced WHS Consultants can assist your business to complete a WHS Compliance Audit and provide guidance on what specific improvements are needed.
WHS360 Software - Powerful People Risk Management Software
WHS Total Solutions offers clients a complete suite of People Risk Management Software to make the transition to WHS compliance simple and cost effective.
WHS360 is a powerful people risk management software solution that ensures WHS compliance. The solution is fully supported, scalable and simple to implement.
Software solutions include:
- WHS Management System (ISO: 45001)
- Incident & Injury Management System
- Human Resources System
- Training Management System
- Quality Management System (ISO: 9001)
- Environmental Management System (ISO: 14001) and many more.
Learn more about WHS Total Solutions
Expert Workers' Compensation Insurance Advice
By reviewing the business, understanding its people risks and assisting with the management of these risks, Austral Risk Services can work with the insurers to get the best insurance cover and informed claim reserves. Our workers' compensation experience is second to none - saving our clients millions in workers' compensation premiums.
Proactive Workers' Compensation Claims Management
Austral’s experienced team proactively manage all workers’ comp claims with clients to achieve fair outcomes, faster claims payments, increased insurer accountability, informed claims reserves and better premiums.
About Austral Risk Services
Austral Risk Services are trusted risk advisors and insurance brokers serving WA businesses for over 30 years. We provide comprehensive risk management services and insurance solutions to protect a business or organisation. We’re experts in handling complex and difficult risks.
Since 1990, we have earned a reputation of excellence in designing risk management programs and offering innovative, tailored business insurance solutions that meet our clients’ unique risk profiles and industry needs.