A Work Health and Safety Bill has been tabled in the Western Australian parliament with the intention to roll-out the harmonised WHS laws, which have already commenced in all other Australian jurisdictions, except Victoria.
However, the WA Bill excludes a number of the model provisions including;
- Ability of health and safety representatives (HSRs) to direct cessation of work if they consider it unsafe.
- Right of unions to enter workplaces with an entry permit.
- Placing the burden of proof on the accused for allegations of WHS discrimination.
Despite long term WA opposition to the high fines under the model harmonised laws, WA has retained the same maximum model fines in the Bill eg up to $3m for breaches of the Act. Comment on the Bill must be submitted by 30 January 2015.