WHS Harmonisation – where are we at?

WHS Harmonisation laws were originally designed to commence 1st January 2013. All the states have passed the legislation except for Victoria and Western Australia. Victoria has decided against joining. Western Australia’s position is outlined by the WorkSafe Commissioner

Statement from the WorkSafe Western Australia Commissioner

The Western Australian Government remains committed to the principle of harmonisation and continues to take steps to progress the implementation of the model work health and safety laws.  The harmonisation process has included the development of the model Act, WHS Regulations and Codes of practice.  WA is continuing to participate in that process.  While it is not intending to adopt the whole of the model WHS Bill, WA will likely adopt the vast majority of the proposed model laws.

In relation to the model WHS Regulations a WA specific public consultation was completed during late 2012 with a WA specific Regulation Impact Statement (‘RIS’) being prepared by Marsden Jacob Associates and provided to WorkSafe on 31 December 2012.  That RIS has been provided to the Government for its consideration as part of the process of proceeding toward the adoption of the model laws.

The timing of the adoption of the model laws is dependent on the availability of the complete package of harmonised laws including the model mining WHS regulations (core and non-core) being available so that any implementation of the WHS laws can be for all industry sectors in WA simultaneously.

Below are some answers to the questions that have been commonly asked in relation to the effect of harmonisation for workers and workplaces in WA.  However, if you have other questions please contact WorkSafe WA on 1300 307 877 or by email (safety@commerce.wa.gov.au) and we will organise an answer for you.

NB: New WHS Legislation has not been tabled in the WA parliament as yet. Stay tuned.

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