The Workplace Health and Safety Bill 2011 (NSW) was
introduced into NSW Parliament yesterday.
It introduces health and safety legislation consistent with the
harmonised legislation due to commence on 1 January 2012.
One of the significant changes proposed by the Bill is the
jurisdiction to hear health and safety matters. Under the proposed
legislation, the Industrial Relations Court will no longer have
jurisdiction to hear safety matters. Matters will be dealt with by
the Local Court (where the maximum penalty may be imposed is
A$50,000) and the District Court. This of course will remove a
significant part of the jurisdiction of the Industrial Court of New
The Occupational Health and Safety Amendment Bill 2011
(NSW) was also introduced into NSW Parliament yesterday. It
proposes amendment to the current general duty provisions to
include reasonably practicable in the duty provision, it omits
defence provisions and substitutes the section 26 obligations upon
directors and persons concerned in management of corporations with
the obligations upon officers to exercise due diligence. Lastly,
this Bill proposes the end of union powers to commence proceedings
for offences under the current legislation. This Bill is
significant as it may bring these amendments to the existing
Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHS
Act) ahead of time of the Model Act. Once the Model Act is
assented to the OHS Act will be repealed.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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