Employers are reminded that the majority of the Victorian Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007 came into force on 1 July 2007. The Regulations dealing with construction do not come into force until 1 July 2008.
The new Regulations effectively consolidate the existing set of Regulations into one document.
The new Regulations deal with general obligations but also, cover specific issues such as noise, hazards, confined spaces, plant and high risk work.
One of the features of the new Regulations is the emphasis on the control of particular risks or hazards not just identification and assessment of them.
Importantly, the Regulations also deal with issues such as consultation with health and safety representatives, including the type of consultation and the amount of information that is required to be provided to the health and safety representatives during consultation.
In addition, the Regulations also focus on the manner in which resolution of disputes in the workplace about health and safety issues are to be resolved including the communication of the issues and matters discussed and the form in which agreements are to be made arising from the dispute process.
Surveillance Devices (Workplace Privacy Act)
New amendments made to the Surveillance Devices Act 1999 came into force on 1 July 2007.
In essence, employers must not use, install or maintain optical surveillance devices or listening devices in toilets, washrooms, change rooms or lactation rooms in the workplace.
A breach of the provisions carries a possible term of imprisonment or maximum fines of approximately $25,000 in the case of an individual or approximately $128,000 in the case of a company.
The provisions also make it an offence to communicate or publish any conversations or optical surveillance taken in toilets, washroom, change room or lactation rooms in the workplace.
Phillips Fox has changed its name to DLA Phillips Fox because the firm entered into an exclusive alliance with DLA Piper, one of the largest legal services organisations in the world. We will retain our offices in every major commercial centre in Australia and New Zealand, with no operational change to your relationship with the firm.
DLA Phillips Fox can now take your business one step further − by connecting you to a global network of legal experience, talent and knowledge.
This publication is intended as a first point of reference and should not be relied on as a substitute for professional advice. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in relation to any particular circumstances and no liability will be accepted for any losses incurred by those relying solely on this publication.
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