This briefing paper aims to provide International SOS members (Members) with a brief update on the new work health and safety (WHS) laws (the Model WHS Laws) which have commenced operation in all Australian jurisdictions except Western Australia (who have delayed introduction of the laws until at least 2014) and Victoria (who have opted out of the scheme)
This briefing paper will focus on the Model WHS Laws as they apply to employers operating under the laws of the Australian States and Territories (that is, the majority of Australian businesses). A separate briefing paper outlines the application of the Model WHS Laws to employers operating in the Commonwealth jurisdiction (eg. Commonwealth Government agencies or departments).
The Model WHS Laws place onerous obligations on employers and others to take reasonably practicable steps to minimise the risk of injury or other harm to the people who work for them.
We have also provided some guidance on the steps that may be taken by Members to ensure that they are well placed to assert compliance with any WHS duties they may owe to workers whilst travelling or based overseas for work.