Skip links and keyboard navigation

    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Education and Industrial Relations
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Online film to help executive officers prepare for new work safety laws

    Education and Industrial Relations
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Thursday, November 10, 2011

    Online film to help executive officers prepare for new work safety laws

    The Bligh Government has released an online film to help executive officers understand their obligations under new workplace health and safety laws.

    Industrial Relations Minister Cameron Dick said the new laws, which take effect on 1 January 2012, place significant personal responsibility on executive officers for ensuring safety at their organisations.

    “The new film, available from the Workplace Health and Safety Queensland website, features industry leaders and Safety Ambassador Mal Meninga clearly outlining the changes,” Mr Dick said.

    “The film points out that safety responsibilities cannot be delegated to someone else.

    “There are big penalties if executive officers don’t comply with the new laws, including personal fines of up to $600,000 and imprisonment up to five years. Business can face fines of up to $3 million.

    “From 1 January, there needs to be a very clear strategy to ensure safety in the workplace.

    “It is important senior officers take the time to understand and assess safety issues and ensure resources are available to address risks.

    “It is also critical that each organisation’s safety strategy is communicated effectively to staff.”

    The new laws require company directors to:

    ·Acquire and keep an up-to-date knowledge of health and safety matters;

    ·Gain an understanding of hazards and risks associated with the company operations;

    ·Ensure appropriate resources are available to eliminate or minimise risks from work carried out;

    ·Ensure appropriate processes for obtaining information about incidents, hazards and risks, and responding to them;

    ·Ensure processes for complying with duties are implemented, e.g. reporting, consultation arrangements, training and instruction; and

    ·Verify the provision and use of resources for the matters listed above.

    Mr Dick said the film pointed out that good safety management was also good business.

    “If you can improve the welfare and productivity of your staff you will improve your bottom line,” he said.

    “Safety comes with a value component—unsafe practices cost money, while safe practices reduce costs through downtime, absenteeism and workers’ compensation premiums.”

    In 2008, Workplace Relations Ministers from around Australia agreed to nationally harmonise work health and safety laws.

    The new film, entitled Executive officers: Know your responsibilities under the new laws is part of a suite of resources available to help industry prepare for the new legislation.

    To help all Queensland workplaces get ready for the laws, the Bligh Government has also provided:

    ·An information kit for businesses containing a guide to the legislation, fact sheets, DVDs and posters for workplaces. Over 14,000 have been distributed so far.

    ·Workplace Health and Safety Queensland has delivered over 80 presentations on the new laws to industry across the state, with more planned before the end of the year and in early 2012. Filmed versions of the presentations are also available for free download.

    ·An online tool comparing the current Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995 with the new Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

    For more information visit www.worksafe.qld.gov.au or telephone 1300 369 915.

    The executive officer film is available at http://www.deir.qld.gov.au/workplace/publications/multimedia/executive-officers/index.htm

    Media contact: Minister for Industrial Relations 3237 1000