Skip links and keyboard navigation

    Media Statements

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

    A new era in work health and safety

    Education and Industrial Relations
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Sunday, January 01, 2012

    A new era in work health and safety

    Today marks a new era in workplace health and safety with Queensland businesses operating under national model work health and safety laws for the first time.

    Acting Industrial Relations Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the new laws contained in the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 were good news for Queensland employers and workers.

    “Today, heralds the beginning of a new era of increased national consistency in workplace health and safety laws,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

    “The new laws allow workers to be involved in safety management decisions which will deliver improved safety outcomes in workplaces as well delivering savings to the Queensland economy of more than $30 million a year.

    “The laws also broaden the definition of ‘worker’ to include labour hire, contractors and subcontractors, as well as imposing the onus of proof on the regulator to prove an offence.

    “The Bligh Government recognises that it will take time for industry to adjust to some of the new requirements and that is why we have included transitional provisions to help businesses adjust.

    “We want everyone to enjoy the benefits of a seamless system of work health and safety laws that cut interstate red tape and remove confusion for businesses operating across state borders.”

    Mr Hinchliffe said the Bligh Government had been working closely with employer organisations and unions to make the transition as easy as possible.

    “A wide range of education resources have been made available to help Queensland employers and workers get ready,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

    “More than 80 seminars and information sessions have already been held across Queensland with more to follow in the months ahead.

    “Workplace Health and Safety Queensland has also been providing speakers for and promoting information sessions being organised by unions, employer groups, chambers of commerce, councils, government agencies, volunteer and not-for profit organisations and other key stakeholders.

    “On top of this, more than 15,000 information kits and 25,000 copies of the Guide to the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 have been distributed.

    “Additionally, 10,000 copies of the DVD Executive officers: Know your responsibilities under the new laws have also been distributed.”

    Queensland employers and employees can find out more about the new laws at www.worksafe.qld.gov.au or by calling the WHS Infoline on 1300 369 915.

    The new legislation was developed following three years of consultation with industry, unions and other stakeholders.

    Media contact: Minister for Education and Industrial Relations 0417 789 208