ASSISTING HSRs REMAINS BURDENSOME IN SA

A range of amendments are likely to follow a recent review of SafeWork SA but will not include allowing union officers to bypass the right-of-entry requirements when seeking to assist HSRs.

Current provisions, added in 2012 and unique to South Australia, require entry permit holders to notify the regulator before entering a workplace, and then provide a report to the regulator after entry has been completed.

Disappointingly the SA Government rejected former WorkSafe Victoria executive director, John Merritt’s recommendation regarding the above provision, claiming there’s no ‘evidentiary basis for why this recommendation is necessary.’

Merritt’s review, finalised in December 2022, was released publicly last week.

In their preliminary response the SA Government flagged support for 25 of the recommendations, rejection of four, with decisions on the remaining 10 subject to ‘further consultation with stakeholders.’

The 113-page review recommends SafeWork SA ‘raise its ambition for safer workplaces’ and adopt a vision matching the objects of the WHS Act -  to secure ‘the safety of workers and workplaces', and 'protect workers and other persons against harm.’

Included in the reports recommendation are:  

  • That the performance of SafeWork leaders be measured against improvements in work-related fatality and injury rates
  • The establishment of a ‘SafeWork SA Oversight and Advisory Council’ to receive and provide advice on the regulator's activities and performance
  • The development of a new strategy to support HSRs, including by ensuring SafeWork inspectors adhere to their WHS duty to notify relevant HSRs when entering a workplace
  • Section 271 of the Act be amended to better allow SafeWork to inform injured workers, or the families of people killed at work, of the progress of investigations and decisions around prosecutions

Source: OHS Alert 03 February

Share Tweet

RELATED

COURT SLAPS $90K FINE ON SCRAP METAL RECYCLER
Manhari International operates a scrap metal recycling business based in Tottenham, which WorkSafe inspectors visited in December 2020. They discovered 60 pallets of vehicle batteries (Class 8 dangerous goods) stored in a...
Read More
BELL PLASTER TO SPEND $480K ON IMPROVEMENTS
Building material supplier Bell Plaster Supplies has committed to spending over $480,000 to enhance health and safety following an incident at their Pascoe Vale warehouse.
Read More
GATE FAILURE COSTS $40K: INJURES WORKER
Built Tech Hoardings (BTH), a commercial carpentry business, was contracted by ICON to modify a construction site entrance gate by extending its width but failed to properly secure it. When an employee...
Read More