HSR POWERS STRENGTHENED FOR OFFSHORE WORKERS

The powers of HSRs in the offshore sector have been strengthened, aligning them with WHS laws.

A parliamentary inquiry confirmed deficiencies in safety provisions in the offshore sector, leading to fears of reprisals for HSRs who engaged with regulators.

The Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Legislation Amendment (Safety and Other Measures) Bill 2024 has been introduced to strengthen safety for workers in offshore oil and gas projects.

The Bill aligns training requirements for HSRs with WHS laws, empowers HSRs to request safety document reviews, and protects workers from safety-related discrimination.

Prohibited reasons for discrimination include complaints about WHS matters and assisting safety inspections with employers facing fines of up to $200,000 for discriminatory conduct.

The Bill also clarifies definitions, strengthens requirements for diving operations, and simplifies reporting for serious injuries.

The Government plans to further review offshore safety to harmonise it with national WHS laws.

The ACTU supports the amendments, citing the need to enhance safety protections for offshore workers.

Most provisions of the Bill will commence on a date yet to be determined.

Source: OHS Alert, 16 February

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