Submission | 2018 Review of the model WHS laws: Australian Chamber Submission

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Australian Chamber) welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the 2018 Review of the model Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws. This review is an opportunity to examine the operation and content of the model WHS laws to ensure they are operating as intended in those jurisdictions who have implemented them.

The Australian Chamber continues to support the process of harmonisation. Harmonisation was and is widely welcomed. Industry commends the ongoing efforts to eliminate inconsistencies and duplication in WHS legislation across States and Territories but acknowledges more work is still needed.

We maintain that the model WHS Act, Regulations and Codes must be focused on safety outcomes and that any legislative tools should be thoroughly justified, practical and nonprescriptive, in line with COAG principles.

The Australian Chamber continues to advocate that an effective health and safety culture requires all those involved in the workplace to accept shared responsibilities. Making workplaces safer starts with the workplace culture and attitude, not with regulation. A commitment to preventing and managing risks develops from a foundation of realistic, practical and encouraging guidance suitable for all workplaces.

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