October 20, 2015
New South Wales work health and safety regulatory body, WorkCover, is no longer as we know it. A new organisation has been introduced named Insurance and Care NSW, also known as icare. icare was created as a result of the recent introduction of the State Insurance and Care Governance Act 2015.
It is important for all employers to recognise that work health and safety and its legal obligations are always changing. Not only that, but each state and territory has different regulatory bodies and also follows different laws and policies.
Who is in charge in your state?
New South Wales (NSW)
There are three regulatory bodies SafeWork NSW, Insurance and Care NSW (icare) and State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA). The State Insurance and Care Governance Act 2015 is the Act in which this body follows.
The regulatory body is WorkCover Queensland which was formerly known as Q-COMP. Work Health and Safety Act 2011 is the Act in which the body follows.
South Australia (SA)
Northern Territory (NT)
The regulatory body is NT WorkSafe. The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 is the Act in which this body follows.
The regulatory body is Worksafe Tasmania and WorkCover Tasmania. The Work Health and Safety Act 2012 is the act which this body follows.
Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
The regulatory body is WorkSafe ACT. The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 is the act which this body follows.
Western Australia (WA)
The regulatory body is WorkSafe and WorkCover WA. The Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 is the Act which this body follows.
The regulatory bodies include WorkCover and WorkSafe. The Occupational Safety and Health Act 2004 is the Act which this body follows.
Each regulatory body is responsible for enforcing health and safety laws and to protect the health and safety of all workers in Australia. With a strong common goal across the country it is a hard for employers when each state remains separated by different acts.
WA and Vic are considered to be the outliers, as their act focuses on occupational health and safety where penalties applied for breaches are less severe, yet are more specific in terms of who health and safety responsibilities apply to. Whereas in other states the person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) has the onus of safety responsibilities within a business. A PCBU could be a number of people within the business, not solely the owner or employer.
In WA economic ties to mining mean that their act aims to protect this industry. Vic’s differentiation has more of a political stance and generally has different views to other states and territories.
The consequences for breaching acts is different across each state. Compensation, remedies as well as penalties and jail times are different state by state. All employers need to be wary of this especially if they have workers around the country and/or operating businesses that could be covered by different laws.
If you are a business owner, employer or PCBU and you have questions referring to your workplace obligations and health and safety laws, call Employsure today. Employsure can support your business and protect you nationwide even if you have multi sites in different states or territories.
Call Employsure today on 1300 651 415 to find out how we can help you to meet your work health and safety obligations and ensure that your workplace is fair and safe.
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