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OHS Changes In Victoria

Published December 13, 2021 (last updated February 9, 2023) - Head of Health and Safety
workplace health and safety changes meeting

A number of amendments were made to the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act 2004 in 2021, and there are more to come in 2022.

Who Will Be Affected By The OHS Changes?

Any business that operates or has employees in Victoria will be affected by the changes.

What Are The OHS Changes?

The changes to the OHS Act include:

  • Labour Hire Workers are now considered ‘employees’ of host employers.
  • Employers must now consult, cooperate, and coordinate with labour hire providers about OHS matters when engaging labour hire workers.
  • Any insurance and indemnity arrangements covering financial penalties for offences under OHS laws are now prohibited.
  • New powers for health and safety representatives and authorised representatives of registered employee associations.
  • Changes to work procedures for WorkSafe inspectors in the delivery of notices and the disposing of or destroying seized property.

The labour hire provisions will take effect on 22 March 2022, while the other provisions took effect earlier this year.

What Do The New OHS Changes Mean?

Employsure has already adjusted its service, to accommodate the prohibition on insurance or indemnity against financial penalties.

Many of the other changes that are already in operation are more related to WorkSafe’s business and improving their efficiencies.

However, Employsure recognises that the amendments related to labour hire will impact businesses.

This provision means that both host employers and labour hire providers will owe the same health and safety duties to labour hire workers, giving them the same level of protection as other direct employees.

In addition, host employers and labour hire providers who have overlapping health and safety duties will be required to consult, cooperate, and coordinate with each other on OHS matters.

Contact the Employsure Advice Service should you have any specific health and safety questions or queries.

Need Help With OHS Changes In Victoria?

Employsure can help you give free, initial advice on OHS Changes In Victoria.

About Employsure

Employsure is one of Australia’s largest workplace relations advisers to small- and medium-businesses, with over 30,000 clients in ANZ. We take the complexity out of workplace legislation to help small business employers protect their business and their people.

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