Newly released health and safety codes and legislation – September 2020
Quad Bike Standards
New quad bike standards mandatory requirements come into effect in October 2020. The mandatory requirements are introduced into stages.
The standard that does not apply to Australian second-hand vehicles is introduced in two stages:
Stage 1 | 11 October 2020
All new and imported second-hand quad bikes to:
- Safety comparison hang tag.
- Durable risk of rollover warning label affixed to the quad bike.
- Risk of rollover to be included in owner’s manual.
- Meet certain requirements in the US or European standards.
- Have a spark arrestor that conforms to the US or Australian standards.
Stage 2 | 11 October 2021
New and imported second-hand general use quad bikes to:
- Operator protection device (OPD) fitted or integrated into its design.
- Meet minimum stability requirements for lateral, rearward and forward static stability.
Amendments to the OHS Regulations
Occupational Health and Safety (COVID-19 Incident Notification) Regulations 2020
A new temporary regulation was introduced 28 July 2020 to manage the reporting of workplace related COVID positive cases.
Workplaces including self-employed persons must notify WorkSafe immediately on becoming aware of a confirmed case of COVID in one of their employees, their self or an independent contractor or their employees.
WorkSafe must be notified by phone immediately and then in writing within 48 hours through the online form. The process follows the same requirements as other notifiable incidents, apart from the requirement to not disturb the site, business should not delay introducing their COVID response cleaning.
Report a confirmed positive case of COVID-19 in the workplace
To coincide with the commencement of updated regulation on 5 June 2020.updated WorkSafe has released new guidance Lead: A guidebook for workplaces which replaces the former code of practice.
Amendments to Part 4.3 of the OHS Regulations include:
- Changing the definition of lead-risk work.
- Lowering the airborne lead exposure standard.
- Updating requirements for the frequency of biological monitoring.
- Reducing blood lead level thresholds for removal from, and return to, lead-risk work.
These changes may see workplaces having greater legal obligations and now needing to manage additional processes to meet these requirements.
Amendments to the WHS Act
Amendment to the WHS regulations came into effect on 10 June 2020. Changes include:
- Enhancement of the Category 1 offence by including “gross negligence” as a fault element.
- Prohibition of insurance and indemnity arrangements.
- Increased penalty amounts for all WHS offences.
- More consideration and communication with families, including three (3) monthly check ins, extended 18 month timeframe to request prosecution and access to a review process for a decision not to prosecute.
- Clarification that a Health and Safety Representative (HSR) can choose their course of training.
Amendments to the WHS Regulation
Amendment to the WHS regulations came into effect on the 7 August 2020.
Plant Item Registration
Clarified items of plant that are required to be registered and maintains the current registration period of 1 year.
Traffic control work clarified
Clarification that traffic control work includes directing traffic in accordance with a work zone traffic management plan with or without a stop/slow bat or boom gate.
New Penalties Notice Options
Additional existing offences can now be dealt with by way of a penalty notice:
- failing to minimise the risk of an object falling on a person by providing adequate protections against the risk,
- failing to take certain actions in connection with the use of scaffold at a workplace.
Work Health and Safety Regulation Amendment (Silica) Regulation 2020
Amendments came into effect on 1 July 2020 to ban the uncontrolled dry cutting of manufactured stone containing crystalline silica.
Amendments to the WHS Act
Minor changes to the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act), which will commence on assent of the Community Services Industry (Portable Long Service Leave) Act (the amendment Act), passed 17 June 2020.
- streamlining right of entry dispute resolutions by removing sections 141A and 142A of the WHS Act, and
- increasing the penalties for when there is obstruction, intimidation and threatening behaviour in the context of right of entry matters (sections 144-148) and generally in relation to inspectors (sections 188-190).
Excavation Work | Code of Practice | Feb 2020
First Aid in the Workplace | Code of Practice | May 2020
Revised workplace exposure limit for respirable crystalline silica
SafeWork SA will implement the nationally agreed workplace exposure limit (WEL) for respirable crystalline silica effective 1 July 2020.
Amendments to the Return to Work Act
The Northern Territory made amendments to the Return to Work Act 1986 and Return to Work Regulations 1986, these changes commenced 29 July 2020.
This amendment reverses a number of changes made to the legislation in 2015 and improves the operation of the NT Workers Compensation Scheme.
Summary of Changes:
New and revised Codes of Practice for the Northern Territory
Following on from Safe Work Australia’s review of Codes of Practice the Northern Territory has amended, adopted and rescinded a number of Codes of Practice, as follows;
Abrasive blasting | Code of Practice | May 2020
Demolition work | Code of Practice | May 2020
Excavation work | Code of Practice | May 2020
Managing electrical risks in the workplace | Code of Practice | May 2020
Managing risks in stevedoring | Code of Practice | May 2020
Managing risks of hazardous chemicals in the workplace | Code of Practice | May 2020
Managing risks of plant in the workplace | Code of Practice | May 2020
Safe design of structures | Code of Practice | May 2020
Spray painting and powder coating | Code of Practice | May 2020
Welding processes | Code of Practice | May 2020
Confined spaces | Code of Practice | May 2020
Construction work | Code of Practice | May 2020
First aid in the workplace | Code of Practice | May 2020
Hazardous manual tasks | Code of Practice | May 2020
How to manage and control asbestos in the workplace | Code of Practice | May 2020
How to manage work health and safety risks | Code of Practice | May 2020
How to safely remove asbestos | Code of Practice | May 2020
Labelling of workplace hazardous chemicals | Code of Practice | April 2020
Managing noise and preventing hearing loss at work | Code of Practice | May 2020
Managing the risk of falls at workplaces | Code of Practice | May 2020
Managing the risk of falls in housing construction | Code of Practice | May 2020
Managing the work environment and facilities | Code of Practice | May 2020
Preparation of safety data sheets for hazardous chemicals | Code of Practice | May 2020
Work health and safety consultation, cooperation and coordination | Code of Practice | May 2020
- Northern Territory Fatigue Management – Road Transport
- Prevention of Falls in Construction
- Control of Inorganic Lead at Work
NEWLY RELEASED CODES & LEGISLATION, AS AT MAY 2020
Safe Work Australia
Prohibited Asbestos Amendment
Safe Work Australia has introduced an amendment to the Model Work Health Safety Act and Regulations. This amendment sees the introduction of a Prohibited Asbestos Notice, that can be issued by the regulator with or instead of other improvement or prohibition notices.
Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2019
July sees the commencement of the final amendments to the being introduced to the Workers’ Compensation Act 2019, including:
- Self-insured employers will be required to report injuries and payments.
- Unpaid interns will be covered by workers’ compensation insurance.
- Rehabilitation and Return to Work Coordinators training amendments.
Preparing for a pandemic | A guide for employers
Proposed changes to Return to Work Legislation 2020
NT WorkSafe have tabled The Return to Work Legislation Amendment Bill 2020 in parliament during February 2020. The changes proposed see a number previous changes introduced in 2015 being reversed. Key proposed changes include:
- Expanding the number of diseases and conditions, including PTSD for first responders.
- Claims in relation to journey and travel in relation to call outs are included
- Changes to meaning of worker and a blanket approach to Labour hire workers are all classifying them as employees for insurance purposes.
- Introduction of a number of changes to payments, including over payments and caps placed after certain periods.
Summary of Changes:
New South Wales
Excavation Work | Code of Practice | January 2020
First Aid in the Workplace | Code of Practice | January 2020