The State Government today tabled the Work Health and Safety (WHS) Bill in Parliament, paving the way for more modern workplace safety laws that apply to all industries.
As a result of significant public concern and the recommendations of two reviews, the new legislation includes industrial manslaughter provisions carrying a maximum penalty of 20 years’ imprisonment for an individual and a fine of $10 million for a body corporate.
The new laws will make it illegal for insurance companies to indemnify entities against monetary penalties imposed under workplace health and safety laws.
The WHS Bill defines health as both ‘physical and psychological health’, aiming to further emphasise the importance of considering psychological health in the design and management of work.
It is also intended to serve as a reminder that risks to psychological health must be considered alongside risks to physical health.
The public comment period for the accompanying regulations ended yesterday, so work has now begun on the final package to support this Bill.
As stated by Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston:
“The health and safety of workers is a priority for the McGowan Government, and this Bill will modernise Western Australia’s laws and bring us into line with other States.
“The current legislation is spread across multiple Acts and regulations – this update will bring the resources sector and general industries under the same Act, but with separate regulations.
“The community has high expectations that every worker has the right to come home safely after each shift, having a strong deterrence in this legislation completely accords with these expectations.”