Work health and safety has seen a number of changes recently with new legislation being implemented by both state and federal governments in an attempt to harmonise safety laws across Australia. The Commonwealth and most states and territories, except Victoria and Western Australia, have implemented similar WHS laws. However, some of the new laws are under review and new Codes of Practice are still emerging from the safety regulators.
One key issue for companies that operate across state borders and their officers is how to meet the legal requirements of the different states and territories. It has been our experience that where the safety management system of the business does not meet the minimum safety requirements of the particular jurisdiction, then the business could expect regulator intervention.
We are experts in assisting businesses ("persons conducting a business or undertaking" or PCBUs) to ensure that the PCBU meets the requirements of the harmonised safety laws to achieve a safe and cost-effective business, where all workers go home safe at the end of their working day.
Further, the new WHS laws emphasise the important role of directors and executives (officers) in having an effective due diligence system in place. We have extensive experience in assisting companies to identify the relevant officers, implement an effective due diligence system and provide training and guidance as required by the WHS laws. We have drawn on our extensive experience in successfully defending officers of corporations in safety prosecutions to develop these due diligence systems and training tools.
We provide an all-hours response to workplace incidents to ensure that our clients receive appropriate legal protection and assistance. Our clients range across a number of industries, including construction, manufacturing, engineering, mining, oil and gas, retail, freight, financial services, education, IT, property, transport and labour hire.