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 Review of Workplace Health and Safety laws in the construction industry

The national review of the Work Health and Safety (WHS) regulatory framework in the building and construction industry (the review) has been completed.

The review was conducted by Seyfarth Shaw Australia with assistance from the Department of Jobs and Small Business.

The following are now available

Background

The Department of Jobs and Small Business commissioned a review to examine the effectiveness of WHS laws in preventing the top three causes of fatalities in the industry: falls from heights or being hit by falling objects (40%), vehicle incidents (16%) and contact with electricity (12%).

The review also examined the performance of companies accredited by the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner, including any aspects of the Australian Government Building and Construction WHS Accreditation Scheme, that could inform options to improve outcomes across the building and construction industry.

Principles for the review

The review was guided by the following principles:

  1. that the needs of all sectors within the building and construction industry are appropriately considered, particularly noting the high number of small businesses within the industry
  2. any recommended amendments to existing laws, regulations, codes or guidance material are to be supported by substantial evidence of their effectiveness in improving safety, enabling the development of any required Regulation Impact Statements, and
  3. that recommendations do not undermine the model WHS legislation and a harmonised approach to WHS.

The review process

An issues paper was released on 29 March 2018 and key building and construction industry stakeholders, including regulators and employer and employee representatives, provided written submissions and/or met with the reviewer.

Following completion of the review, the report was provided to Safe Work Australia to help inform the 2018 review of the model WHS laws.

Want more information?

Email: reviews@jobs.gov.au

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