Empowering workers to build a culture of safety in ACT construction

28 June 2018

ACT Government: More worker training and consultation will be required on major construction sites in the ACT, under new work health and safety legislation introduced in the Legislative Assembly today.

The Work Health and Safety Amendment Bill 2018 will apply to major construction projects with a contract price over $5 million and require employers to:

The changes recognise that the effectiveness of our WHS legislation depends on our ability to be dynamic and responsive to the experience of workers and their representatives.

The ACT Government knows that a workplace where workers are supported by union representatives is a safer workplace and will continue to support initiatives that strengthen unions’ critical role in workplace health and safety.

This is particularly important at a time when the Federal Liberals and Minister for Jobs and Innovation, Michaelia Cash, continually seek to undermine the ability of unions to represent workers and protect their workplace safety and rights.

The ACT Government is committed to continual improvement to ensure the highest possible standards of workplace health and safety. Workers should be given the highest level of protection against harm to their health, safety and welfare from hazards and risks arising from work.

The amendments go above and beyond what is provided for in the national harmonised WHS laws to raise the standard of communication and consultation on health and safety in the construction industry.

The new legislation was developed following a review into the ACT construction industry’s work health and safety culture, conducted by the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) in 2017, which suggested that health and safety culture could be improved with more meaningful consultation with workers on workplace safety.

Empowering workers and their representatives to have a stronger say on workplace health and safety issues and providing more training to health and safety representatives and committees will help drive improvements in the culture of safety on ACT construction sites.

The legislation that has been introduced today will be debated in the coming months and is anticipated to come into force on 1 January 2019.




Source:  ACT Government - www.cmd.act.gov.au

Contact:  Tim Cooke (02) 6207 1185

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