On Thursday 11th February 2016 The Andrews Labor Government issued a media release that was headed - Improving workplace safety for Victorians.
The media release states that
"The Andrews Labor Government is delivering on its election commitment to ensure high safety standards are met in Victorian workplaces, appointing an expert panel to review and strengthen occupational health and safety (OHS) standards across the state."
"The review panel will make recommendations to improve the health and safety outcomes for Victorian workers, ensuring Victoria remains the safest state in Australia in which to work. The panel will report on WorkSafe's compliance and enforcement policy and activities, its provision of OHS compliance information and the promotion of OHS awareness, education and training."
It goes on to detail who will chair the review and provides details of two of the panel members. It also states that the review is due to report to the Minister at the end of the year after undertaking extensive stakeholder consultation.
The responsible Minister, Robin Scott, is quoted as saying
"Workplace safety is a key priority of the Andrews Labor Government and this review will determine what's working and what can be improved to ensure that Victorians return home safely."
"I am pleased to appoint the OHS review panel and am confident that their collective knowledge and experience will allow for a thorough review of WorkSafe's compliance and enforcement activity."
For further information on this topic please refer to the full media release
WorkSafe Victoria is currently reviewing the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007 (as amended 2014). These Regulations are due to sunset in 2017 and the new review would have to take into account the impact of new legislation for OHS.
Is this the beginning of a move towards Work Health and Safety? What are the implications going forwards? Watch this space
Richard Forster - Principal HSE Consultant