WorkSafe Victoria has recently introduced some additional powers and infringement notices, that may range from 2 to 10 penalty units. (Penalty Unit $181.74). The issuing of these notices commenced on the 1st of August 2021. Infringement notices can be issued for offences including:
· A person undertaking work without a required license, registration, qualification, experience, or supervision;
· Failure to keep various required records.
Some of the key changes that have commenced as part of the Victorian Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act 2004, which will be known as the 2021 amendments include:
· A new definition for labour hire services, provider, and worker into section 5 of the OHS Act 2004. This amendment is expected that labour hire providers and host employers will work together to ensure that all duties to labour hire workers are met.
· A new definition into section 5 to clarify that insure means insure wholly or partly and indemnify means indemnify wholly or partly. This amendment will state that a term of a contract or other arrangement that purports to insure or indemnify a person for the person's liability to pay a pecuniary penalty under the OHS Act 2004 or its regulations is void to the extent that the term provides for that insurance or indemnity.
· A minor amendment to provisional improvement notices in section 60 of the OHS Act 2004, where a Health and Safety Representative (HSR) may issue a provisional improvement notice (PIN). Moreover, substitutes the word "service" with the words "the issue or giving" in section 64(4).
· New subsections into section 103 report to be given about entry of the OHS Act 2004. The intent of these subsections is to clarify, how the report must be provided, only that it must be in writing, and it must be given to certain persons.
· A new section 58(1)(ab) to give HSRs a new power to take photographs or measurements or make sketches or recordings. The new power is intended to support HSRs to fulfil their existing role under the OHS Act 2004.
· A new section 89(1)(b) to give authorised representatives of registered employee organisations (ARREO) a new power to take photographs or measurements or make sketches or recordings after entering a place under section 87 of the Act.
· Amendments to existing section 108(1) seizing of things which have been seized by an inspector under Part 9 that do not need to be returned to their owner under certain conditions.