Two important changes to WHS legislation in Queensland are of particular importance to those involved in the supply and operation of plant & equipment in that state.
The introduction of Industrial Manslaughter provisions and penalties, combined with the restoration of the positive duty to comply with Codes of Practice, mean that plant suppliers and owners need to take a closer look at whether their management systems relating to plant are satisfactory.
Also of relevance is the acceptance by the Queensland Government of the recommendations of the Best Practice Review of Workplace Health & Safety Queensland 2017, which, at its core, recommended a strengthening of the Inspectorate and an increase in enforcement activity to improve WHS outcomes.
So, not only are there significantly more substantial penalties for negligence when it comes to WHS fatalities, duty holders are required to meet or exceed the specific requirements of the codes, and the Regulator will be shifting to a more aggressive stance.
If ever there was a time to review your management systems around Plant & Equipment safety, it is now.
In October 2017, Industrial Manslaughter provisions commenced in Queensland following amendment to the in the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, Electrical Safety Act 2002, and Safety in Recreational Water Activities Act 2011.
Industrial Manslaughter applies if:
a worker dies, or is injured and later dies, in the course of carrying out work for the business or undertaking (including during a work break); and
the PCBU’s, or senior officer’s conduct cause the death of the worker (i.e. the action or inaction of the PCBU, or senior officer, substantially contributes to the death); and
the PCBU, or senior officer is negligent about causing the death of the worker (i.e. the person’s action or inaction departs so far from the standard of care required).
Where a PCBU, or senior officer commits industrial manslaughter, a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment for an individual, or $10M for a body corporate, applies.
Codes of Practice – Positive Requirement to Comply:
From WHSQ’s website:
From 1 July 2018 persons conducting a business or undertaking are required to comply with an approved code of practice under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011. Alternatively duty holders can follow another method, such as a technical or an industry standard, to manage hazards and risks, as long as it provides an equivalent or higher standard of work health and safety to the standard required in the code.
Codes of Practice specifically relevant to plant & equipment:
The Codes are extensive pieces of guidance, requiring machinery owners to spend some quality time to understand their contents to understand what is expected of them.
What Do QLD Plant Owners Need to Do Now?
For those using or contracting in machinery who are comfortable that their WHS systems meet the recommendation of the relevant Code of Practice, no further action is required at this time.
For those unclear on whether their systems ensure these requirements are met, now is a good time to commence a review of this.
At Plant Assessor, we have helped hundreds of Queensland companies systematically ensure their machinery is safe and meets the requirements of Legislation, Australian Standards and Codes of practice.
If you are unsure about your machinery safety regime, give us a call on 1300 728 852 and see how we might be able to help you manage this critical risk area.
Disclaimer: This information is intended to provide general information on the subject matter. This is not intended as legal or expert advice for your specific situation. You should seek professional advice before acting or relying on the content of this information.