COVID-19 Updates

New WHS laws come into effect in Western Australia

From 31 March 2022 most of Western Australia’s new work, health and safety (WHS) laws commenced. The new Work Health and Safety Act 2020 (WA) is based on the national model Work Health and Safety Act. Just as with the national model laws, the new laws are broad in their application and include:

  • a new statutory primary health and safety duty;
  • WHS due diligence obligations for officers;
  • new offences (including industrial manslaughter (with a maximum fine for an individual of $5 million and 20 years imprisonment); and
  • prohibitions against insurance and indemnity arrangements for penalties.

For more information see here.

Members are reminded that the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) does not apply in WA so the importance of the WHS law there is elevated.  But where it does apply, it contains provisions which say that if WHS law and the HVNL deal with the same thing – and it is possible to comply with both – then that’s what you should do.

The HVNL also says to the extent it is not possible for the person to comply with both provisions, the person must comply with the provision of the primary WHS Law. So WHS law trumps the HVNL.

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