New Work Health and Safety Laws
The Northern Territory, in conjunction with the Commonwealth and other state and territory governments are committed to improving the work health and safety of all Australian workers and enhancing productivity by harmonizing work health and safety legislation across Australia.
Model legislation has been developed and all states and territories are committed to enacting the new legislation by the end of 2011.
The model legislation has been called the Model Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act and was endorsed by the Workplace Relations Ministers’ Council on Friday 11 December 2009.
The Model Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations were endorsed in principle by the Workplace Relations Ministers’ Council on Tuesday 10 August 2011 and all Ministers have been advised to implement the Model Work Health and Safety Regulations by 1 January 2012.
Implementation in the Northern Territory
The Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Bill 2011 (NT) was introduced into the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly on Thursday 27 October 2011 and was passed on Thursday 1 December 2011. The new laws will commence on 1 January 2012.
NT WorkSafe will continue to regulate work health and safety in the Northern Territory, as the model legislation will not create a national Work Health and Safety Regulator.
Bulletins have been developed to provide information on some key points under the Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Bill 2011 (NT).
Links to other information on the model legislation can be found on the Resources page.
Transitional arrangements have been put in place for the commencement of the Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act 2011 (WHS (NUL) Act) and Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation)Regulations on 1 January 2012.
The Transitional arrangements will help duty holders by providing a period of adjustment to enable them to gain an understanding of the WHS (NUL) Act, assess their current practice against changed or new requirements and make changes as necessary.
The transitional arrangements identified in the document attached will require an existing duty holder to either continue compliance against a regulation in the repealed Workplace Health and Safety Act or Regulations (old WHS Laws) as if it was not repealed, or require compliance with that regulation by the end of the transitional period. A Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) should use that intervening period to assess whether current practice would meet compliance with the WHS (NUL) Act and make any changes as necessary.
The Transitional arrangement does not prevent a PCBU from comply with the WHS (NUL) Regulation before the end of the transitional period.
Consistent with the principles underpinning the National Compliance and Enforcement Policy, NT WorkSafe will use information, guidance, education and advice to assist duty holders to achieve compliance in transitioning to new requirements contained in the work health and safety laws.