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Health and Safety

January 20, 2021 11:22 am

Reducing death, injury and illness at work is our #1 priority.

If you’re confronted with a health or safety issue at work, you don’t have to deal with it alone contact us and we can help. Workers need to have their say when it comes to workplace safety because it is an issue that affects them directly.

All workers have a right to elect their workmates to be their representatives about health and safety issues. Health and safety reps are important watchdogs in the workplace to make sure employers comply with the law. These reps have rights to proper resources and training.
We can provide a wealth of expertise, resources, know-how and training to help health and safety reps perform their role. And if there are any problems or issues, workers and their reps should always know the WA Branch has your back.

Protection for workers

Majority protections and rights we take for granted were fought for and won by unions. These include workers’ compensation; rest breaks; protective clothing; restrictions on lifting heavy objects; licenses and training when working with heavy equipment; as well as bans on asbestos and dangerous chemicals.

Workers have rights to:
• A safe and healthy working environment
• Know what health and safety hazards they are exposed to at work and a right to be involved in and negotiate how hazards are dealt with
• Determine who represents them on health and safety issues and
• Refuse unsafe work

Recent Changes – Work Health and Safety Act 2020
After pressure from the WA union movement the McGowan Government and WA Parliament passed new laws which harmonise workplace safety into a single act of parliament covering all WA workplaces. Not only does the act harmonise workplace safety it introduces further protections for workers, subcontractors, casuals and codifies Industrial Manslaughter into WA law.

Industrial Manslaughter penalises employers responsible for workplace deaths. One death is one too many and every worker has the right to go home at the end of the work. The legislation introduces maximum penalties of between 5 and 20 years imprisonment for an individual and a maximum $10 million fine for a body corporate.

Workplace Health and Safety Websites

Each state and territory in Australia have different safety guidelines and codes. You can find links to the various state-based workplace health and safety websites for more information about health and safety at work.

Safe Work Australia

WorkSafe WA

Work Health and Safety Act 2020

Media Statement: Work Health and Safety Bill passes Upper House – Mark McGowan and Bill Johnston

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