Home' Border Enterprise : May 2012 Contents ED
New laws are a chance to review safety
WORK safety laws in Australia have
undergone their biggest overhaul in more
than 15 years with the introduction of
nationally harmonised legislation, which
replaced state and territory Occupational
Health and Safety (OH&S) laws.
The advantages of the new legislation are
to have consistent laws and streamline the
way OH&S is regulated in Australia.
The new model Work Health and Safety
Acts (WHS) came into effect on January 1,
2012 for all states and territories although
Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and
Western Australian may not implement
them until later in 2012.
The new legislation will have a significant
impact in most industries and, if not under
way already, businesses will need to start
reviewing practices and documentation
Under the WHS Acts there will be
revamped roles and responsibilities for
employers and there are critical changes
regarding consultation, changes to union
rights of entry and added protection
from discrimination, coercion and
misrepresentation. Importantly, there are
new penalties for breaches of the WHS
For local paper manufacturing company
Norske Skog, health and safety is part of
its daily business.
Occupational Health, Safety &
Compliance leader David Pithers said that
the legislative changes had been reviewed
by management, the Health & Safety
Committee and workplace delegates.
"The new legislation contains many
changes but for most people on site there
won't be any major alteration in the way
they carry out their daily activities," Mr
Pithers said. "It is still required that we all
work in a safe manner, identifying hazards,
assessing risks and putting appropriate
control measures in place.
"We try to integrate health and safety into
everything we do rather than make it a
priority. Good safety performance is very
much influenced by safe behaviours and
good safety behaviours need a positive
"The site Health & Safety Committee
oversees the many initiatives in place to
ensure that we maintain the right level of
"Each day's performance is rated by the
team and actions agreed upon to ensure
the following day is rated an 'A'.
"Putting it simply, our objective is that
all employees, contractors and visitors -
essentially any person who is at this site -
should return home in the same condition
they were in when they arrived."
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The sign recording accident-free days at the entrance to Albury's Norske Skog mill is a prominent reminder of the company's commitment to safety.
ENTERPRISE DIRECT MAY 2012
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