Work Health and Safety and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2017
(the amendment Act). Now in force.
The amendment Act amends the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act to implement key recommendations of
the Best Practice Review of Workplace Health and Safety Queensland.
A summary of the amendments is outlined below.
Provisions to commence on assent of the amendment Act:
Introduction of a new offence of industrial manslaughter in the WHS Act with mirror amendments in the ES Act
and SRWA Act
Requirement for a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) to provide the regulator with a list of
Health and Safety Representatives and deputy Health and Safety Representatives for each work
Prohibiting enforceable undertakings being accepted for contraventions, or alleged contraventions, of the WHS
Act that involve a fatality, with mirror amendments to the ES Act and the SRWA Act, and
Providing that codes of practice will expire five years after they are approved to allow for more timely review
Provisions to commence on 1 July 2018:
Restoring the status of codes of practice as existed under the repealed Workplace Health and Safety Act
1995 to require the safety measures in a code to be followed unless equal to or better than measures can be
Mandating training for Health and Safety Representatives within six months of being elected to the role, with
refresher training to be undertaken at three-yearly intervals
introducing the ability for a PCBU to appoint a Work Health and Safety Officer (WHSO)
Requiring a PCBU to display a current list of WHSOs for the workplace
Enabling the appointment of a WHSO or the election of a HSR to be permissible as evidence that a PCBU has taken
action to mitigate health and safety risks, and
Clarifying inspector investigation powers under section 171 of the WHS Act to ensure these powers are not
inappropriately limited by a legal technicality.
In demonstrating due diligence, officers will need to show that they have taken reasonable steps
Acquire and update their knowledge of health and safety matters
Understand the operations being carried out by the person conducting the business or
undertaking in which they are employed, and the hazards and risks associated with the
Ensure that the person conducting the business or undertaking (PCBU) has, and uses,
appropriate resources and processes to eliminate or minimise health and safety risks arising from work being
Ensure that the PCBU has appropriate processes in place to receive and respond promptly to
information regarding incidents, hazards and risks
Ensure that the PCBU has, and uses, processes for complying with duties or obligations
under the WHS Act.