Discussion 3

almost 2 years ago
CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

Are any provisions in the model WHS laws especially difficult for organisations and workers in remote or regional areas to comply with?

  • Laurie about 2 years ago
    I believe the main concern here is that a lot of companies have had to diversify to survive. Hence they may have personnel working in every state & territory. Until uniform legislation throughout the whole of Australia is in place this will remain a difficult arena to manage.
  • Cassmcx about 2 years ago
    As an organization that operates within all States of Australia, moving toward uniform legislation is highly important. Having to operate to different legislation in different States brings added administrative inefficiencies and costs, which given WHS Law is working toward the same outcomes across the country, this should be a high priority for all WHS Ministers whether State or Territory.
  • Deirdre Ackerman about 2 years ago
    We too operate in all States and Territories delivering, among other courses, High Risk Licence training and assessing. Consistency would be nice. For example, in State A we can deliver HRW licence training and assessing in 3 days, with the assessor and the trainer being the one person; in State B we can deliver HRW licence training and assessing in 3 days, but the assessor cannot be the trainer; in State C that same HRW licence can be delivered and assessed in 2 days, and the trainer is the assessor. This inconsistency has the potential to result in wildly different quality outcomes.
    Hide reply (1)
    • Yogi1955 about 2 years ago
      I would recommend that trainer and assessor should be separated in all jurisdictions. This reduces the potential for 'rorting' and establishes a quality control framework for the training process.
  • Safe-1 about 2 years ago
    Supervision - some areas do not have network coverage.
  • treay81 about 2 years ago
    We need uniformity urgently among the states and territories for all facets of WHS Legislation. Simply put, we are investing too much time in our HSE staff aiming to maintain our compliance that we are taking them out of the field. More focus needs to be placed on simplification of all WHS processes to make it straight forward for our largely migratory workforce (FIFO, DIDO etc) and free our HSE personnel up for actual safety focused work. Lets get safety back into the field, lets have as much focus as any company can afford placed on the workfronts conducting inspections and interactions with the workforce building a strong simplified culture.
    Hide reply (1)
    • Jade almost 2 years ago
      Couldn't agree more. I started working for an earthmoving company in December, I probably get out of the office once a month. It's terrible. I am tied to my desk trying to make sure all our documentation and paperwork is in line so we comply with all the requirements that are out there...In the mean time there's no one actually encouraging the boys to work safely.
  • Marie Boland about 2 years ago
    Thank you for your feedback so far. I’ve recently been in Perth, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin and Adelaide talking to regulators, businesses, unions, industry organisations, researchers and community groups about their experience of work health and safety laws. I heard about the importance of maintaining the safety of workers in remote locations. Many of those consulted raised the hazards associated with isolated work including workplace violence. Issues around the cost of and access to training were also raised.Many businesses and unions have echoed the discussion in this forum around the model WHS laws providing consistency and a common language for businesses to talk about safety, particularly those with offices across multiple states and territories. I’m keen to hear more examples from workers and businesses of the WHS risks you face when working in remote areas.
    Hide Replies (2)
    • David C about 2 years ago
      G'day Marie,I am new to this discussion and I can understand the problems faced by the large companies that send workers to remote areas to work. I live in a rural and remote area, I work for Local Government (Shire Council) and even though we try to comply with all the changes and all the rules, one of the biggest problems that we have, due to our locality, and the size of our community, which is where our basic funding comes from in the form of rates, is we don't have enough money. Small councils like mine have to rely on grants to get a lot of things done. The rates base is not large enough to be able to fund everything we would like to do. When it comes to compliance with Acts and Regulations, we do the best we can. We have to source trainers to come to our area to educate us in what is required. Travel and accommodation for the trainers is sometimes higher than the cost of the course itself. So, in a nut shell, the biggest hurdle that I can see for my area is money.
    • The Guru about 2 years ago
      I feel there is a level of industry relevant disparity in the legislation and that the WHS law can actually inoculate specific industry types away from adherence. For example: PCBUs have an obligation to manage the risk of an isolated worker. My question is how effectively does the WHS law interpret the various workplace contexts between a remote health nurse treating an aggressive patient, or a cattle worker mustering cattle on a quad bike? Neither of which by the way would have access to mobile phone networks.