Hon Bill Johnston MLA

Hon Bill Johnston MLA

Minister for Mines and Petroleum; Energy; Corrective Services; Industrial Relations

    New Work Health and Safety rules to begin March 31

    11/03/2022 11:10 AM
    • The Work Health and Safety Act 2020 and regulations will commence March 31, 2022
    • Work Health and Safety Regulations 2022 published in the Government Gazette
    • After 30 years, WA's work health and safety laws will be modernised

    The McGowan Government's new Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws will commence on Thursday March 31 improving protections for all Western Australian workers.  


    The new laws recognise modern work relationships such as subcontractors and gig economy workers, and introduces the term 'person conducting a business undertaking'. This means anyone who engages a WA worker has a duty to protect their health and safety.


    Industrial manslaughter laws will also begin, carrying a maximum penalty of 20 years' imprisonment and a $5 million fine for an individual and a maximum $10 million fine for a body corporate. 


    The new laws confirm that officers (senior decision makers) must exercise due diligence to ensure compliance with the laws, ensuring that the responsibility for workplace safety sits with those at the top of an organisation's hierarchy.


    Insurance will no longer cover penalties, ensuring that persons conducting a business undertaking are held accountable for their actions and are responsible for financial penalties. 


    As a national first, the new laws bring together WHS for general industry, mines and petroleum operation under a single WHS Act.


    The new laws harmonise WA with other States and Territories, except Victoria, although amendments have been made to tailor the laws to reflect our unique State. This means companies that operate across Australia will have similar obligations and requirements in each State and Territory. For more information, visit http://www.dmirs.wa.gov.au/WHS


    Comments attributed to Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston:


    "These important laws modernise Western Australia's outdated workplace safety laws, which were over 30 years old, and will protect all workers - physically and mentally.


    "It reflects the social obligations and responsibilities the community now expects from companies and their senior management.


    "The new Work Health and Safety Act provides all workplace participants to review their health and safety practices and make a new commitment to ensure all their staff are happy and healthy at work."


    Minister's office - 6552 6700