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Industry Response to Proposed Changes to Work Health and Safety Bill 2019


In July 2017, the Government announced the development of a modernised Work Health and Safety Bill (WHS Bill) for Western Australia based on the national Work Health and Safety Act.

It is intended that the WHS Bill will replace the existing Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 (WA) (OSH Act) and will become the primary legislation for workplace safety and health across all WA industries.

While the Bill adopts most of the model national WHS legislation in place in most of Australia, there are some key differences that extend beyond the national model regulations.

Notable differences include the introduction of industrial manslaughter provisions, a prohibition on insurance and other indemnities to cover business or personal WHS liability penalties, the involvement of Workplace Health and Safety Inspectors in resolving workplace WHS disputes, the requirement of safety committees to have decision-makers to act on behalf of the person in control of the business unit (PBCU), and a new duty of care for WHS service providers to the industry.

The industry holds extreme concerns about the proposed new offences set out in Part 2 of the Bill, and WRL has supported the submissions to Standing Committee on Legislation Inquiry into the Work Health and Safety Bill 2019 lodged by the Western Australian Fishing Industry Council (WAFIC) and the Joint Industry Group.

The proposed changes to industrial manslaughter legislation hold significant consequences for a wide range of industries, including seafood and agriculture, therefore WRL encourages our members to read the submissions to understand the risks you will face under the most concerning parts of the State Government’s Workplace Health & Safety Bill (2019). It is a lengthy read, but it is critical everyone understands the potential implications for you, your workers, your business, and your family.

The submissions can be accessed by clicking links below:

WAFIC Submission

Joint Industry Group Submission


The Chamber of Commerce and Industry has also provided a link to allow individuals to place their support for the industry position. Click here to submit your support.

If you have any further questions or queries please contact Paige on (08) 9432 7723 or


Posted in Industry News