Communiqué - Safe Work Australia Meeting 15


Safe Work Australia Members met in Sydney today. Members noted the Commonwealth was in caretaker period leading up to the Federal Election on 7 September 2013. Key outcomes of the meeting are below.

Progress on implementing the model work health and safety (WHS) laws

Members reviewed progress with implementation of the model WHS laws. Members noted the continuing delay in implementation in Victoria and WA and that New Zealand had announced it would adopt the model WHS laws.

Public comment progress report

At its meeting of 14 March 2013, Safe Work Australia Members agreed by majority to release the revised draft Code of Practice: Preventing and Responding to Workplace Bullying and draft Workplace Bullying – Guide for Workers for public comment. The public comment period was open for six weeks and closed on 15 July 2013.

Members noted 105 submissions were received and being analysed by Safe Work Australia.

Members also agreed by majority in March 2013 to release the draft Code of Practice: Managing Risks in Stevedoring for public comment subject to agreed amendments. Members noted the Office of Best Practice Regulation is yet to approve the Consultation Regulation Impact Statement and the extension of the public comment period to 27 September 2013.

All documents released for public comment are available at

Technical amendments to the model WHS laws

Members agreed by majority to technical amendments to the model WHS Regulations. The amendments correct inadvertent errors, clarify policy intent and address workability issues. Members agreed by majority that three of the proposed amendments involve policy changes which would require endorsement by the Ministerial Council.

These amendments and supporting explanatory material will be published on

Revised Code of Practice: Managing Risk in Construction Work

Members agreed by majority to release the revised draft Code of Practice: Managing Risk in Construction Work for public comment for six weeks. The revised draft code includes guidance on housing construction work to make the existing code more accessible to the housing construction industry. Members will consider out of session the specific issues to be highlighted for public comment prior to release of the draft code.

All documents released for public comment will be available at

Workers’ compensation - deemed diseases

Members agreed to the project scope and work plan to develop an up to date Australian list of deemed diseases. A final report including the list of scheduled diseases and supporting guidance material will be presented to Members by August 2014.

Comparative Performance Monitoring Report 15

Members agreed to publish the Comparative Performance Monitoring Report, Fifteenth Edition. The report provides analysis on key indicators of performance in work health and safety and workers’ compensation schemes in Australia and New Zealand.

The report shows between the base period (2000-2001 to 2002-2003) and 2011-2012 the incidence rate of injury and musculoskeletal claims reduced by 28 percent. During the same period the number of compensated injury fatalities has continued to fall, showing a 42 percent improvement in the incidence rate.

The report is due to be published in October and will be available at

Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-2022 (Australian Strategy)

Members agreed to consider out of session the National Agriculture Activity Plan 2013-2016 as part of the Australian Strategy and Safe Work Australia Operational Plan 2013-2014.

Members noted initiatives they are undertaking to implement the Australian Strategy.

Explosives laws

Members noted the progress and possible models for achieving nationally consistent explosives laws. This includes consistency between explosives laws and WHS laws to the extent possible.

Next meeting

The next meeting of Safe Work Australia will be held in November 2013.

Statement ends 15 August 2013

Safe Work Australia media contact:
Danielle Kuhn | 0434 664 294


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