Changes to OHS Laws

law_book_and_gavel_12039OHS laws are in place to ensure the health, safety and welfare of individuals at the workplace while undertaking work activities.   

On 1st January 2012 the Workplace Health and Safety Act 2011 replaced the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000.

This is a brief overview of the changes relevant to businesses and the new requirements relating to duty of care.

Duty of Care – Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU)

The WHS Act 2011 broadened the range of people who have duties of care. Anyone who operates a business will now be a ‘Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking’ (PCBU).  A PCBU must take action that is reasonably practical to eliminate, minimise or reduce potential safety hazards to ensure the health and safety of workers.                 

A PCBU must exercise due diligence to ensure the business compiles with its duties and obligations. This includes

  •   Acquiring and maintaining up to date knowledge of work health and safety matters
  •   Understanding how the business operates and the hazards associated
  •   Ensuring the PCBU provides adequate training and information

Essentially it is no longer adequate for an employer to believe an individual is competent in their skills and using equipment because they hold a ticket, licence or qualification.

The duty of care of an employer has been greatly increased and an employer will need to provide evidence that they have met their duty of care by doing everything possible to ensure an employee was properly trained and had the right skills and knowledge to perform a task at the time an incident occurs.    

Verification of Competency is a method of assessment that can be used to demonstrate an employee’s ability to operate equipment and/or perform tasks related to their job.

On-going assessment for Verification of Competency enables businesses to confirm their employees are currently competent to operate equipment or perform a task and provides proof they have met their duty of care and obligation. 

Your Licence offers online V.O.C. assessments for a range of job roles, as well as free online refresher training for job roles including; Dogging, Rigging, Hoist Operations, Excavator, Forklift, Haul Truck, Scaffolding and more. 

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