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WHS Changes 2012
Work Health and Safety Regulations Commence
The Regulations to the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (QLD) (“the Act”) took effect from 1 January 2012. Certain Regulations are subject to transitional provisions and their implementation will be staggered up until and including 2016.
The Regulations provide legislative guidance as to the practical effects of the Act. Members should note some of the following changes which are applicable to the Automotive Repair Industry.
· Audiometric testing of workers is now compulsory for workplaces which exceed the noise exposure level (85dB(A) over 8 hours) and regularly require workers to wear personal protective equipment. This initially needs to be done within 3 months of the worker starting work and then, every 2years.
· By 30 June 2012 all members must have prepared and implemented an emergency plan for their workplace. Although the new regulations do not define what an “emergency” is, the required plan must provide for the following:
o Notification of emergency services as soon as possible;
o Medical treatment and assistance;
o An effective response to an emergency;
o Effective communication between all individuals at the workplace and the person responsible for coordinating the emergency response;
o Testing of emergency procedures, including the frequency of testing; and
o Information, instruction and training to the relevant workers in relation to carrying out the procedures.
Further, the Regulations state the emergency plan must be maintained so it remains effective and members must implement the plan in the event of an emergency.
The requirements of this plan are in addition to, and not instead of, the requirements for evacuation plans currently needed under the Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008.
There are separate provisions within the Regulations for dealing with first aid and rescue procedures however the requirements remain effectively the same from the previous Regulations for first aid and the rescue provisions will not impact members unless they have a fall arrest system.
Codes of Practice
Supporting the Act and Regulations are a number of Codes of Practice. A Code of Practice can provide a practical way to adhere to the legislative scheme. While strict adherence to such Codes are not compulsory, unless a suitable alternative can be implemented, they provide straightforward processes and procedures.
Some new Codes were implemented from 1 January 2012 while the majority of the previous Codes are being preserved with some amendments and continue to apply. IAME suggests members access and familiarise themselves with these Codes. Members can access the Codes of Practice by following the link below: