For the purposes of compliance, nothing changed today - if you were meeting your OH&S duties yesterday, you will continue to be doing so today. The introduction of WM does not require you to do anything additional to what you are already required to do. Master Builders Victoria continues to support members to help meet OH&S obligations.
The differences will come from how non-compliance is treated, in basic terms penalties will be harsher as per previous correspondence.
You should also be aware that there will be an advertising campaign starting from today alerting to the changes and the harsher penalties. Yourself, employees and the general public will likely be exposed to it and its relatively confronting. Providing a safe working environment that is without risk to health is the best way to avoid these scenarios.
From a Master Builders Victoria perspective, we’ve recently written to the State Government expressing our concerns on the timing of the legislation, given the extra demands currently put on business due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while we will continue to advocate that there needs to be a balance of responsibility between employers and employees for safety in the workplace.
Notwithstanding, the objective of the law is to reduce the risk of fatalities in the workplace and create safer workplaces. We collectively support these aims and will continue to play our role in creating safer work spaces for all.
In the lead up to the introduction of this legislation, Master Builders Victoria has provided member support via webinar briefings, training, phone advice, and on-site safety coaching and audits. In the coming months, we will continue to provide our members with information, support and resources, ensuring that you have the correct safety practices, polices and processes in place. Our next workplace manslaughter briefing webinar will be held on 20 July 2020. In addition, an online Safety Essentials tool for residential builders will be available in August to help you set-up your safety management system.
Members are encouraged to call the OHS team on (03) 9411 4555 with any questions that they have.
The world is changing, but our commitment to the building and construction industry remains the same.