25 February saw the release of the Review of the Model WHS: Final Report, which examines the functionality of the current national modern work health and safety laws.

Master Builders Victoria (Master Builders) welcomes the release of the report and supports a number of its recommendations that would alleviate red tape around WHS compliance activities. An example is the implementation of measures to simplify the approach towards safe work method statements (SWMS).

However, the report’s recommendation for the introduction of industrial manslaughter laws into the national model WHS laws and changes to union right-of-entry is highly disconcerting. Such recommendations do not improve safety outcomes and, in fact, run the risk of undermining current proven safety laws.

As WHS laws are state- and territory- based, Victoria’s WHS laws will remain independent from any potential changes to the model WHS laws. Nevertheless, it serves as a model from which state and territories can derive inspiration. As such, Master Builders strongly opposes any introduction of industrial manslaughter or changes to union right-of-entry into the national model WHS laws and seeks that such recommendations are not adopted into Victoria’s WHS framework.

To access the Review of the Model WHS Laws: Final Report, please click here.