Key changes to Victoria's OHS Act 2022

Insight

Published

27 February 2022

Key changes to Victoria's OHS Act – commencing March and September 2022

Changes to Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) legislation passed in Parliament on 21 September 2021 will shortly come into effect, affecting all Victorian employers. Whilst a number of amendments have been in place since September 2021, there are two key areas that employers will see impacted this year.


What are the key changes in 2022 and what do they mean? 

Labour hire

The changes commencing 22nd March 2022 introduce greater health and safety obligations for employers who engage labour hire companies to provide a safe work environment for those workers. This means that labour hire workers will be treated in the same way as employees in relation to OHS matters when they are at the host employer’s workplace, giving them additional rights and protection.

Host employers are also obligated to consult, cooperate and coordinate with labour hire companies in relation to work, health and safety, and share duties under the OHS Act.

Employers need to look closely at the current processes in place surrounding labour hire engagement. 

Victoria's OHS ACT

Insurance

From 21 September 2022, the OHS Act prevents organisations from using insurance to indemnify against liability to pay penalties for OHS breaches and offences. 

Employers should look carefully at existing insurance coverage and liaise with their Broker to assess existing policies. Completing an OHS Audit to identify and address OHS risk areas will be a critical prevention strategy come September. 

Health and safety representatives

Authorised representatives of registered employee associations (ARREOs) and health and safety representatives (HSRs) will have clear rights of entry to workplaces and additional powers to take photos, measurements or recordings when acting under the legislation.

Ensuring your internal policies and procedures are updated, and that key management are aware of the changes, will be crucial for employers.

Unsure what steps to take?

The Howden Care team has OHS  specialists with extensive experience in assisting clients nationally with transitioning to new OHS laws. 

We are here to help

Talk to us today about how we can support you, your officers and your business in transitioning your WHS Systems to the new WHS Act. 

Jacqui

Insight by Jacqui Milson

M 0447 151 360
E [email protected]