Work Health and Safety
New work health and safety (WHS) laws have taken effect from 1 January 2012.
The WHS laws will replace the occupational health and safety (OHS) laws in NSW.
These new laws will be consistent across Australia, making it easier for you to operate in different parts of the country.
What are the main changes?
• If you are an employer, sole trader, association, partnership, corporation or volunteer organisation with paid workers, you will be classed as a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU). PCBU will replace the current term employer.
• If you are an employee, volunteer, labour hire staff, apprentice, work experience student, trainee, outworker, sub-contractor or contractor, working for a PCBU you will be classed as a worker. Worker will replace the current term employee.
• If you are a supplier, designer, manufacturer, importer, or manager or controller of a workplace, you will have specific duties in addition to those as a PCBU.
• Health and safety representatives (HSRs) will replace current OHS representatives and play a key role in consultation.
• Your industry may also be affected by specific changes.
• If you work in – or even just visit – a workplace, you will have WHS rights and duties.
For more information visit workcover.nsw.gov.au/newlegislation2012 or for specific advice, call WorkCover on 13 10 50.