Health, safety amendments ‘too limited’

At least two Independent senators are contending that the amendments to the legislation providing for the health and safety protection of workers have not gone far enough.

When the Safety And Health At Work (Amendment) Bill 2022 was debated in the Senate yesterday, Dr Kristina Hinds and Andrew Mallalieu both suggested the amendments did not address issues related to the changing face of the workplace brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Bill will amend sections of the laws to, among other things, make provision for the certificate issued by the Chief Fire Officer relating to a fire escape, to be displayed in the workplace and maintained in the general register; and the making of regulations respecting the right to refuse to carry out tasks where there is imminent danger to the health and safety of an employee.

However, Hinds said while she was “very happy” to see health and safety in the workplace being discussed, she was “a little bit surprised” to see that it did not address the changing workplace which was no longer confined to a “brick and mortar work space”. (GC)

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