Home > Clarity for Employers on OHS Law Harmonisation at The Safety Show

Clarity for Employers on OHS Law Harmonisation at The Safety Show

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The Safety Show and Sydney Materials Handling Trade Show organised by Australian Exhibitions & Conferences will be held from 26 October to 28 October 2010 in Sydney.  

The two trade shows aim to provide clarity for employers in the wake of NSW's announcement that it will withdraw from OHS law harmonisation.  

NSW Premier, Kristina Keneally says the state will go it alone unless unions retain the right to prosecute employers for work safety breaches and that the onus of proof remains on employers to show they exercised due care.  

Ahead of free harmonisation workshops at The Safety Show, lawyer and Deacons Partner, Michael Tooma says the Premier's comments highlight the inherent vulnerability in the model adopted for harmonisation, which requires each state and territory to introduce laws consistent with the model.  

He adds that during the debate in the election campaign, the Prime Minister listed delivering the harmonisation of OHS laws as her greatest political achievement.  

With Western Australia and New South Wales now opting out of the process for opposite reasons, this 'mission accomplished' declaration may seem premature in hindsight.  

According to Mr. Tooma, a key factor that impacts OHS law harmonisation is that the current regulatory framework adopted for harmonisation is at the mercy of every change of policy direction by a state or territory government.  

The Safety Show's principal sponsor, WorkCover NSW will also host workshops on OHS law harmonisation during The Safety Show.  

The topic will be discussed in more detail at The Safety Conference to be held by the Safety Institute of Australia concurrently with The Safety Show.

Commenting on the NSW government's change of position, conference speaker and general manager – workplace solutions of the NSW Business Chamber, Greg Pattison says that the two issues that the unions hold dear are also critical for employers as they go to the fairness and credibility of the system.  

Mr Pattison expects the harmonisation to proceed with NSW as part of the process.  

Aside from the big picture of harmonisation, there will be plenty of opportunities for employers to seek advice on the daily OHS challenges at The Safety Show.  

The industry-specific OHS issues for construction, manufacturing, health and community services, small business as well as transport and storage will be addressed in workshops held by WorkCover NSW over the three days of the show.  

The transport and storage sector will have special focus at the Sydney Materials Handling Trade Show. The show will also be the venue for the National Forklift Championships.  

Another first is WorkCover NSW's Hazard a Guess live show based on an interactive e-learning tool aimed at helping young workers understand their rights and responsibilities.  

Co-located at the Sydney Showground, The Safety Show and Sydney Materials Handling Show will run concurrently during Safe Work Australia Week from October 26 to 28, 2010.

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