Businesses will be given added help to transition to WA’s new work health and safety laws, with CCIWA one of five industry groups to receive State Government funding to help with education and training.
Under the Work Health and Safety Implementation Peak Body Grants Program, worth a total $300,000 per year over the next four years, peak employer and employee representative bodies will develop initiatives to raise awareness of the new Work Health and Safety Act ahead of its implementation in January 2022.
CCIWA Workplace Relations Director Ryan Martin said the grant would be used to implement education and resources for businesses, including information sessions, webinars and online resources.
“It is important that employers understand their obligations under these new laws,” he said.
“Our Work Health and Safety team look forward to supporting businesses to understand these changes by making easy-to-understand and up-to-date information available to them.”
Commencement of the Work Health and Safety Act 2020 will be the biggest change to WA’s occupational safety and health system since the 1980s.
The changes, which bring WA closer in alignment to other Australian states and territories, will significantly impact businesses, requiring a massive update of safety systems and practices.
Read more: WA’s workplace safety shake-up is here
Industrial Relations Minister Stephen Dawson said the peak bodies awarded grants “all have an essential role in improving knowledge about health and safety laws among employers and workers in Western Australia”.
“I encourage employers and workers to access education and information initiatives about the new work health and safety requirements as they become available,” he said.
CCIWA and four other employer associations will each received $30,000 per year, which will partially offset the cost of providing information to employers on the new legislation. UnionsWA will be provided with $150,000 per year to help educated union officials, health and safety representatives and workers.
CCIWA called in its pre-budget submission for greater support to help businesses transition to the new WHS laws as well as reintroducing the successful ThinkSafe Small Business Assistance Program to provide employers with independent advice on the new system and what they need to do to ensure safe workplaces.
CCIWA Principal Workplace Relations Advocate Paul Moss said small to medium-sized businesses would be impacted most by the new laws and it was critical they had time to prepare.
The supporting regulations for the new laws have yet to be published.
“With only three months to go until the proposed implementation date, employers have yet to receive the full picture of what is needed in order to take all necessary steps to be fully prepared for the changes,” he said.
Register now for a webinar on the WHS Act on October 13.
For support working through the changes, contact our WHS team on (08) 9365 7746, or via [email protected].