King & Wood Mallesons

Asia-Pacific 100 position: 3

What changes are likely to be made to Western Australian health and safety laws?

The Western Australian Government is expected to shortly announce that it will not nationalise its laws in line with the occupational health and safety nationalisation process that has been adopted by most other Australian states. Western Australia will, however, update its current safety legislation to include many of the components of the nationalised laws such as expanding the types of entities on which duties are imposed (where those duties are owed by the corporate body and personally by officers), statutory positions, risk management and safety systems requirements.

The timing for progressing any updated legislation through the Western Australian Parliament has not been decided by the relevant ministers, but it is not likely to occur until next year. It is anticipated that priority will be given to updating environmental laws due to the significant economic impact those laws are having on businesses in Western Australia.

This proposal will allow Western Australia to pick and choose those parts of the nationalised legislation it is anticipated will improve safety in the state, while avoiding the need to adopt those parts of the legislation that may bring less benefit to business in Western Australia…

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