26 September 2023

WorkSafe ACT secures independence

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WorkSafe ACT is to become a more transparent and independent entity in the ACT Government.

Minister for Employment and Workplace Safety, Rachel Stephen-Smith said a Work Health and Safety Amendment Bill is to be introduced into the Legislative Assembly to improve the Agency’s independence, transparency and accountability.

Ms Stephen-Smith said the proposed amendments were in response to the 2018 independent review of the ACT’s work safety compliance infrastructure, policies and procedures.

She said the key recommendation of the Review was to establish WorkSafety ACT as a separate and independent entity.

“The new entity will be established as the Office of the Work Health and Safety Commissioner but will continue to trade as WorkSafe ACT,” Ms Stephen-Smith said.

“Importantly, and consistent with recommendation 21 of the Independent Review, the regulator’s functions will now sit with the Work Health and Safety Commissioner.”

She said the Commissioner’s role would be to enforce compliance with the obligations and duties that applied to the private, non-government and government sectors.

“To support their independence, WorkSafe ACT and the Commissioner will be independent officers when carrying out the regulatory functions under the work health and safety legislation,” she said.

Ms Stephen-Smith said the proposed Bill would set the foundations to ensure that the WorkSafety regulator was set up to support the safety of workers now and into the future.

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