AUST – Work Place Safety Assessors advise that research of various Government websites has revealed that South Australia passed the WHS Act on 1 November 2012 and became the sixth jurisdiction to adopt the harmonised WHS laws. This brings SA in line with Queensland, NSW, NT, ACT and the Commonwealth jurisdictions where the new laws have already been implemented. Tasmania implemented the new laws on 1 January 2013 along with South Australia.

The South Australian WHS Act closely follows the model laws but does contain some amendments. A copy of the Act can be accessed at SA government’s legislation web page.

The current South Australian Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare Act 1986 will continue to be enforced until 1 January 2013. It will be then replaced by the Work Health and Safety Act 2011. The WHS Regulations will also commence at the same time as the new Act in South Australia. It is important to note that any significantly new requirements in the regulations will have transitional periods to provide businesses with time to prepare.

What does this mean for the ‘delayed’ states – Western Australia and Victoria?

Western Australia – WA remains committed to the harmonisation process and intends to adopt the model WHS laws but with some amendments.

Victoria – The Victorian Government has stated publicly that they will not sign up to the current proposal for harmonised legislation for occupational health and safety, although they remain committed to harmonisation. Meanwhile the current OHS Act 2004 continues to apply in Victoria.