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Assignment exploring the policy and content of aspects of Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) laws in Australia

Number of Words : 2716

Number of References : 9


 Introduction 2
 Duty of Care/Corporate or Personal Negligence 3
 Australian Occupational Health and Safety Act Implications 5
 Model Work Health and Safety Bill 5
 New South Wales Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000 6
 Comparison between NSW 2000 ACT and the Model Bill 7
 Real World Examples and Implications of the Above Laws 8
 Case 1: 8
 Case2 9
 Case3 11
 Recommendations 11
 Conclusion 12
 References 13


This paper answers the following question – <br />Why is it thought that making ‘officers’ personally liable will improve the health and safety of workplaces? Critically assess the Model Bill’s provisions dealing with the duty of officers. Do you agree with them? Explain.<br />The advances in science in the 20th century have led to rapid industrialization resulting in a large population working in the industries. These large populations of workers play a very important role in keeping the dice rolling in today’s modern world. It is very important to safe guard the rights of these workers and to ensure a safe and a non hazardous working environment for them. It is noted that more than two million people die due to work related accidents and issues (International Labour Organisation, 2010). In the mid 20th century, International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) came together to define occupational health and to ensure the safety of millions of workers across the globe. The joint ILO/WHO committee on occupational health adopted the following definition for occupational health in their first session in 1950 and later revised in the 12th session in 1995:<br />“Occupational health should aim at: the promotion and maintenance of the highest degree of physical, mental and social well-being of workers in all occupations; the prevention amongst workers of departures from health caused by their working conditions; the protection of workers in their employment from risks resulting from factors adverse to health; the placing and maintenance of the worker in an occupational environment adapted to his physiological and psychological capabilities; and, to summarize, the adaptation of work to man and of each man to his job.”(NOHSAC, 2006)<br />Governments across the globe believe that poor work place atmosphere and low-quality OSH performance result in direct and indirect losses to the nation. Industries also sustain huge losses. These losses occur due social security payments, healthcare costs, insurance levies or premiums, loss of productivity, investigation time, lost production, legal fees, fines, compensatory damages and lost goodwill from the workforce and from customers. (NOHSAC, 2006)<br />The following report discusses the importance of employer in maintaining a safe work place atmosphere and ensuring the safety of the worker. The report briefs on the ‘duty of care’ acts in Occupational Health and Safety law in Australia. It mainly concentrates on the common belief that making the ‘officers’ (employer or the immediate supervisor at the workplace) liable to any accidents at workplace will improve the health and safety of workplaces. It also critically assesses the Model Bill’s provisions dealing with the duty of care.<br />

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