National harmonisation of work health and safety laws: Fact or fiction?

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14 July 2011

To date, five jurisdictions have introduced legislation based on the Model Work Health and Safety Bill (Model Bill) and it is not clear that the prospect of nationally consistent work health and safety (WHS) laws will be achieved.

While the Inter-Governmental Agreement entered into by State, Territory and Commonwealth governments anticipated that some departures from the model legislation would occur to enable the drafting protocols in each jurisdiction to be accommodated, the parties agreed that the harmonisation process required “national uniformity of the OHS legislative framework”. In respect of New South Wales in particular, consistency with this principle seems doubtful.


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