OHS red tape cuts to save $31 million a year
Assistant Treasurer Gordon Rich-Phillips today announced a number of amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007, which will save Victorian workplaces around $31 million a year in compliance costs.
The amendments, which come in to effect today, will reduce the burden on businesses of unnecessary regulation that had no impact on improving safety.
Making the announcement at Botanic Homes’ residential construction site in Cranbourne East, Mr Rich-Phillips said that Victoria’s current OHS regulations have been in effect since 2007 and these changes reflect the Coalition Government’s commitment to reducing red tape.
“These red tape reductions form a significant part of the Victorian Coalition Government’s regulatory reform agenda.
The Government, along with the VWA, is committed to continually improving occupational health and safety in the workplace while reducing the red tape burden” Mr Rich-Phillips said.
Other significant reforms by the Victorian Coalition Government include the new Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act, or the WIRC Act, which was passed by parliament in October 2013 and comes into effect from today.
Last week, the Victorian Government announced a two per cent reduction to WorkCover premiums for 2014/15, which will save Victorian businesses $40 million a year and see the average WorkCover premium fall to 1.272 per cent of payroll.
Mr Rich-Phillips said the latest regulatory amendments will improve the workability of the regulations and reduce compliance costs for business without reducing safety standards.“The amendments will assist businesses to comply with the legislation and also drive safety improvements,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.
“If businesses are already complying with the current OHS Regulations, they will still be compliant now that these new amendments have come into effect. However, some of the new processes and requirements will be simpler. We are keen to ensure Victorian businesses benefit from modernised and less burdensome workplace regulations as soon as possible.
“It is just another way we’re reducing red tape by making occupational health and safety and workers compensation simpler for all Victorians,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.
The changes to the OHS Regulations will include changes to licensing for machinery, high risk work, hazardous substances, construction and mines.
City of Casey Mayor and Liberal candidate for Cranbourne Geoff Ablett said that the changes to the OHS Regulations will assist compliance and drive safety improvements in the Cranbourne area.“Local employees and employers should be very pleased with these reforms.
These changes are good for local safety, good for local employees and good for local businesses,” Mr Ablett said.
For further information and to download a fact sheet on changes affecting your industry, visit vwa.vic.gov.au or contact the Victorian WorkCover Authority on 1800 136 089.