Industry urged to retain workplace health and safety officers to help meet obligations

Source: WorkSafe Qld

The current legislative requirement for employers to appoint workplace health and safety officers (WHSOs) will cease in Queensland on 1 January 2012. However, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland urges employers to retain WHSOs to help them to comply with their executive officer requirements under the new laws.

WHSOs in Queensland provide valuable assistance to businesses in identifying hazards and risks associated with the workplace or work activities and devising strategies to protect workers' health and safety. This is particularly important under the new laws which impose a specific duty on officers of corporations and unincorporated bodies such as clubs and associations to exercise due diligence (PDF, 106 kB) to ensure they meet their work health and safety obligations. These obligations are explained in Workplace Health and Safety Queensland's film, Executive officers: know your responsibilities under the new laws.

It is important to note the duty to exercise due diligence will always remain with the executive officer and cannot be outsourced or delegated to a safety advisor. However, retaining a WHSO or employing other trained safety advisors is one available option to help officers meet their duties.

For more information on WHSOs and the new laws, visitwww.worksafe.qld.gov.au or call Infoline on 1300 369 915 .