Safe Work Bill changes are needed to strengthen workplace health and safety laws
Australian Council of Trade Unions
Safe Work Bill changes are needed to strengthen workplace health and safety
All politicians should accept the Senate amendments to the Safe Work Bill and
allow a swift passage for the legislation, says the ACTU.
The Safe Work Bill 2008 will create a new national workplace health and safety
body to oversee major reform of the nation's health and safety laws.
The Bill returns to the Senate today (4 December 2008) after being twice
rejected since September.
ACTU Assistant Secretary Geoff Fary said:
"Unions support the development of harmonised occupational health and safety
laws throughout Australia.
"We know from more than 30 years experience in this country and around the
world that workplace health and safety regulatory bodies are more successful
when they are genuinely tripartite and independent.
"Our concern is that the body being proposed in the original Bill is neither of
those things, that is why we support the amendments that have been previously
moved in the Senate.
"Accepting the amendments will help ensure there is cooperative, tripartite
approach to improving safety standards and developing national plans to reduce
workplace death and injury.
"It is important that today's Senate vote does not weaken the capacity of
employers and employees to work together to reduce the unacceptably high rate
of death, injury and illness at work.
"It is essential that Australia continues to make progress towards reducing
death, injury and illness at work and the passage of the amended Bill will be a
useful next step," said Mr Fary.