election2010 box5
Campaigns & Events National Harmonisation Don't Risk Second Rate Safety
Don't Risk Second Rate Safety
Monday, 15 June 2009 14:20

Don't Risk Second Rate Safety
Tougher national health and safety laws are urgently needed to tackle the terrible toll of death, disease and injury for Australian workers. Unions strongly support the move to develop consistent OH&S laws.

At present there are nine different OH&S Laws operating in Australia.  The Federal Government and all the States and Territory Governments have agreed to move towards a simpler more streamlined approach to OH & S law in Australia. In fact, many State governments have already made agreements to deal with cross border issues on OH&S and some aspects of workers compensation law.

 Australian governments are planning new national Occupational Health and Safety laws that will apply consistently across all states and territories.

This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to lift protections for workers by achieving the world’s best safety standards for the entire country.

But Australian unions are very concerned that rather than improve safety for all, the proposed new laws will actually undermine standards, putting Australian workers and their families at risk. And that’s just not good enough.

Unions are calling on government to adopt national laws that:

Give workers a say
Make employers responsible
Empower health and safety representatives
Respect the role of unions
Enable workers and unions to take court action

For over 150 years, Australian workers and unions have campaigned to reduce death, injury
and illness at work. Many protections and rights we take for granted were fought for and won by unions. These include workers’ compensation;rest breaks; protective clothing;restrictions on lifting heavy objects;
licences and training for heavy equipment; as well as bans on asbestos and dangerous chemicals.

Employer Associations have been lobbying Federal and State governments for years to adopt a single national OH&S system claiming that confusion and red tape are preventing good OH&S Laws.

Unions support harmonisation, but not for the same reasons as employers to reduce workers rights to the worst OH&S Law in Australia. Unions want the harmonisation agenda to increase the rights of all workers under strong OHS laws so that we can make real progress in cutting the rates of workplace related death injury and disease.

In May 2009, unions launched a new 'Don't Risk Safety' campaign to make sure we get the strongest national OHS laws.

We believe workers have

  • the right to a safe and healthy working environment
  • a right to know what hazards they are exposed to
  • a right to refuse unsafe work
  • a right to be involved in and negotiate how hazards are identified, assessed, eliminated or controlled monitored and reviewed at work 
  • a right to act to  protect and advance their health and safety at work including determining  who represents them and participate in activities that will increase their  rights at work in relation to OH& S
Key resources

Don't Risk Second Rate Safety factsheet

Don't risk second rate safety brochure

Don't risk second rate safety poster

Take Action
What you can do







  • MUACampaign
  • SOS Action Plan

  • EmpowerWA

  • WAjobsfromwaresources

  • May_Day_Photos
  • Don't Risk 2nd Rate Safety

  • shopritelg_2010

ME Bank Unity Training
© Copyright Unions WA Designed by Foote Francis