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New Queensland work health and safety laws commenced operation on 1 January 2012. Several significant new and expanded obligations have been introduced under the new legislation, increasing the scope of an agribusiness’s duty of care, imposing strict new personal obligations on directors and managers and requiring greater cooperation between employers and workers when addressing health and safety issues. A number of new Codes of Practice have also been created, assisting agribusiness to discharge their duties by providing model health and safety guidelines. Of particular relevance are the changes made to the Rural Plant Code of Practice 2004.

You need to be aware of how these changes will affect your agricultural operations.

Key features
Key features include:

  • imposition of personal liability on directors and senior managers to ensure the business is complying with its health and safety obligations under the legislation;
  • significantly increased financial penalties for directors and senior managers that breach their duties;
  • an expanded definition of “workers” to whom your agribusiness owes a duty of care, including not only employees, but contractors and labour hire workers;
  • expanded obligations on agribusiness to consult with workers and third parties about work health and safety issues;
  • expanded powers for Health and Safety Representatives;
  • elimination of the Workplace Health and Safety Officer role;
  • stricter obligations on agribusiness to report injuries, illnesses and dangerous incidents occurring in the workplace; and
  • new risk assessment and control measures for specific items of rural plant.

Are you doing everything you need to do?

To ensure that you are complying with the new laws, it is important to review your contracts and your work health and safety manuals and systems. 

If you have any queries or require any assistance with your work health and safety arrangements, please contact us.

For further information, please contact:

Ron Eames, Partner
T: +61 7 3135 0629

Paul Venus, Partner
T: +61 7 3135 0613


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