Bankers call for national OH&S laws

The Australian Bankers' Association (ABA) has called for the implementation of nationally consistent OHS legislation in its submission to the National Review of Model Occupational Health and Safety Laws, which is being conducted by an advisory panel for the Federal Government.

"In NSW, for example," an ABA statement said, "the law imposes an absolute duty of care on employers, which coupled with the reverse onus of proof is unrealistic, unachievable and undermines the concept of promoting workplace safety cultures.

"In addition, in NSW there is a lack of prosecutorial independence. WorkCover NSW and unions are able to make decisions relating to the investigation, evidence gathering and prosecution of OHS matters as well as receive a financial benefit in the result of a successful prosecution taken before the NSW Industrial Relations Commission."

ABA said it supports:

Implementation of OHS legislation that is nationally consistent.
Articulation of the legislative objectives, duties, rights and responsibilities.
Introduction of OHS legislation that adopts a risk management approach.
Adoption of fair and reasonable offence and defence provisions.
Implementation of procedural fairness and prosecutorial independence.

15th July 2008
Findlaw

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