Safe Workplace Reg Leis Insurance Services

Why a safe workplace benefits everyone

Maintaining a safe workplace is good for businesses, good for workers and good for the community. A safe workplace benefits everyone. It protects workers from from injury and illness, increases productivity, lowers running costs and improves morale.

Persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) such as business owners and managers have a responsibility to manage risks, protect health, safety and wellbeing as well as understand incidents and notifications if they happen.

Work Health and Safety and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2024

The Work Health and Safety and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2024 (WHSOLA Act), implements legislative change from the 2022 Review of Queensland’s Work Health and Safety Act 2011, as well as recommendations from the national 2018 Review of the Model Work Health and Safety Laws (Boland Review).

Its primary focus is to strengthen worker protection and representation, while also encouraging the uptake of health and safety representatives (HSRs) in the workplace.

The WHSOLA Act amends the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act) and Safety in Recreational Water Activities Act 2011.

WHSQ is preparing guidance to help you navigate these changes as they go live.

Ensure you stay up to date on changes by checking the WorkSafe Queensland website , subscribing to their eNEWS and social channels.

You can download the timeline of changes (PDF, 0.29 MB) and the stakeholder communication kit (PDF, 5.88 MB) for helpful FAQs, key messages and resources.

Prohibition on insurance for fines

A change that came into effect on 28 March this year was the prohibition on insurance covering work health and safety penalties.

A person can be required to pay a monetary penalty (e.g. a fine) for breaching requirements in the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act) or Safety in Recreational Water Activities Act 2011 (SRWA Act) or regulations made under these Acts.

The WHS Act and SRWA Act prohibit using insurance or indemnity arrangements to pay a monetary penalty using an arrangement (i.e., a contract of insurance or other arrangement). Transition arrangements are in place to ensure compliance.

Offence to enter into an arrangement

A person must not, without reasonable excuse, enter into a contract of insurance or other arrangement that claims to insure or cover a person for a liability for all or part of a monetary penalty under the WHS Act or SRWA Act.

A maximum penalty of 500 penalty units applies.

How to provide a safe workplace

You are encouraged to proactively review and revise your insurance arrangements before penalties begin to come into effect from September 2024.

By 28 Sept 2024, you should:

  • not enter into an insurance contract or indemnity arrangement covering fines under the WHS or SRWA laws.
  • discuss this with your insurance broker or indemnity provider if you have any questions about the contract or arrangement.

Offence to provide an arrangement

A person must not, without reasonable excuse, provide a contract of insurance or an indemnity for a liability for all or part of a monetary penalty under the WHS Act or SRWA Act.

A maximum penalty of 500 penalty units applies.

Offence to take benefit from an arrangement

A person must not, without reasonable excuse, take the benefit of a contract of insurance or other arrangement, or an indemnity, that claims to insure or cover a person for a liability for all or part of a monetary penalty under the WHS Act or SRWA Act.

A maximum penalty of 500 penalty units applies.

Commencement

These changes were introduced by the Work Health and Safety and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2024. A timeline of changes can be found here.

By 28 September 2024, all persons must not:

  • enter into an arrangement that purports to cover penalties
  • provide an arrangement that purports to cover penalties.

From 28 September 2025 a person will be unable to take the benefit of an arrangement that covers penalties.

The below outlines upcoming legislative changes contained in the WHSOLA Act. Commencement dates for the new provisions vary to allow systems and processes to be put in place to support these changes.

Lookup your Industry

Find health and safety information and guidance about your industry and the kind of work you do here.

Published On: June 12th, 2024Categories: Risk Management

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