Harmonisation of OH&S regulations
CRC Construction Innovation (2007) Harmonisation of OH&S regulations. CRC for Construction Innovation, Brisbane.
Policy instruments of education, regulation, fines and inspection have all been
utilised by Australian jurisdictions as they attempt to improve the poor performance of
occupational health and safety (OH&S) in the construction industry. However, such
policy frameworks have been largely uncoordinated across Australia, resulting in
differing policy systems, with differing requirements and compliance systems. Such
complexity, particularly for construction firms operating across jurisdictional borders,
led to various attempts to improve the consistency of OH&S regulation across
Australia, four of which will be reviewed in this report.
1. The first is the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1991 (Commonwealth)
which enabled certain organisations to opt out of state based regulatory
2. The second is the development of national standards, codes of practice and
guidance documents by the National Occupational Health and Safety Council
(NOHSC). The intent was that the OHS requirements, principles and practices
contained in these documents would be adopted by state and territory
governments into their legislation and policy, thereby promoting regulatory
consistency across Australia.
3. The third is the attachment of conditions to special purpose payments from the
Commonwealth to the States, in the form of OH&S accreditation with the
Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner.
4. The fourth is the development of national voluntary codes of OHS practice for
the construction industry.
It is interesting to note that the tempo of change has increased significantly since
2003, with the release of the findings of the Cole Royal Commission. This paper
examines and evaluates each of these attempts to promote consistency across
Australia. It concludes that while there is a high level of information sharing between
jurisdictions, particularly from the NOSHC standards, a fragmented OH&S policy
framework still remains in place across Australia. The utility of emergent industry
initiatives such as voluntary codes and guidelines for safer construction practices to
enhance consistency are discussed.
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|Keywords:||CRC for Construction Innovation, Program A : Business and Industry Development, Project 2004-032-A : Construction Industry Business Environment (CIBE)|
|Divisions:||Current > Research Centres > CRC Construction Innovation|
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|Deposited On:||25 Aug 2009 08:40|
|Last Modified:||09 Jun 2010 23:58|
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