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The council of Australian governments in the year 2008 had committed to improve the safety and health of the Australian citizens and their workplace environment through maintaining the harmony of Work Health and Safety (WHS) legislation extended to all the jurisdictions of Australia. The model work health and safety regulations were endorsed by the workplace relations minister council in the year 2009. The commission intended that from January 2012, the model legislation will be extended to the entire jurisdiction however the same cannot be eventuated (Australian Government 2019). The individual states in Australia have retained the responsibility for regulating their own WHS laws and this was the reason they had not adopted the uniform lost but rather had adopted their own WHS regulations and code of standards.
The model Work Health and Safety Act 2011 was developed to implement the harmonization process but both the jurisdiction of Victoria and Western Australia had not combined their jurisdiction and is still considering their National Model Act (COAG 2008). This cannot be considered to be appropriate. The major reason that can be analyzed for not adopting the universal laws of WHS star political state parties at both the federal as well as a state level. There must be a harmonization of regulations related to the work and safety measures throughout the territory of Australia. Parliament of Australia places a major role in working out the amendment procedures for the model WHS regulations to be applied in various jurisdictions in Australia (Creighton and Rozen 2007). Therefore it can be considered that political parties have a vital role in noncompliance with the WHS laws in a universal manner across the country.
Harmonization will help in minimizing the regulatory burden on the council of Australian governments and will formulate a national economy by establishing the standard and universal WHS laws. Apart from this, the compliance cost of various business operations can be minimized and the efficiency of regulatory agencies can be improved if the complexities and variance in by regulations can be avoided (Quinlan and Bohle 2008). Various causes’ legal instruments, non-state institutions are interconnected and create a socio-political impact upon the OHS professionals and interpret the rules and regulations of OHS (Bluff, Gunningham and Johnstone 2004). The centre point of the regulations regarding occupational health and safety measures revolves around the legislation and its enforcement. There are various links of the regulations with the conventions of industry unions and associations that are illustrative nature for creating and influence on the fundamental aspect and role of OHS in Australia. The power is in the hands of the regulators and they can either approve or disapprove the code of practice provided under the activities of OHS measures.
Occupational health and safety laws in Australia are not fit and this is the reason why the Australian government is putting various laws to harmonize the OHS measures to provide equal standards of protection to each worker in all the jurisdiction of Australia. Existing occupational health and safety laws are not able to provide an adequate and uniform standard of protection and therefore various reviews have also been conducted for many years to check the efficiency of the occupational health and safety laws (Hedger and Seton 2012). The workplace relations minister council in the years 2008 concluded the fact that the act is capable of being adopted in all the states of Australia to remove all the inconsistency of OHS laws across various jurisdictions by providing a model act (Bluff and Gunningham 2007).
The relationship between the legal, technological, political, and social impact upon the occupational health and safety measure is diverse, dynamic, and complex. The non-state institutions and various other state instruments create a sense of command and control over the operations and regulations of the occupational health and safety measures act by way of promulgation. The enforcement inspecting the compliance of the regulations provided under the occupational health and safety measures are in the hands of various legal, state and non-state institutions, therefore, they play a vital role in setting out the standards of OHS and this is also one major ground of not complying with the uniform laws (Lamm and Walters 2004). Therefore, harmonization is very important to avoid all kinds of discrepancies that may likely to occur due to the involvement of various socio-political factors in the territory of Australia. Standard regulation and model will help the authorities and the government to determine the noncompliance of regulations. Accordingly, the involvement of political parties, interest groups, industry unions, and any other involvement in the regulations and practice of the occupational health and safety measures can be avoided.
Australian Government. 2019. Occupational health and safety harmonization. [Online]. Available at: https://www.ag.gov.au/industrial-relations/workplace-relations-in-australia/Pages/occupational-health-and-safety-harmonisation.aspx [Accessed on June 6, 2020].
Bluff, E., and Gunningham, N. 2007. Review of key characteristics that determine the efficacy of OHS instruments. Canberra: Australian Government.
Bluff, E., Gunningham N., and Johnstone R. 2004. OHS Regulation for a Changing World of Work. Sydney: Federation Press.
COAG (Council of Australian Governments). 2008. Inter-governmental agreement (the IGA) for regulatory and operational reform in occupational health and safety. [Online]. Canberra. Australian Government. Available at: https://www.coag.gov.au/sites/default/files/agreements/OHS_IGA.pdf [Accessed on June 6, 2020].
Creighton, W. B., and Rozen, P. 2007. Occupational Health and Safety Law in Victoria. Sydney: Federation Press.
Hedger, S., and Seton, T. 2012. Uniform OH&S legislation extends duty of care and increases penalties. [Online]. Available at: https://www.mondaq.com/australia/health-safety/158650/uniform-ohs-legislation-extends-duty-of-care-and-increases-penalties [Accessed on June 6, 2020].
Lamm, F., and Walters, D. 2004. Regulating Occupational Health and Safety in Small Businesses. OHS Regulation for a Changing World of Work. Sydney: Federation Press.
Quinlan, M., and Bohle, P. 2008. Under pressure, out of control or home alone? Reviewing research and policy debates on the occupational health and safety effects of outsourcing and home-based work. International Journal of Health Services, vol. 38, no. 3, pp. 489-523.
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