Safety Bulletin - March 2024

Australia – Right to disconnect from work assented

The Australian Government has assented amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 to allow workers the right to disconnect from work by not responding to employer contact outside of working hours. The Fair Work Commission will be able to deal with disputes and create ‘stop orders’ if they cannot be resolved. The changes will commence from 26 August 2024.

Read more from the Education and Employment Legislation Committee here.


Australia – Further changes to Industrial Chemicals Rules proposed

The Australian Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme has consulted on further changes to the ‘List of chemicals with high hazards for categorisation’ and minor changes to the Industrial Chemicals Categorisation Guidelines. The amendments are expected to commence in April 2024.

Read more from the Department of Health and Aged Care here.


Australia – Offshore petroleum and gas safety amendments introduced

The Australian Government has introduced a Bill to Parliament that would amend the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 following a review. Amendments will clarify that health is defined as physical and psychological health, simplify and strengthen reporting of serious injuries, improve worker protection against discrimination and coercion, improve rules for diving operations and dive vessels, improve health and safety representative (HSR) training, and allow HSRs to request a review of safety management documents.

Read more from the Minister for Resources and Minister for Northern Australia here.