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Occupational Health and Safety College - Essay Example

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This paper critically considers the duties and liabilities of ‘officers’ as provided for in the Australian Model Work Health and Safety Bill of 2009. The paper firstly establishes a context for this discussion by highlighting the main goals and objectives of the Model Bill. …
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Occupational Health and Safety College Essay
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Occupational Health and Safety College

The paper highlights possible legal ‘loopholes’ which culpable ‘officers’ may exploit to evade personal prosecution, and it concludes by making some recommendations on what additional reforms may be introduced to augment the effectiveness of the bill.
For purposes of this discussion, the five main objectives of the Model Bill can be further condensed into only three key outcomes. Firstly, the bill seeks to establish a harmonised and nationwide framework for defining O H & S criteria in Australia, and to continually strengthen this framework through regular education and training. Secondly, the bill seeks to identify all stakeholders involved in the implementation of O H & S regulations, and to specify the duties and obligations of these stakeholders. Finally, the bill seeks to clarify the enforcement measures provided by the bill and to specify the penalties imposed on organisations or individuals who shirk their O H & S responsibilities. The Model Bill distinguishes between two broad categories of ‘officers’. One category comprises of public officers working for regulatory bodies such as government departments or local authorities. As stated in the bill: “A person who makes, or participates in making, decisions that affect the whole, or a substantial part, of the business or undertaking of a Government department, public authority or local authority is taken to be an officer of the Crown…” " (S. 244). As further stated in the appendix of the bill, "A jurisdiction will need to include local provisions to ensure that appropriate arrangements are made for the appointment as an inspector or a person who is an inspector under a ... Read More
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