SafeWork SA will now go beyond enforcing work health and safety laws and compromise two clear operational units – a regulator and an educator.
The regulator will be made up of industry teams staffed by inspectors, with a focus on ensuring compliance with work health and safety laws and taking suitable enforcement action when breaches are detected.
The educator’s team of mobile work health and safety advisors, supported by customer service staff, will support and provide people with access to resources, information, licensing services and one-on-one advice.
The new mobile advisory team will visit people in their workplaces and help them understand their work health and safety responsibilities and provide practical support and assistance to set-up effective systems.
State Industrial Relations Minister John Rau said in a statement that the changes to SafeWork SA follow the overhaul of South Australia’s workers compensation system and from listening to industry, business organisations and unions.
“It was clear that we could not just fix the system that looks after people when they were injured, we also needed to fix the system that prevents people from being injured in the first place,” Mr Rau said.
Mr Rau said the new workplace advisory service will not have any inspectoral powers under the Act – a really important contrast to past practice.
“It is important that employers feel comfortable about inviting an advisor from SafeWork SA into their workplace, without the fear of prosecution, to improve their systems, practices and general approach to safety,” he said.
“This is a contemporary regulatory approach that will benefit workers, employers and the South Australian community by focusing on a safer workplace for everyone.”
The new structure will be fully operational from July 1, 2016.