Work Health and Safety Act 2011 No 10
Part 14 General
Division 1 General provisions
268 Offence to give false or misleading information
(1) A person must not give information in complying or purportedly complying with this Act that the person knows:(a) to be false or misleading in a material particular, or(b) omits any matter or thing without which the information is misleading.Maximum penalty:(a) in the case of an individual—$10,000, or(b) in the case of a body corporate—$50,000.(2) A person must not produce a document in complying or purportedly complying with this Act that the person knows to be false or misleading in a material particular without:(a) indicating the respect in which it is false or misleading and, if practicable, providing correct information, or(b) accompanying the document with a written statement signed by the person or, in the case of a body corporate, by a competent officer of the body corporate:(i) stating that the document is, to the knowledge of the first-mentioned person, false or misleading in a material particular, and(ii) setting out, or referring to, the material particular in which the document is, to the knowledge of the first-mentioned person, false or misleading.Maximum penalty:(a) in the case of an individual—$10,000, or(b) in the case of a body corporate—$50,000.(3) Subsection (2) places an evidential burden on the accused to show that the accused had indicated the extent to which the document was false or misleading or that the accompanying document sufficiently explained the extent to which the document was false or misleading.
269 Act does not affect legal professional privilege
Nothing in this Act requires a person to produce a document that would disclose information, or otherwise provide information, that is the subject of legal professional privilege.
270 Immunity from liability
(1) An inspector, or other person engaged in the administration of this Act, incurs no civil liability for an act or omission done or omitted to be done in good faith and in the execution or purported execution of powers and functions under this Act.(2) A civil liability that would, but for subsection (1), attach to a person, attaches instead to the State.
271 Confidentiality of information
(1) This section applies if a person obtains information or gains access to a document in exercising any power or function under this Act (other than under Part 7).(2) The person must not do any of the following:(a) disclose to anyone else:(i) the information, or(ii) the contents of or information contained in the document,(b) give access to the document to anyone else,(c) use the information or document for any purpose.Maximum penalty:(a) in the case of an individual—$10,000, or(b) in the case of a body corporate—$50,000.(3) Subsection (2) does not apply to the disclosure of information, or the giving of access to a document or the use of information or a document:(a) about a person, with the person’s consent, or(b) that is necessary for the exercise of a power or function under this Act, or(c) that is made or given by the regulator or a person authorised by the regulator if the regulator reasonably believes the disclosure, access or use:(i) is necessary for administering, or monitoring or enforcing compliance with, this Act, or(ii) is necessary for the administration or enforcement of another Act prescribed by the regulations, or(iii) is necessary for the administration or enforcement of another Act or law, if the disclosure, access or use is necessary to lessen or prevent a serious risk to public health or safety, or(iv) is necessary for the recognition of authorisations under a corresponding WHS law, or(v) is required for the exercise of a power or function under a corresponding WHS law, or(d) that is required by any court, tribunal, authority or person having lawful authority to require the production of documents or the answering of questions, or(e) that is required or authorised under a law, or(f) to a Minister.(4) A person must not intentionally disclose to another person the name of an individual who has made a complaint in relation to that other person unless:(a) the disclosure is made with the consent of the complainant, or(b) the disclosure is required under a law.(a) in the case of an individual—$10,000, or(b) in the case of a body corporate—$50,000.
271A Information sharing between regulators
(1) Either one of the regulators or a member of staff of either one of the regulators is authorised to disclose information or give access to a document to the other regulator or a member of staff of the other regulator if the disclosure or giving of access is for the purpose of assisting the other regulator to exercise the powers or functions of the other regulator under this Act or the Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Act 2013.(2) Section 271 applies to the use of information or a document that a person obtains or gains access to as a result of the disclosure of the information or the giving of access to the document as authorised by this section, as if the person had obtained the information or gained access to the document in exercising a power or function under this Act.(3) Section 271 (2) does not apply to the disclosure of information or giving of access to a document as authorised by this section.
272 No contracting out
A term of any agreement or contract that purports to exclude, limit or modify the operation of this Act or any duty owed under this Act or to transfer to another person any duty owed under this Act is void.
273 Person not to levy workers
A person conducting a business or undertaking must not impose a levy or charge on a worker, or permit a levy or charge to be imposed on a worker, for anything done, or provided, in relation to work health and safety.Maximum penalty:(a) in the case of an individual—$5,000, or(b) in the case of a body corporate—$25,000.
Division 2 Codes of practice
274 Approved codes of practice
(1) The Minister may approve a code of practice for the purposes of this Act and may vary or revoke an approved code of practice.(2) The Minister may only approve, vary or revoke a code of practice under subsection (1) if that code of practice, variation or revocation was developed by a process that involved consultation between:(a) the Governments of the Commonwealth and each State and Territory, and(b) unions, and(c) employer organisations.(3) A code of practice may apply, adopt or incorporate any matter contained in a document formulated, issued or published by a person or body whether:(a) with or without modification, or(b) as in force at a particular time or from time to time.(4) An approval of a code of practice, or a variation or revocation of an approved code of practice, takes effect when notice of it is published in the Gazette or on such later date as is specified in the approval, variation or revocation.(5) As soon as practicable after approving a code of practice, or varying or revoking an approved code of practice, the Minister must ensure that notice of the approval, variation or revocation is published in the Gazette and a newspaper circulating generally throughout the State.(6) The regulator must ensure that a copy of:(a) each code of practice that is currently approved, andis available for inspection by members of the public without charge at the office of the regulator during normal business hours.(b) each document applied, adopted or incorporated (to any extent) by an approved code of practice,Editorial note.For notices of approved codes of practice published or varied under this section, see Gazettes No 127 of 16.12.2011, p 7194; No 63 of 18.7.2014, p 2695; No 64 of 31.7.2015, p 2311; No 23 of 1.4.2016, p 575 and No 27 of 27.1.2017, p 202.
275 Use of codes of practice in proceedings
(1) This section applies in a proceeding for an offence against this Act.(2) An approved code of practice is admissible in the proceeding as evidence of whether or not a duty or obligation under this Act has been complied with.(3) The court may:(a) have regard to the code as evidence of what is known about a hazard or risk, risk assessment or risk control to which the code relates, and(b) rely on the code in determining what is reasonably practicable in the circumstances to which the code relates.Note.See section 18 for the meaning of reasonably practicable.(4) Nothing in this section prevents a person from introducing evidence of compliance with this Act in a manner that is different from the code but provides a standard of work health and safety that is equivalent to or higher than the standard required in the code.
Division 3 Regulation-making powers
276 Regulation-making powers
(1) The Governor may make regulations in relation to:(a) any matter relating to work health and safety, and(b) any matter or thing required or permitted by this Act to be prescribed or that is necessary or convenient to be prescribed to give effect to this Act.(2) Without limiting subsection (1), the regulations may make provision for or in relation to matters set out in Schedule 3.(3) The regulations may:(a) be of general or limited application, or(b) differ according to differences in time, place or circumstance, or(c) leave any matter or thing to be, from time to time, determined, applied or approved by the regulator, an inspector or any other prescribed person or body of persons, or(d) apply, adopt or incorporate any matter contained in any document formulated, issued or published by a person or body whether:(i) with or without modification, or(ii) as in force at a particular time or as in force or remade from time to time, or(e) prescribe exemptions from complying with any of the regulations on the terms and conditions (if any) prescribed, or(f) allow the regulator to provide exemptions from complying with any of the regulations on the terms and conditions (if any) prescribed or, if the regulations allow, on the terms and conditions (if any) determined by the regulator, or(g) prescribe fees for doing any act or providing any service for the purposes of this Act and prescribe the circumstances and way in which fees can be refunded, waived or reduced, or(h) prescribe a penalty for any contravention of the regulations not exceeding $30,000.(4) The Minister is not to recommend the making of a regulation containing provisions that confer jurisdiction of the Civil and Administrative Tribunal to exercise functions unless the Minister certifies that the Minister administering the Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013 has agreed to the provisions.
Division 3A Miscellaneous
276B Review of Act
(1) The Minister is to review this Act to determine whether the policy objectives of the Act remain valid and whether the terms of the Act remain appropriate for securing those objectives.(2) The review is to be undertaken as soon as possible after the period of 5 years from the date of assent to this Act.(3) A report on the outcome of the review is to be tabled in each House of Parliament within 12 months after the end of the period of 5 years.