THE Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), has called for an overhaul of Australia’s occupational health and safety regime to avoid “unreasonable” elements of the NSW system.
In a submission to the review, the lobby group said the NSW state system placed too much emphasis on prosecution.
It called on federal and state and territory governments to adopt a balanced and effective approach to harmonising OHS regulation.
“ACCI and its members are strongly committed to practical improvements in workplace safety as well as OHS standards that are reasonable and workable,” the submission said.
“OHS laws, even when balanced, impose significant regulatory burdens on businesses.”
Industry strongly supported efforts to reduce red tape and unnecessary regulation burdens, the chamber said.
“OHS laws in New South Wales remain a particular concern,” it said.
“Unreasonable and unbalanced laws, combined with a disproportionate emphasis on prosecution, have resulted in a system that is unfair and has not resulted in good OHS performance.”
Employers, employees and trade unions presently had to navigate separate OHS legislation across eight jurisdictions, each with extensive regulations, codes and guidance material, the chamber said.