Occupational Health and Safety Right of Entry to West Australian Workplaces
Relevant Legislation in WA • Workplace Relations Act, 1996 (Workchoices) and Regulations; • WA Industrial Relations Act, 1979; • WA Occ. Safety and Health Act, 1984: and • WA Mines Safety and Inspection Act, 1994
Workchoices • Division 5 - limits the right of entry to investigate a breach of the Occupational Safety and Health Act or the Mines Safety and Inspection Act in accordance with Workchoices and the: • WA Industrial Relations Act, 1979 (ss 49G and 49I-49O)
Workchoices Coverage – OHS Entry (1) commonwealth workplace commonwealth corporate authority
Question (1) • Does a union official require a state and federal permit to comply with the provisions of right of entry for ohs purposes onto a workplace (constitutional corporation, commonwealth or territory workplace)?
Question (2) • Is the state IR Act ousted by Workchoices (s16) for the purposes of dealing with an ohs issue e.g. a dispute over whether an official can or cannot enter a worksite? • Can a union or an employer refer an ohs issue e.g. a dispute over whether an official can or cannot enter a worksite to either the AIRC or the WAIRC for resolution?
Section 16(2) of the Workplace Relations Act. 16(2) State and Territory laws that are not excluded However, subsection 1 does not apply to a law of the State or Territory so far as: (a) … (b) … (c) the law deals with any of the matters (the non-excluded matters) described in subsection (3). 16(3) [Non-excluded matters] The non-excluded matters area s follows: (a) … (c) occupational health and safety (including entry of a representative of a trade union to premises for a purpose connected with health and safety
Question (3) • Are there any workplaces in WA not covered by the Occ. Safety and Health Act or the Mines Safety Inspection Act? • If the answer to that question is ‘yes’ what are the implications for union right of entry on osh issues in those workplaces?