Federal Government legislation to introduce national harmonised work health and safety laws has been welcomed by the Australian Industry Group.
"The Commonwealth is the fifth of Australia’s nine legislatures to consider the harmonised legislation, said Ai Group Chief Executive, Heather Ridout.
Queensland and NSW have passed harmonised laws ready to operate from January 1, 2012, and SA and the ACT have Bills before their Parliaments.
"The Commonwealth WHS law will primarily apply to federal public servants and federal agency employees, although a number of national private sector employers are also covered, said Ms Ridout.
"We urge all parties to recognise the importance of harmonisation in workplace safety laws and support the Bill.
Ms Ridout said harmonisation of WHS presents the best opportunity Australia has had for decades to overcome “the frustration and complexity” of nine different OHS legal systems and standards.
“The level of anticipation surrounding harmonisation is significant within industry, particularly companies who have employees in more than one state, Ms Ridout said.
“It has also brought on a level of co-operation between state safety regulators that is unprecedented, and immensely important to the effective administration of workplace safety."