Government changes workplace safety legislation

20 Aug, 2018 04:00 AM
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Country Wide Insurance brokers Paul Schutz .... risk management will ratchet up.
Country Wide Insurance brokers Paul Schutz .... risk management will ratchet up.

RISK management is a major bugbear for machinery dealers.

And it’s likely to ratchet up in the future.

According to Country Wide Insurance Brokers’ Paul Schutz and Matthew Jones, the State government is planning changes to Work Health and Safety (WHS).

Essentially the government wants to introduce a single WHS Act regulating work health and safety in WA.

The Act will be administered by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety and will include overseeing WorkSafe.

What the brokers brought to dealers’ attention is the foreshadowing of increased fines for breaches of the act.

“The big one is failure to identify a hazard,” Mr Schutz said.

“The fine will rise from $50,000 to $450,000 as a level one breach.

“A level two breach, which includes death, will rise from $400,000 to $2 million.

“The government says it will have discussions with industry but it is out there.”

Another issue raised by Mr Jones concerned liability for autonomous vehicles and swarm robots.

“If a drone drops into your paddock, for example, and causes damage, what is the extent of liability for the owners of the drone?” he asked.

“Where does liability start and where does it stop?

“We would welcome comments and suggestions from you as to what sort of (insurance) coverage you may need.”

The pair also covered the topic of cyber insurance in relation to hacking.

“Hacking is on the increase and there are insurance products but we are working on a specific cover for machinery dealers,” he said.

Mr Schutz said hacking in regional areas was on the increase targeting regional businesses which do not have a high level of security.

“There are examples of company email signatures being hacked and used for cash transferred to bogus accounts,” he said.

FarmWeekly

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