Q&A with Kristie Burt
Q: What are the changes to right of entry from 1 July 2019?
A: From 1 July 2019, an entry permit must include a photo of the entry permit holder and their signature. This change is as a result of the Fair Work Amendment (Modernising Right of Entry) Regulations 2019.
Please note that all new entry permits issued from 1 July 2019 will include the photo and signature of the entry permit holder. If an entry permit was issued prior to this date, it will not have a photo or signature on it. You can, however, request that another form of identification be shown to confirm the identity of the person, however, this photographic evidence requirement does not become mandatory until 1 October 2019.
Remember that the permit holder is to show you their original entry permit and not a copy when providing notice to exercise his/her right of entry powers.
Q: I have heard that WorkSafe have been issuing fines to a PCBU for failing to mitigate risks of falling from heights. What are my obligations for a resi site – I thought it was more commercial sites?
A: WorkSafe ACT have the power to issue infringement notices under the Magistrates Court (Work Health and Safety Infringement Notices) Regulation 2011 (ACT) and where there is a breach of the legislation, they can and will issue fines.
If there is a risk of falling from heights, regardless of the type of site that you’re working on, it is the duty of the person conducting the business or undertaking (PCBU) to ensure that all reasonably practicable steps have been taken before the commencement of the works, to identify the hazards and risks associated with the particular works, as well implementing control measures to control the risk of falls from any height.
Under the legislation, where there is a risk of falling 2 metres of more, you need to have a safe work method statement (SWMS) as this is defined in the legislation as high risk construction work. A failure to have a SWMS in place for the works or where it is found that a worker is not complying with a SWMS is a breach of the WHS legislation and will result in infringement notices being issued.
If you require further guidance regarding the management of risks and preventing falls, you should consult the Managing the Risks of Falls at the Workplace Code of Practice and Preventing Falls in Housing Construction Code of Practice.
Q: What changes come into effect from 1 July 2019?
A: I have summarised some of the key changes that come into effect from 1 July 2019 affecting our industry below:
- Increase to minimum rates of pay under Modern Awards
- Increase to base rates under most Enterprise Agreements
- Single-touch payroll
Right of Entry
- Changes to Entry Permits (new permits issued must include photo and signature of entry permit holder)
Training Requirements (ACT-specific)
- Working Safely with Asbestos Containing Materials (mandatory for some occupations)
If you have any queries or would like to ask a question, please contact me on 6175 5919 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please be aware that due to an increase in call and email enquiries coming through, I might not always be immediately available. If your enquiry is urgent, please let me know and I will do my best to respond to you as soon as I can. If the query is not urgent, I will endeavour to respond within 24 hours.