The BCA has long promoted the need for a national framework for OHS regulation.
The key objective of OHS regulation should be to establish an equitable and efficient system that:
focuses on the prevention of workplace injury and disease;
builds business consciousness of the importance of OHS in the workplace; and
encourages parties to work together to create safe and healthy workplaces.
The proposed harmonisation being considered by the review is fundamental to achieving those objectives.
Employers that operate nationally face a myriad of different legislative and regulatory requirements in different jurisdictions. This complexity, and the often adversarial approach adopted in some jurisdictions, compromises the efficiency, equity and potential effectiveness of these laws.
Having one set of requirements will not only improve efficiency for both business and regulators, but will promote a better understanding of the requirements of the system.
Harmonisation is also fundamental to achieving a seamless and competitive national economy. A national legislative approach characterised by simplicity, due process and flexibility will serve Australia best.