Interim report of the SafeWork NSW Independent Review released
The state’s workplace safety regulator is one step closer to change, with the release of the Interim Report into the Independent Review into SafeWork NSW.
The Review, headed by Retired Supreme Court Judge Hon. Robert McDougall KC, was established in October last year and is tasked with investigating the effectiveness of the state’s work health and safety body, SafeWork NSW.
The Minister for Work Health and Safety, Sophie Cotsis, welcomes the interim report as a step forward to change.
Minister Cotsis noted the need for this report because of a failure to ensure compliance and enforcement by the previous government.
Under the previous government, there were also significant structural changes made to the SafeWork system, which are now being analysed.
The review aims to investigate presumed inefficiencies at SafeWork New South Wales, including that SafeWork is slow to act on safety warnings and that on-site inspections are too slow and too rare.
It is designed to be an inquisitorial rather than adversarial process.
While specific cases and detailed issues raised can be considered as part of the Review, it will not make determinations relating to specific work health and safety cases.
The Review’s focus is on identifying deficiencies and recommendations at the organisational level.
Quotes to be attributed to Minister for Work Health and Safety, Sophie Cotsis.
“After an 18-month campaign to get this review, the former government had to be dragged and exposed before it finally came on board, I have been pushing to get this review done long before I was appointed in this role.
“SafeWork NSW plays a vital role in protecting the health and safety of workers in NSW. It’s important any issues relating to its operations are examined and addressed and we will continue to ensure that we have a partnership between industry, unions, communities and government.
“I look forward to receiving the final report at the end of November, to help support better outcomes for workers and employers in NSW.
“Everyone deserves to come home safely to their loved ones and to be safe at work."