Tassie Builders Concerned About New WHS Laws

Builders in Tasmania are concerned that the new Work Health and Safety laws to be introduced next year will put them out of business. There are rumours in the industry that shorts, radios and dogs will all be banned on worksites.

However, Roy Ormerod who heads up Workplace Standards in Tasmania has been quoted as saying that nothing will change when the new laws take effect according to a report in The Mercury.

He said that he acknowledges that builders find the changes to the laws overwhelming, that he knows there is anxiety felt around the changes and that he does not want to see business closing down because they find the administration of their responsibilities too difficult.

“We don’t want people to shut up shop because it’s much too hard,” Mr Ormerod said. “We’re going to be working with them. There’ll be a lot of hand-holding for a time.”

Michael Kerschbaum, the Master Builders of Tasmania Association director, has said that the new WHS laws will place excessive responsibility of the smaller building firms with associated hefty administrative costs.

Mr Kerschbaum said that the smaller builders would be the ones to suffer as their OHS systems may not be what they are required to be and there are numerous additional requirements such as when working at heights extra batons, roof trusses and bats are needed which will be an additional cost.

He said that the larger building firms would feel little effect because they are already in compliance with the federal safety commission.

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