Review of model WHS laws - recommendations on asbestos registers and competent persons

Date

Safe Work Australia has released the final report and findings of the review of the model work health and safety laws conducted in 2018 which includes 34 recommendations designed to enhance the WHS framework.

The asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency made a submission to the review raising concerns about the definition of 'competent person' in the model laws regarding asbestos and adequacy of training. The agency also raised concerns regarding consistency of asbestos registers in how they are developed and applied.

The review made the following recommendations in response to these concerns:

Recommendation 34a: Improving the quality of asbestos registers

Amend the model WHS Regulations to require that asbestos registers are created by a competent person and update the model Codes to provide more information on the development of asbestos registers.

Recommendation 34b: Competent persons in relation to asbestos

Review existing requirements for competent persons, including consideration of amendments to the model WHS Regulations to provide specific competencies for asbestos-related tasks or requirements for further guidance on the skills and experience required for all asbestos-related tasks.