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Work Health and Safety Blog

There's so much happening in the world of health & safety. Changes in legislation and requirements, changes in best practice, changes in ... you name it. Here's my take on making it simple. Simply Genius WHS - stop guessing... manage with confidence.

So whose side are you on? WorkSafe Australia lose the plot

Maralyn Kastel - Friday, December 06, 2013

The new anti-bullying laws under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) apply to all Australian workers excluding sole traders, state public service departments and state government entities. Volunteer associations with no employers are also exempt.

Even if excluded, organisations could potentially still be drawn into applications under the anti-bullying laws. For example, a contractor (employed by a company and therefore covered by the new laws) working in a state government department (not covered by the new laws) may bring an application under the new laws that includes allegations against members of the Department.

WorkSafe Australia releases a Guide instead of a Code of Practice

Unfortunately, he's not the first. Alec Meikle committed suicide in 2008, aged 17, after suffering months of violent bullying as an apprentice engineer at Downer EDI in Bathurst, in the state's central west it has been revealed at the inquest currently being held.  

A man who still works at Downer EDI Jason Gallagher gave evidence saying he was treated so badly there he called the union saying "you have to help me because I want to jump off a bridge".

He says after Alec Meikle died the company held meetings with staff about its zero tolerance for bullying.

Too little - too late! - how many more?

In my opinion WorkSafe Australia has shown it has no mettle.  What was once supposed to be the Code of Practice for the Preventing of Bullying in the Workplace has been downgraded to only a Guide.

This, when the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) “Workplace Bullying” Amendment comes into place on 1 January 2014. 

Shame on you WorkSafe Australia, you have no fortitude for the job that you are supposed to do, that is protecting the workers.  I am appalled at this back-flip; by the namby-pamby bureaucrats who don’t have the gumption to do what’s right. 

If you need help - call Lifeline 131 114 - before it's too late.

Download the guides: 

Guide to preventing workplace bullying
Dealing with workplace bullying - a workers guide

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