Stronger Workers’ Comp protections sought for black lung workers

June 20, 2017

On 14 June 2017, the Honourable Grace Grace MP, Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations, Minister for Racing and Minister for Multicultural Affairs introduced the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation (Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2017 (the Bill) into the Queensland Parliament.  A copy of the related media release is found at http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2017/6/14/stronger-workers-comp-protections-sought-for-black-lung-workers

The Bill proposes to amend the Electrical Safety Act 2002 to improve the rigour of the electrical licensing framework by:

  • allowing the electrical safety regulator to immediately suspend a person’s electrical work licence if the regulator forms a reasonable belief that the person may be responsible for electrical work that has caused a death or grievous bodily harm or have otherwise carried out electrical work that poses an imminent serious risk to the health or safety of any person.
  • allowing the electrical safety regulator to obtain further information from a third party, for example, a registered training organisation, about the competency of an electrical work licence applicant as part of making a determination about granting a licence.
  • allowing the Electrical Licensing Committee to direct an electrical work licence holder to undertake a competency reassessment where there are reasonable grounds to believe the licence holder may not be competent.

The Bill has been referred to the relevant Parliamentary Committee for consideration before being debated in Parliament. A copy is available at the following link: https://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/Bills/55PDF/2017/B17_0033_Workers-_Compensation_and_Rehabilitation_(Coal_Workers-_Pneumoconiosis)_and_Other_Legislation_Amendment_Bill_2017.pdf .

The explanatory notes are available at: https://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/Bills/55PDF/2017/B17_0033_Workers-_Compensation_and_Rehabilitation_(Coal_Workers-_Pneumoconiosis)_and_Other_Legislation_Amendment_Bill_2017E.pdf  and the explanatory speech at http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/documents/tableOffice/BillMaterial/170614/Workers.pdf

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