Campaign informs workers of new OHS rights

Australian unions have launched a campaign to inform workers about new harmonised occupational health and safety laws.

A system of standardised OHS laws came into effect on Sunday in most states and territories.

The Victorian and West Australian governments have resisted the move towards uniform system, although the federal government has given them 12 months to implement the laws.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions said workers needed to understand they had enhanced rights to elect their own health and safety representatives.

“Workers need to know that when they are confronted by a health or safety issue in their workplace, they don’t have to deal with it alone,” ACTU assistant secretary Michael Borowick said.

“They have rights to stop work and demand improvements when there are health or safety concerns.

“They have an iron-clad right, under law, to elect their own health and safety representatives.”

Unions will be distributing material about the new laws under their Speak Up campaign around the country.

They have also launched a new website at as a hub of information about common health and safety issues and worker and employer rights and obligations.

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