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Review of the WHS Regulator

Under Schedule 2, Part 2 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2012, the WorkCover Tasmania Board is required to monitor and review the Regulator in connection with the exercise of powers and the performance of functions under the Act.

Accordingly, in 2018, the Board appointed Sherriff Consulting to conduct an independent Review of the Work Health and Safety Regulator.

In December 2018, Sherriff Consulting finalised the Report to the WorkCover Tasmania Board: Review of the Work Health and Safety Regulator (the Report) provided in the below attachment.

The Report makes 46 recommendations in the following areas:

1. Enabling factors – capability and capacity (recommendations 1-26);

2. Board monitoring and review (for example, regulator reporting) (recommendations 27 and 28);

3. Regulator strategy and plans (recommendations 29 and 30);

4. Regulator activities not involving Inspectorate activities (recommendations 31-37); and

5. Specific areas:

a. Licensing and Accreditation (recommendations 38 and 39); and

b. Mines Inspectorate (recommendations 40-46).

Of the 46 recommendations, the Board supports 21; notes that 23 are operational matters for the Regulator; and notes that two are matters for the Government. The Board’s response to each recommendation is provided in the below attachment.

While many of the recommendations have been actioned by the Regulator or are currently being actioned, the full implementation of the Report will require action in the short, medium and long term.

Scope of review

The review covered all functions specified under the Work Health and Safety Act 2012 and Regulations 2012 undertaken by WorkSafe Tasmania Inspectorate (all authorised inspectors activities within scope) and WorkSafe Tasmania in its capacity as the Regulator.

It included, but was not limited to:

  • assessing all compliance and enforcement activities performed by inspectors in line with the national Compliance and Enforcement Policy
  • assessing the effectiveness of the powers and legislative tools provided under the Act.

Business units within scope were the Inspectorate, the Mines Inspectorate, Licencing and Accreditation, and the Office of CEO (Regulator).

The review’s activities included:

  • consulting with stakeholders for their input into the review
  • assessing the activities undertaken against the objectives of the Act
  • assessing the effectiveness of the legislative tools provided to the Regulator and Inspectors under the Act
  • assessing the activities undertaken against those performed by other similar jurisdictions
  • identifying opportunities for improvement and make recommendation on actions to be undertaken relating to improving the Regulator’s effectiveness, the legislative tools available to the Regulator/Inspectors, the strategic management of the general Inspectorate, and the Board’s role in monitoring the Regulator.

The Board's response

The WorkCover Tasmania Board agreed to release the Report to the WorkCover Tasmania Board: Review of the Work Health and Safety Regulator (the Report).

See the full Report to the WorkCover Tasmania Board Review of the Work Health and Safety Regulator (Dec 2018) (PDF, 411.7 KB).

See the WorkCover Tasmania Board's response to the Sherriff Review recommendations (PDF, 105.4 KB).

This report should be read as a whole, to ensure that specific issues are understood in the overall context and that the interdependency of the recommendations is appreciated. The context within which gaps and opportunities for improvement have been identified should be borne in mind when considering the detail in this report.

Updated: 11th December 2019