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Independent News For The Australian Public Service
Edition Number 399. Updated Tuesday, 04 March 2014

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Building industry OHS Scheme to be updated

The Department of Employment has issued a discussion paper covering a review of the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner and the Australian Government Building and Construction OHS Accreditation Scheme.

According to the Department, the scope of the review will be to modernise and streamline the scheme without reducing safety outcomes.

The Australian Government Building and Construction OHS Accreditation Scheme has been in operation since 2006.

It came out of the Cole Royal Commission into the Building and Construction Industry established in 2003, which found that the safety record for the industry was unacceptable.

Discussion paper issued

According to the discussion paper, the review will examine a number of aspects of the scheme, such as improving accessibility, reducing red tape and harmonising processes.

It will also look at eliminating duplication, increasing effectiveness and consistency, implementing risk-based approaches and better leveraging

educational benefits arising from the scheme.

The impact on smaller businesses and projects will be examined, including the costs of complying with the scheme, and the cost of seeking and maintaining accreditation.

It will look at extending the period of accreditation for businesses with a good audit history and the capacity of smaller businesses to achieve accreditation.

In addition, it will examine the suitability of current funding threshold limits applying to building work covered by the scheme, and the process for selecting and appointing Federal Safety Officers to ensure any potential for conflict of interest is appropriately managed.

The discussion paper for the review is available at this PS News link.

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