Work health and safety reforms pass Parliament

06 June 2024

Significant reforms to South Australia’s work health and safety system are set to become law after passing State Parliament this week.

The Work Health and Safety (Review Recommendations) Amendment Bill 2024 makes important changes to health and safety laws following recommendations of the Independent Review of SafeWork SA released last year.

Important reforms introduced as part of this Bill include:

  • Codifying the SafeWork SA Advisory Committee, a tripartite body including a broad cross-section of stakeholders to advise SafeWork SA and the Government on ways to improve work health and safety.
  • Reforming confidentiality rules to allow more information to be shared with certain parties. This will enable SafeWork SA to share more information with family members who have lost a loved one to a workplace incident.
  • Giving the state’s independent industrial umpire – the South Australian Employment Tribunal (SAET) – a greater role in helping settle workplace disputes about health and safety issues, with a priority on alternative dispute resolution processes such as conciliation and mediation.

Changes to SAET’s dispute resolution powers in the Bill are closely modelled on similar amendments made to Queensland’s WHS laws in 2017, which have now operated successfully for nearly 7 years.

This Bill follows an extensive period of consultation over 18 months between the Government and stakeholders including industry associations, trade unions, and representatives of victims and their families.

Attribute quotes to SafeWork SA Executive Director Glenn Farrell


These reforms are aimed to enhance compliance with WHS laws in South Australia and strengthen interactions between SafeWork SA and our stakeholders.


Our ability to share more information is a huge step forward and will allow us to provide families with a greater understanding of the circumstances of a fatal incident and to explain in more detail the actions we took during our investigations.


Other parties will also be able to seek additional information to enable us to better fulfill our functions as a regulatory authority.