Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission

Occupational Safety and Health Tribunal

 

What is the Occupational Safety and Health Tribunal?

The Occupational Safety and Health Tribunal (the Tribunal) was set up in 2005 to assist in the resolution of some workplace safety and health issues under Western Australia's occupational safety and health laws.

Changes to the state's occupational safety and health laws in 2004 established the Tribunal within the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission. The Tribunal deals with certain issues that may be referred under these three laws:

  • Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984;
  • Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994; and
  • Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1982.
 

What claims can be referred to the Tribunal?

The claims that may be referred to the Tribunal vary between the three laws. They do have similarities in that all of the matters that may be referred relate to occupational health and safety at Western Australian workplaces.

A summary of the claims from the three laws that may be referred are listed in the following documents:

Schedule 1 - Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984
Schedule 2 - Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994
Schedule 3 - Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1982


Claims that may be referred to the Tribunal are not "industrial matters" as described in the Industrial Relations Act 1979.

Who can refer matters to the Tribunal?

A range of persons from WA workplaces may refer issues to the Tribunal under specific sections of the laws applying to the Tribunal.

It is important to note that the person(s) able to refer matters vary from section to section. Check the schedules.

Persons who may be able to refer matters to the Tribunal include:

  • employers;
  • employees;
  • contractors;
  • workplace health and safety representatives;
  • contractors/sub-contractors;
  • member(s) of workplace health and safety committees;
  • a member of a designated work group;
  • the Mine Manager;
  • the WorkSafe Western Australia Commissioner; and
  • the State Mining Engineer.

What authority does the Tribunal have?

The Tribunal is to assist the parties to reach agreement. If the dispute or difference(s) of view cannot be resolved the claims may be decided by the Tribunal. This should be considered as a last resort. The decision the Tribunal is able to make is dependent on the claim referred. For example, under certain sections compensation may be ordered.

 

How does the Tribunal operate

The Tribunal is required to:

  • proceed as quickly as possible;
  • consider matters according to equity, good conscience and the substantial merits of the case without regard to technicalities or legal form;
  • have regard to the interests of the persons immediately concerned, whether directly affected or not; and
  • have regard, where appropriate, for the interests of the community as a whole.

What is conciliation?

Conciliation is an informal meeting between the parties chaired by the Tribunal and is available in many (but not all) claims referred to the Tribunal. As an example, see s 51J(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984. The three laws require some claims that are referred to the Tribunal to proceed straight to a formal hearing and determination of the issue.

How does the Tribunal decide disputes or differences which cannot be resolved?

In such matters the Tribunal determines the claim having heard evidence and submissions from the parties. It is more formal than conciliation and persons can appear before the Tribunal without representation. This may involve a visit by the Tribunal to the workplace.

Decisions of the Tribunal may be appealed to the Full Bench of the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission.



Lodging your Form 6

You may use the Commission’s online lodgment system to lodge your Form 6

Alternatively, you may lodge your completed referral, along with any relevant attachments, in any of the following ways:

  • in person at the Commission’s Registry, located at Level 17, 111 St Georges Terrace, Perth WA 6000; or
  • by post to Locked Bag No. 1, Cloisters Square, Perth WA 6850; or
  • by facsimile to (08) 9420 4500; or
  • by email to Registry.
 

Where is the Tribunal?

The Tribunal is located at the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission, Level 17, 111 St Georges Terrace, Perth, WA 6000. The Tribunal may also hear matters, subject to the availability of the parties, in country towns and regional locations.

Address:
17th Floor, 111 St Georges Terrace
Perth WA 6000

Phone: 9420 4444
Facsimile: 9420 4500
Freecall: 1800 624 263
Freefax: 1800 804 987


NOTE:
From time to time the laws applicable to the Tribunal may change.
While the information will usually be reflected on the website it is your responsibility to check the relevant law.

 

 

Contact Us

Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission
17th Floor
111 St Georges Terrace
PERTH WA 6000

Phone : (08) 9420 4444
Facsimile : (08) 9420 4500
Free Call : 1800 624 263

Free Fax :1800 804 987

Email : Registry

 

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