WHSAC Communique May 2021

Functions of the Council

The Council is established under the Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act 2011 (the Act) to review the operation of the legislation and to make recommendations to the Minister on possible changes to the administration of the Act or standards of work health and safety in the Northern Territory.

The Council consists of persons representing employers and employees in industries such as construction, mining, resource, local government, entertainment / tourism, including union representation and the person constituting the Authority under the Work Health Administration Act 2011.

The Council was appointed in June 2020 for a two year period and includes five new members and five members who were reappointed from the previous Council. Membership and contact details are published on the NT WorkSafe website. Industries are encouraged to contact Council members to submit items regarding possible improvements to work health and safety across the Northern Territory.

The Work Health and Safety Advisory Council met on 24 May 2021.

The following items were discussed:

Update on the findings and recommendations from the Injured Workers and Families Forum Subcommittee

The Chair gave the council an update on the findings and recommendations made at the recent subcommittee meeting.

A letter to the Minister from the subcommittee was circulated to the council for their reference, and a further update will be given to the council at the next meeting.

NT WorkSafe update

Industrial Manslaughter (section 34B)

The Work Health Authority advised the Council that there was currently no information available from other Jurisdictions in relation to any active prosecutions underway, and that it would be difficult to obtain as these matters are highly sensitive until the matters are finalised.

The Work Health Authority will try and obtain any sentencing information available and present the Council with an update at the next meeting.


The Work Health Authority gave the Council an overview on the current prosecutions. Council also discussed a number of matters currently under investigation.

Mining and Agricultural site visits

The WHA advised the council that a technical compliance and assurance team was assembled this financial year and that one of their focuses will be programed work on this area.

High Risk Work Licences 2019/2020

There have been no high risk licences cancelled between 2019/2020

The Work Health Authority informed the Council that NT Work Safe were in the process of developing a five year strategic plan, and that it would be made available to present to the Council once all internal and external consulting was completed, as well as CEO and Minster approval. .

The Work Health Authority also gave the Council an update on the recent Work Health and Safety Meeting of Ministers and the 34 recommendations on the “Boland Review”.

Other business

The council discussed “trends” and what the most common injures in the work place were.

The council were director to the NT WorkSafe website where this information could be found.

Next Meeting

The next meeting is scheduled for 30 August 2021.