Proposed NSW legislation designed to ‘harmonize’ state and federal occupational health and safety law has passed the state’s parliament after the government compromised on a number of changes.


The NSW government, which hoped to give all employers immunity from prosecution by unions and the state Industrial Relations committee, caved to demands by the state Greens, unions and the Hunters and Fishers party to see partial right to prosecute over the most severe cases, such as workplace deaths, serious injury or illness.


The unions have the right to pursue litigation and prosecution that can result in jail sentences or fines up to $3 million.


The Industrial Relations Committee will also maintain its authority to pursue punishment over the least serious offences, with District and Supreme courts to handle more serious allegations and offences.