- January, 2012 A new 'harmonised' regulatory package
The model Work Health and Safety Act and associated regulations and codes, many of these are now available online to download.
The Model Work Health and Safety Act as well as other related documents such as the Explanatory Memorandum and the Transitional Arrangements, can be accessed and downloaded from this page of the Safe Work Australia website. In addition, Safe Work Australia has published the first five (of a series) of 'interpretive guidelines' to assist in the interpretation of key concepts within the model Work Health and Safety Act. They are a formal statement on how state, territory and Commonwealth work health and safety regulators believe key concepts in the Model WHS Act operate and in doing so provide an indication of how the laws will be enforced. These guidelines (which can be downloaded) are:
- The meaning of 'person conducting a business or undertaking'
- The health and safety duty of an officer under section 27
- The meaning of 'reasonably practicable'
- Discriminatory, coercive or misleading conduct
- Workplace entry by work health and safety entry permit holders
WorkCover NSW has published a very useful wallchart 'Understanding the Work Health and Safety Act' [pdf]
The Model Work Health and Safety Regulations can be accessed and downloaded from of the Safe Work Australia website together with information and a Guide to the Regulations.
The harmonised Work Health and Safety Codes of Practice 2011 (Cth) were made available online in late 2011. The instrument 'enacts approved codes of practice providing practical guidance to duty holders on meeting their obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011'.
There were a number of WHS Codes of Practice identified and developed in various stages (1, 2, 3, and 4). Then in April 2014 the Select Council on Workplace Relations agreed to ask Safe Work Australia to review 12 draft model Codes of Practice to ensure they were "clear, concise and practical and that they took all sectors of business into account including small business, without compromising safety standards or imposing any further regulatory burden." The review has now been completed.
To access the most recent versions of the Codes, go to Safe Work Australia's Model Codes of Practice webpage.
Last amended June 2015