There is no legislated minimum space for office accommodation - but there is guidance material available. However, don't forget that under Section 21 of the OHS Act the employer must provide a for employees a 'working environment that is safe and without risks to health'.
Advice on how offices should be set up, and how much space there should be can be found in:
- The Compliance Code for Workplace amenities and work environment has advice on workspace generally and also access, aisles and passageways (Sections 114 - 121).
- Officewise - guidelines for OHS in offices which cover all sorts of things: Section 4 addresses Office layout, workstations and equipment. The advice for floor space, following 'building block' approach, is 6 square metres per person for 'tertiary' space - space required in a workstation to accommodate a desk, chair, drawers, filing cabinet, etc. It also refers to an Australian Standard, which recommends an overall (including primary, secondary and tertiary space - ie meeting rooms, corridors, etc as well as work station) of 10 square metres per person in offices. This standard relates to the ventilation of the building. (note: this publication has been picked up by all of the Australian OHS Authorities)
Both of these publications are available free from WorkSafe - call (03) 9641 1333 (The Compliance Code is only available through the WorkSafe website at the moment).
There are also a number of relevant Australian Standards - but these provide guidelines only, as they are not 'called up' in any regulations - for example:
- AS/NZS 4443: 1997 Office panel systems - Workstations
- AS/NZS 4442: 1997 Office desks
Additionally, see Australian Standard 1668.2-2002 - The use of ventilation and air conditioning in buildings .
Last amended November 2016