The draft model Regulations are designed to complement the model
Workplace Health and Safety Act and are certainly more
comprehensive than those in force in any jurisdiction at present
and comprise 550 pages of regulations including matters relating
Representation and participation
General workplace management
Plant and structure
Licensing of asbestos removalists and assessors
Major hazard facilities.
There is a chapter relating to Mines (except coal) that is still
under consideration at this time.
Draft Codes of Practice
Twelve Codes of Practice have been released for public comment.
More are planned to be released as they are finalised.
The Codes are designed to be mandatory instructions, unless
another method of work provides an equivalent or higher standard of
care. However in this respect, the onus will be on the person
undertaking the business or undertaking to be in a position to
establish such a fact.
There are three Codes designed to be applicable to all
How to manage work health & safety risks
How to consult on work health & safety
Managing the work environment and facilities.
An additional nine Codes have been released for specific
Facilities for construction sites
Managing noise and preventing hearing loss at work
Hazardous manual tasks
How to manage and control asbestos in the workplace
How to prevent falls at workplaces
How to safely remove asbestos
Labelling of workplace hazardous Chemicals
Preparation of safety data sheets for hazardous chemicals.
In some respects, the Codes adopt the elements of Australian
Standards. However, there are areas where the Codes are different
and in the submissions lodged to date, there has been particular
interest in the apparent tension between some Australian Standards
and the draft Codes.
However, as the draft Codes are intended to be mandatory in
their application to work methods, it is imperative that any person
working in the work activities to which they will be applied take
the time to review the draft Codes and, if appropriate, provide
comment on any aspect.
Lodgement of submissions
Public comments can be lodged on the Safe Work Australia website
and can be made privately if necessary. We can assist clients with
After consideration of any public submissions, Safe Work
Australia will meet and finalise the model Act, Regulations and
Codes in June 2011.
Each jurisdiction will then have six months to finalise the
exact wording of the Act, Regulations and Codes before the
commencement date of 1 January 2012.
Therefore, there will be a very short timeframe for all persons
conducting a business or undertaking to implement management
systems to comply with the new framework.
Businesses should be presently working to ensure they have
adequate resources to undertake this process as there seems to be
no suggestion of a moratorium on the implementation of most of the
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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