Work Health and Safety harmonisation continues with more states
expected to commence their legislation in 2013. Further Codes of
Practice will also be published later this year and in 2013.
The jurisdictions which commenced the new Work Health and
Safety Act 2011 (or equivalent) ("WHS
Act") on 1 January 2012 are:
Australian Capital Territory;
New South Wales;
Northern Territory; and
The jurisdictions which are expected to commence the new WHS Act
on 1 January 2013 are:
Codes of Practice
The following Codes of Practice are approved by Safe Work
Australia and have been in effect since January 2012:
How to Manage Work Health and Safety Risks;
Hazardous Manual Tasks;
Managing the Risk of Falls at Workplaces;
Labelling of Workplace Hazardous Chemicals;
Preparation of Safety Data Sheets for Hazardous Chemicals;
Managing Noise and Preventing Hearing Loss at Work;
Managing the Work Environment and Facilities;
Work Health and Safety Consultation Cooperation and
How to Safely Remove Asbestos; and
How to Manage and Control Asbestos in the Workplace.
The remaining second-stage Codes of Practice have recently taken
First Aid in the Workplace;
Preventing Falls in Housing Construction;
Managing the Risks of Plant in the Workplace;
Managing Risks of Hazardous Chemicals in the Workplace;
Safe Design of Structures;
Managing Electrical Risks in the Workplace;
Excavation Work; and
According to Safe Work Australia, the remaining two Codes of
Practice are in the final stages of editing and design and are
expected to be available for public consultation soon. They are as
Spray Painting and Powder Coating; and
Also, the Preventing and Managing Fatigue in the Workplace
and Preventing and Responding to Workplace Bullying draft
model Codes of Practice are currently being revised based on public
comment. They are expected to be finalised in the second half of
An approved Code of Practice is admissible in proceedings as
evidence of whether or not a duty under the WHS Act has been
complied with. The Court may have regard to a Code as evidence of
what is known about a hazard and rely on the Code in determining
what is reasonably practicable in the circumstances to which the
What should businesses do?
Businesses should continue to review their WHS management
systems to comply with the new legislation, regulations and
especially the new Codes of Practice.
Please contact us if we can assist you in any area of
employment law such as:
Misconduct and performance management
Dismissals and redundancies
Unfair dismissal applications
III and injured employees
Claims for employee entitlements
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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