In brief - Businesses' safety procedures should reflect
On 1 April 2016, the 23 codes of practice made under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Cth)
were revoked and remade as separate instruments. As the codes are
admissible in court proceedings as evidence of whether or not a
duty or obligation under the WHS Act has been complied with,
businesses would be wise to ensure that their safety management
systems are up to date with these codes.
Minor revisions to seventeen of Safe Work Australia's codes
The codes of practice, developed by Safe Work Australia, are practical guides to
achieving the standards required under the WHS Act. The following
is a list of the 23 codes:
Codes may be used in court as evidence of non-compliance with
As the codes of practice have been revoked and remade under the
Commonwealth WHS Act, the remade codes apply to Commonwealth
authorities and to corporations licensed to self-insure under the
Comcare workers' compensation scheme. In addition, businesses
that contract to a Commonwealth authority and work at their
workplace may also be required to comply with the codes.
If an incident does occur on your worksite and a prosecution
results from the investigation, the codes will be admissible in
proceedings as evidence of whether or not a duty or obligation
under the WHS Act has been complied with.
The court may regard the codes as evidence of what is known
about a hazard or risk, risk assessment or risk control to which
the codes relate and may rely on the codes in determining what is
reasonably practicable in the circumstances to which the codes
An inspector can also refer to a code of practice when issuing
an improvement notice or prohibition notice.
States and territories expected to bring codes into line with
We expect that the states and territories will assess the
amended codes of practice and move to revoke and remake their codes
to align with the changes made at the Commonwealth level.
Ensuring that your safety management system is current with the
updated codes of practice will demonstrate that you are taking all
reasonably practicable steps to manage safety in your business.
An employee that refused a reasonable offer of settlement was ordered by the FWC to pay his ex-employer's legal costs.
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