The model Work Health Safety Act

NSW, Qld, ACT and the NT enacted the model Work Health Safety Act and regulations which came into effect from 1 January 2012.

Tasmania deferred the legislation which commenced in that state from 1 January 2013.

Employers and industry groups in South Australia were strongly opposed to many of the model legislation provisions and as a result, the legislation which came into effect in South Australia from 1 January 2013 has some departures from the model law. These include to the extent of control, union right of entry, the right to silence, height work, safe work method statements and other issues.

Victoria has decided not to adopt the model Act and WA will not do so without changes to certain provisions. A draft Bill was introduced into the WA parliament in October 2014 which does not include the model Act provisions which allow HSRs to stop work, unions to enter workplaces with WHS entry permits and places the burden of proof on those accused of discriminatory conduct. It does include the model Act's maximum penalties.

Queensland introduced the model legislation but has subsequently reviewed its operation and made changes to right of entry and other provisions. Click here for a summary of these March 2014 legislative changes.

The legislation requires some significant changes to safety management and in particular has introduced new categories of duty holders and new obligations.

We explain what the work health and safety laws means for your workplace. We explain what action can be taken to minimise your risk and how to deal with problems that arise.

Do you need help making your workplace safe?

Have you been visited by a WorkCover inspector or union official about safety issues?

Our help, for business and organisations of any size, includes:

WHS Advice and Information

  • Explaining your responsibilities
  • Information and training to meet WHS obligations
  • Advising what to do when an accident happens
  • Giving guidance on accident investigation and prevention
  • Dealing with employee breaches of safety policy
  • Explaining the powers of WorkCover inspectors and union officials

WHS Consultancy Services

  • Drafting safety policies and procedures
  • Conducting safety audits of your workplace
  • Step-by-step instruction on consulting with employees and other duty holers
  • Advice and inspection of your workplace to deal in detail with WHS issues
  • AFEI Hotline available for speedy advice

WHS Training

We have an extensive range of safety training programs for employees, supervisors and employers.