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WHS in the Workplace

Australia work health and safety harmonsiation picWHS (Work Health and Safety) is Australia’s new Occupational Health and Safety acronym aligning each state and territories work health and safety responsibilities closer than ever before. With most state and territories already governed by the new WHS act, we are seeing a more harmonised system in place that’s easier to understand with laws easier to follow where ever you are in Australia. The harmonisation of the WHS laws is part of the Council of Australian Governments’ National Reform Agenda aimed at reducing the regulatory burden and creating a seamless economy. With Australia coming to grips with having a single harmonised health and safety act and, it is important for all states and territories to understand the differences in the new Laws in place (or coming into) compared to the old Laws of each state and territory. Click the links below to view The WHS Act and Regulation guide and explanatory documents provided by Work Safe Australia.  

National Work Health and Safety Act and Regulations, Are you ready?

The WHS Act and WHS Regulations came into effect on 1 January 2012 with New South Wales, Queensland, the Australian Capital Territory, the Commonwealth and the Northern Territory taking them on. The WHS laws passed in Tasmania and South Australia with a commencement date of 1 January 2013.

Since 2008 Australian Governments formally committed to the harmonisation of Work Health and Safety laws in Australia by finalising the Intergovernmental Agreement for Regulatory and Operational Reform in Occupational Health and Safety (IGA).

Safe Work Australia is the national policy body responsible for the development and evaluation of the model Work Health and Safety Laws. However, the Commonwealth, states and territories are responsible for enforcing the Work Health and Safety Laws in their jurisdictions.

Australia's National WHS Legislation

Jurisdiction WHS Legislation in place WHS Legislation passed WHS Legislation not yet passed Notes

Commonwealth

 

  • Yes
    Commenced 1st January 2012.
Australian Capital Territory
  • Yes
    Commenced 1st January 2012.
New South Wales
  • Yes
    Commenced 1st January 2012.
Northern Territory
  • Yes
    Commenced 1st January 2012.
Queensland
  • Yes
    Commenced 1st January 2012.
South Australia                                                                                                         
  • Yes
    Commenced 1st January 2012.
Tasmania
  • Yes
    Commenced 1st January 2012.
Victoria    
  • Yes
The Victorian Government announced it would delay harmonisation.
Western Australia        
  • Yes
WorkSafe WA has engaged Marsden Jacob Associates to facilitate public comment on the model Work Health and Safety Legislation for WA.

 

More information at - safeworkaustralia.gov.au.

WHS at a glance - WHS at a glance 

Backgroud to WHS harmonisation - SafeWork Australia