What Is The Work Health And Safety Act 2011
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The Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 gives health and safety requirements for businesses to manage.Find out more about work health and safety,

Last reviewed: 4 Jul 2019 Last updated: 2 Apr 2020

Which WHS legislation do most states work within?

The Model Law: Work Health and Safety Act 2011 – Most states and territories are now governed by the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, which is the model law that “forms the basis of the WHS Acts that have been implemented in most jurisdictions across Australia.” The model law aims to provide for a balanced and nationally consistent framework to secure the health and safety of workers and workplaces.

Australian Capital Territory New South Wales Northern Territory Queensland South Australia Tasmania The Commonwealth

In 2020, Western Australia voted to adopt the WHS Act 2011 and replace the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 with the Work Health and Safety Act 2020 (WA), The law was assented November 2021 and came into effect on 31 March 2022. In 2021, Victoria enforced Occupational Health and Safety and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2021 after it was given royal assent in September.

What is the WHS Act applicable to the Australian Capital Territory?

WorkSafe ACT – WorkSafe ACT is the WHS regulator for the state, administering acts and regulations related to WHS. These are the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, Scaffolding and Lifts Act 1912, Machinery Act 1949, Dangerous Goods (Road Transport Act) 2009, Dangerous Substances Act 2004, Workers Compensation Act 1951, Long Service Leave Act 1976, and Fuels Rationing Act 2019,

What are the five key levels of the hierarchy of controls?

The Hierarchy of Controls,

NIOSH defines five rungs of the Hierarchy of Controls: elimination, substitution, engineering controls, administrative controls and personal protective equipment. The hierarchy is arranged beginning with the most effective controls and proceeds to the least effective. Although eliminating the hazard is the ultimate goal, it can be difficult and is not always possible. NIOSH’s Prevention through Design Initiative comprises “all of the efforts to anticipate and design out hazards to workers in facilities, work methods and operations, processes, equipment, tools, products, new technologies, and the organization of work.”

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A hazardous substance splashes onto a chemical plant operator taking a sample. The worker is not seriously injured, and the ensuing investigation focuses on training, personal protective equipment and the particulars of the sampling station. But did anyone ever ask whether the worker needed to take the sample at all? Identifying and mitigating exposures to occupational hazards before work begins is the objective of all safety and health professionals.

Elimination – Physically remove the hazard Substitution – Replace the hazard Engineering controls – Isolate people from the hazard Administrative controls – Change the way people work Personal protective equipment – Protect the worker with PPE

“You can’t eliminate every hazard, but the closer you can get to the top, the closer you can reach that ideal and make people healthier and safer,” said Jonathan Bach, director of NIOSH’s Prevention through Design Initiative.

What is the Work health and safety Regulations 2012 SA?

Safety legislation The (SA) provides for the safety, health and welfare of persons employed or engaged in industry in South Australia. The Act together with the (SA) set up health and safety duties to provide protections from hazards and risks in the workplace.

The duties fall not only on the persons running a business and their officers, but also on individual workers, It is a criminal offence to breach work health and safety duties. Maximum penalties range from $500 000 to $3 million dollars for corporations, and from $50 000 to $600 000 for individuals,

Penalties can also include imprisonment of up to 5 years for individuals if the offence is considered reckless conduct, The Work Health and Safety Act is enforced by the regulator,, SafeWork SA has powers to enter workplaces, obtain search, and various powers related to the seizure of documents and other evidence,

Safework SA Inspectors can issue infringement, improvement, non-disturbance and prohibition orders, SafeWork SA can also accept enforceable, for example that a breach of workplace safety will be rectified, Decisions of inspectors can be reviewed, provide guidance as to what measures should be taken by employers to prevent work place injury,

The Act also establishes a system of worker representation through Health and Safety Representatives and Committees, Under the Act union officials can gain a right of entry to a workplace when there is a suspected breach of work health and safety laws,

  • This is to consult with workers and check records.
  • There are however, penalties for misuse of this right of entry.
  • The coronavirus (COVD-19) pandemic has created significant challenges to all parties with duties and obligations under existing work, health and safety (WHS) laws.
  • For practical guidance on identifying, and managing COVID-19 related risks in the South Australian workplace, please see the,
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See also the Fair Work Ombudsman’s regularly updated resource on ‘’.

  • For further information, copies of the Codes of Practice, and fact sheets see,
  • For information about workplace health and safety and worker’s compensation across Australia visit,
  • Bullying

Workplace bullying (repeated unreasonable behaviour towards a worker which creates a risk to the worker’s health and safety) is covered by the Work Health and Safety Act 2012 (SA). can investigate complaints of bullying. Additionally the Fair Work Commission has power to deal with work place bullying, see the website for more information on this process:, See also:

Which is the current WHS Act relevant to Australia?

Workers Obligations ‍ – Workers are also duty bound to ensure WHS laws and procedures are adhered to, at their respective workplaces, They should know that their actions can impact the effectiveness or WHS or otherwise. In any case, workers should:

  • Not be reckless in their duties
  • Not intentionally misuse or interfere with substances or processes related to their work
  • Ensure they look after their personal health and safety
  • Ensure they consider their actions and how it can affect the health and safety of others.
  • Notify their employers of the possibility or existance of any hazard, risk or health/safety concern relating to them, their task or the workplace.
  • Always co-operate with their employer as permissible by law to facilitate the success of WHS

Which WHS legislation do most states work within Australia?

Model WHS Act – The  model WHS Act  forms the basis of the WHS Acts that have been implemented in most jurisdictions across Australia. The main object of the Act is to provide for a balanced and nationally consistent framework to secure the health and safety of workers and workplaces. It does this by:

protecting workers and other persons from harm by requiring duty holders to eliminate or minimise risk providing for fair and effective representation, consultation and cooperation encouraging unions and employer organisations to take a constructive role in promoting improvements in WHS practices promoting the provision of advice, information, education and training for WHS securing compliance with the Act through effective and appropriate compliance and enforcement measures ensuring appropriate scrutiny and review of actions taken by persons with powers or functions under the Act providing a framework for continuous improvement maintaining and strengthening national harmonisation of WHS laws and facilitating a consistent national approach to WHS.

Safe Work Australia has published additional documents that complement the model WHS Act:

The explanatory memorandum to the model WHS Act explains how the Act operates. The Guide to the model WHS Act also provides an overview of the WHS Act and will help you understand health and safety duties at work.

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Is WHS legislation the same in all Australian states?

We are responsible for the Commonwealth’s  Work Health and Safety Act 2011  (WHS Act). The WHS Act applies to the Commonwealth, public authorities and a small number of companies (non-Commonwealth licensees). Work health and safety (WHS) law in Australia is legislated and regulated separately by each of Australia’s state, territory, and Commonwealth jurisdictions.

WHS laws are largely harmonised across the jurisdictions through a set of uniform laws (the model WHS laws). All jurisdictions other than Victoria have adopted the model WHS laws. Victoria has similar duties and responsibilities under its  Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004  (Vic). The Commonwealth works closely with the states and territories through Safe Work Australia to develop and maintain the model WHS laws.

The model WHS laws are comprised of the model Work Health and Safety Act, model Regulations and model Codes of Practice. State and territory WHS regulators are each responsible for enforcing and regulating their jurisdiction’s WHS laws. In the Commonwealth jurisdiction, the regulator is  Comcare,

What WHS legislation and regulations are applicable to your state or territory nsw?

WHS in New South Wales is governed by the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

Which states in Australia have separate WHS laws?

WHS Laws in Australia — Screen Safe Australia In Australia WHS is a State, not a Federal, government responsibility – so WHS compliance is made more complicated because each State and Territory has its own WHS laws. To deal with this, the Federal government passed the Work Health and Safety Act (Cth) in 2011, with the intention that each State would use it as a model for their own laws, thus harmonising the system across Australia.

  1. In 2012, laws reflecting the Federal legislation were passed by New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory.
  2. Victoria and Western Australia retain their own systems; however they share the same basic general principles.
  3. Discussion of WHS law in this Manual will be based on the model Federal legislation as enacted by the majority of States.

The assumption is made that compliance with the model legislation will generally ensure compliance with Victorian or WA legislation, except where specifically notified.

Each State has the following framework of WHS laws:(a) an Act, to outline broad responsibilities, duties, offences, process and enforcement measures;(b) Regulations to set out specific requirements for particular hazards and risks;(c) Codes of Practice to provide information on specific issues relating to meeting WHS requirements (eg confined spaces, noise); and(d) establishment of a Regulating Agency to administer the laws, inspect workplaces, provide advice, enforce laws and impose penalties for breaches.

: WHS Laws in Australia — Screen Safe Australia