Guide to the Model WHS Act – Introduction

Introduction to the Guide

This guide provides an overview of the Work Health and Safety Act (WHS Act). It is designed to help people generally understand their health and safety duties and rights at work…

It is not intended to be read in place of the WHS Act. To assist readers cross-references to specific sections of the WHS Act are provided after each heading.”

The Guide, see here for Disclaimer and Copyright information.

Nationally Harmonised WHS Laws

The WHS Act like that of most other jurisdictions is based on the ‘model’ WHS Act developed by Safe Work Australia.

The aim is to provide all workers in Australia with the same standard of health and safety protection regardless of the work they do or where they work.

A stronger national approach means greater certainty for businesses (particularly those operating across state borders) and over time reduced compliance costs for business.

More consultation between businesses, workers and their representatives, along with clearer responsibilities will make workplaces safer for everyone.

The harmonised work health and safety laws apply in the majority of jurisdictions. For more information about whether they apply in your jurisdiction check with your local regulator.”

Purpose of the WHS Act (section 3)

The WHS Act provides a framework to protect the health, safety and welfare of all workers at work and of other people who might be affected by the work. The WHS Act aims to:

  • protect the health and safety of workers and other people by eliminating or minimising risks arising from work or workplaces
  • ensure fair and effective representation, consultation and cooperation to address and resolve health and safety issues in the workplace
  • encourage unions and employer organisations to take a constructive role in improving work health and safety practices
  • assisting businesses and workers to achieve a healthier and safer working environment
  • promote information, education and training on work health and safety
  • provide effective compliance and enforcement measures, and
  • deliver continuous improvement and progressively higher standards of work health and safety.”

In furthering these aims regard must be had to the principle that workers and other persons should be given the highest level of protection against harm to their health, safety and welfare from hazards and risks arising from work as is reasonably practicable.

For these purposes ‘health’ includes psychological health as well as physical health.

Safety Artisan Instructional Videos cover most of these Topics – follow the ‘WHS Page’ Link, below:

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Snapshot – Australian WHS

A snapshot: What is the Australian Work Health and Safety Act?

Nationally harmonised work health and safety laws

The WHS Act like that of most other jurisdictions is based on the ‘model’ WHS Act developed by Safe Work Australia. The aim is to provide all workers in Australia with the same standard of health and safety protection regardless of the work they do or where they work. A stronger national approach means greater certainty for businesses (particularly those operating across state borders) and over time reduced compliance costs for business. More consultation between businesses, workers and their representatives, along with clearer responsibilities will make workplaces safer for everyone. The harmonised work health and safety laws apply in the majority of jurisdictions. For more information about whether they apply in your jurisdiction check with your local regulator.

GUIDE TO THE MODEL WORK HEALTH AND SAFETY ACT, March 2016, ISBN 978-0-642-78409-4

Goodbye!

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