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Model work health and safety Act

Source: Safe Work Australia

On 11 December 2009, the Workplace Relations Ministers' Council endorsed the Model Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act.

The model WHS Act endorsed by Ministers was submitted by Safe Work Australia and incorporated a number of amendments proposed as a result of consideration by Safe Work Australia, input from the Parliamentary Counsel's Committee and public comment.

Download the model WHS Act:

Model Work Health and Safety Act - revised 23 June 2011

This current version of the model Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act incorporates technical amendments made since November 2010. A list of corrections to the WHS Act and changes to jurisdictional notes has also been made available.

Explanatory Memorandum

At the Safe Work Australia Members' meeting of 2 December 2010, Members agreed to the Explanatory Memorandum to the Act

Transitional Principles for Implementing the model WHS Act

Safe Work Australia has developed transitional principles that set out how arrangements under existing work health and safety (WHS) legislation are intended to transition to the new system. This will ensure a co-ordinated approach is taken to implementation following commencement of the model WHS Act, and that so far as possible all jurisdictions adopt harmonised transitional arrangements.

Model Work Health and Safety Act - revised 26 November 2010

This version of the model Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act incorporates technical amendments as noted by Safe Work Australia Members at the Members' meeting of 2 December 2010.

Model Work Health and Safety Act - revised 11 May 2010

This version of the model Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act incorporated technical and drafting amendments to the draft endorsed by Workplace Relations Ministers Council. This version was approved by Safe Work Australia on 29 April 2010.

Model Work Health and Safety Act - 11 December 2009

On 11 December 2009 the Workplace Relations Ministers' Council (WRMC) endorsed the model Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act subject to any further agreed technical and drafting amendments between the Parliamentary Counsel's Committee (PCC) and Safe Work Australia.

Decision Regulation Impact Statement for a Model Work Health and Safety Act

The Australian Government has identified work health and safety as a priority area for reform. One of the key elements of the reform agenda is harmonisation - moving towards one set of work health and safety laws.

The harmonisation of work health and safety laws aims to reduce the incidence of death, injury and disease across Australia.

Currently all states and territories are responsible for making and enforcing their own work health and safety laws. Although these draw on a similar approach for regulating workplaces, there are some differences in the application and detail of the laws.

Safe Work Australia is responsible for developing model work health and safety laws. The model work health and safety laws will consist of the model WHS Act, supported by model WHS Regulations and model Codes of Practice that can be readily adopted around Australia. This requires each state and territory to pass their own laws that mirror the model work health and safety laws and adopt them by December 2011.

Further information can be found on the frequently asked questions page.

Model Work Health and Safety Act Public Comment Period 2009

On 25 September 2009, WRMC agreed to release an exposure draft of the Model Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act and key administrative Regulations for a six week public comment period.

A total of 480 submissions were received during the public comment period. An analysis of the submissions informed the amendment of the model WHS Act.

View public submissions

Read the Communique 9 December 2009

Exposure draft - model WHS Act - September 2009

(Note: An amended version of this draft will be progressed to the WRMC on 11 December 2009.)

Exposure draft - key administrative Regulations - September 2009

(Note: An amended version of this draft will be progressed to the WRMC on 11 December 2009.)

Please direct enquiries to: model.legislation@safeworkaustralia.gov.au

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