New Workplace Health And Safety Codes Of Practice 2011

The following Work Place Health And Safety Codes of Practice 2011, approved under subsection 274(1) Work Health and Safety Act 2011, have been registered and commenced operation on 1 January 2012. The Codes have application to all bodies and persons having duties under both the Act and the Work Place Health and Safety Regulations 2011.

The Codes are intended to afford guidance in satisfying legislative and other obligations embodied in the Act and Regulations, and are admissible as evidence in proceedings under the Act and Regulations as evidence of what is known about a hazard, risk or control and what is reasonably practicable in the circumstances to which the Code relates. Codes of practice deal with particular issues and do not cover all hazards or risks that may arise.

Any persons bound by a duty of care under the Work and Safety Act and Regulations to manage and monitor risks to health and safety should look to the Codes for guidance in managing forseeable workplace risks.

Safe Work Australia have developed the Codes through a consultative process with Commowealth, State and Territory Governments, employer bodies and unions.

The following  Priority Codes of Practice have been identified by Safe Work Australia and Workplace Relations Ministers Council:-

  • Work Health and Safety Consultation, Co-operation and Co-ordination
  • How to Manage Work Health and Safety Risks
  • Managing the Work Environment and Facilities
  • Managing Noise and Preventing Hearing Loss at Work
  • Hazardous Manual Task
  • Confined Spaces
  • Managing Noise and Preventing Hearing Loss at Work
  • Hazardous Manual Tasks
  • Confined Spaces
  • Managing the Risk of Falls at Workplaces
  • Labelling of Workplace Hazardous Chemicals
  • Preparation of Safety Data Sheets for Hazardous Chemicals
  • How to Safely Remove Asbestos
  • How to Manage and Control Asbestos in the Workplace

Nationally harmonised  workplace health and safety laws are hoped to reduce inconsistencies across multiple jurisdictions. There are more Codes of Practice still in the process of development.

Having a nationally consistent framework for the management and removal of asbestos materials in workplaces, and the licensing and competencies for asbestos removalists and assessors are expected to result in better outcomes in the form of reduced risk of exposure and reduced risk to safety.

A binding obligation  on jurisdictions to adopt these National Standards and Codes of Practice will help reduce the differences existing between nine different jurisdictions, with a multitude of laws on workplace health and safety, each with differing regulatory bodies and structures and  inspectorate regimes. The model  Regulations and Codes of Practice have the potential to  simplify and streamline these differing processes.

Work health and safety legislation and Codes providing the best possible standards across Australia were seen as highly desirable by Unions.

Further information about the Model Codes of Practice can be located, including their purpose, can be located on the Safe Work Australia website.

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