A code of practice provides details on how to achieve the standards required under the work health and safety (WHS) legislation, by identifying hazards and managing risks.
Under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011
(WHS Act), codes of practice are admissible in court proceedings. Courts may regard a code of practice as evidence of what is known about a hazard, risk or control, and rely on it to determine what is reasonably practicable
in the circumstances. A person cannot be prosecuted for failing to comply with a code of practice.
A person with duties under the WHS Act can comply with their duties by following another method, such as a technical or industry standard, if it provides a standard of work health and safety equivalent to, or higher than, the code of practice.
An inspector can refer to an approved code of practice when issuing an improvement or prohibition notice and can offer the person to whom the notice is issued a choice of ways in which to remedy the contravention.
All the retained codes of practice
are available on this website.
The new WHS codes of practice
available from 1 January 2012 include:
The following twelve model codes of practice have been endorsed by Safe Work Australia Members and are provided as guidance material until approved by the Ministerial Council later in 2012:
- First aid in the workplace
- Managing risks in construction work
- Preventing falls in housing construction
- Managing electrical risks at the workplace
- Managing risks of hazardous chemicals
- Managing risks of plant in the workplace
- Safe design of structures
- Excavation work
- Demolition work
- Spray painting and powder coating
- Abrasive blasting
The above model codes of practice are available from Safe Work Australia. Please note the documents are located at the bottom of the web page.
Draft codes of practice for public comment
The public comment period for five new work health and safety model codes of practice will be open from Monday 2 April 2012 to Friday 22 June 2012. The codes released for public comment include:
- Safe design, manufacture, import and supply of plant
- Working in the vicinity of overhead and underground electrical lines
- Traffic management in workplaces
- Scaffolding work
- Formwork and falsework.
The codes are available from Safe Work Australia where feedback can be provided.
Future codes of practice or guidance material that will be released for public comment in mid 2012 include the following:
- safe access in tree trimming and arboriculture
- preventing and managing fatigue in the workplace
- preventing and responding to workplace bullying
- biological hazards.
Call 13 10 50 for more information about codes of practice.