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Codes of practice 

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:

Model codes of practice agreed by the Select Council on Workplace Relations are provided as guidance material until gazetted in NSW:

The above model codes of practice are available from Safe Work Australia.

Draft codes of practice


A number of draft model codes of practice are in the process of being finalised and are provided as guidance material until approved:

  • Working in the vicinity of overhead and underground electric lines
  • Safe design manufacture import and supply of plant
  • Amusement devices
  • Scaffolds and scaffolding work
  • Tree trimming and removal work – crane access method
  • Industrial lift trucks
  • Formwork and falsework
  • Managing risks of plant in rural workplaces
  • Cranes
  • Managing risks in forestry operation
  • Managing cash in transit security risks
  • Traffic management in workplaces

The draft model codes are available from Safe Work Australia.

Call 13 10 50 for more information about codes of practice.