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WHS transitional arrangements 


Various transitional arrangements have been put in place in NSW to support businesses, industry and workers to implement the work health and safety (WHS) laws. These arrangements commenced on 1 January 2012 and depending on the provision, have either expired or are in various stages of progresssion.   

Summary of current transitional provisions

  • By 1 July 2013 – only licensed asbestos assessors can issue clearance certificates or conduct air monitoring for friable asbestos removal work.
  • By 1 January 2015 – compression of three boiler operation high risk work licence classes to two.
  • By 1 January 2014 – design registration for prefabricated formwork.  This transitional has expired awaiting Safe Work Australia's changes to the model Regulations.   
  • By 1 January 2014 – transition of duties concerning the design of plant and substances from the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2001 (OHS Act) to the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act) for designs commenced before 1 January 2012.
  • By 1 January 2014 – major hazard facility safety cases must comply with clause 560 Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (WHS Regulation).
  • By 1 July 2015 – introduction of reach stacker high risk work licence. Non-slewing mobile crane (CN class) is required for the operation of a reach stacker in the interim period.
  • By 1 January 2015 – new notification requirements for the storage of dangerous goods.
  • By 1 July 2015 – new renewal requirements for plant item registrations.   
  • By 1 January 2017 – classification and labelling of hazardous chemicals in compliance with the Globally Harmonised System (GHS). In the interim, compliance with the relevant requirements of the Australian code for the transport of dangerous goods by road and rail  and the Approved criteria for classifying hazardous substances [NOHSC: 1008(2004)] is required.
  • Existing notifications of carcinogens are valid as an authorisation until their five year expiry.
  • Continuing specific arrangements for mine and coal mine workplaces including registration of mining plant, notification of electrical work on energised electrical equipment. 

Recent exemptions to the WHS Regulation 2011

  • Inflatable amusement devices of less than three metres platform height are exempt from item and design registration.
  • Fitting of protective structures to earthmoving equipment is no longer mandatory in all circumstances.
  • Removal of requirement for a high risk work licence to load and unload plant (pending gazettal).
  • Effective 1 January 2015 until 31 December 2015, audiometric testing will not be required for those workers who are frequently required to use PPE to protect themselves from noise over the exposure limit. 
  • Requirement to hold a high risk work licence to operate a forklift or order picking forklift at a mine or coal mine workplace.


Codes of practice

Some current NSW codes of practice have continued after 1 January 2012. This will be where there is no comparable national model code of practice available.  All new and retained codes of practice are available on this website.  


Call 13 10 50 for more information about transitional arrangements.