National Work Health and Safety Law

Model Work Health and Safety Legislation: A first step in significant reform

On 1 January 2012, the Model Work Health and Safety Act commenced in New South Wales, Queensland, the Australian Capital Territory, the Commonwealth and the Northern Territory, with certain jurisdictional variations. This represents the first step towards one of the most significant reforms in the history of occupational health and safety law in Australia, introducing new statutory duties, rights and procedures.

The Council of Australia Governments formally committed to the harmonisation of work health and safety laws by signing an Intergovernmental Agreement for Regulatory and Operational Reform in Occupational Health and Safety (IGA) in July 2008.

Also complete are the following: the development of the model Work Health and Safety Act, the model Work Health and Safety regulations, 11 model Codes of Practice and the National Compliance and Enforcement Policy. Continuing work is in progress to further develop model Codes of Practice and guidance material to support the model laws.

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