Decision regulation impact statement: Workplace exposure standards framework under the model Work Health and Safety laws


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This decision regulation impact statement (decision RIS) is about the framework for workplace exposure standards under the model Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws and how it should be kept up to date.

The decision RIS was informed by an extensive consultation process, including a business survey and consultation regulation impact statement. Submissions were received from WHS regulators, government, industry and industry groups, unions, professionals and other interested or affected people.

The majority of consultation RIS respondents and the break-even analysis of costs and benefits in the decision RIS, supported option 2 as the preferred option. In accordance with the Council of Australian Government (COAG) Best Practice Guidelines, this option provides the greatest net benefit to business and the community. 

The preferred option consists of:

  • updating the Workplace exposure standards for airborne contaminants
  • no change to the requirement to ensure exposure standards for substances and mixtures are not exceeded (Regulation 49), and
  • changing the name of workplace exposure standards to workplace exposure limits.

A standard three year transitional period was also preferred for implementing any changes to the Workplace exposure standards for airborne contaminants.

Any changes to the workplace exposure standards will be supported by guidance materials and education to assist duty holders to meet their requirements.

The Office of Best Practice Regulation assessed the decision RIS as compliant with the COAG best practice regulation requirements.

Publication Date:

Publication type:

Regulatory impact statement


Hazardous chemicals
Managing health and safety
The work environment
Workplace exposure standards for chemicals