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The model WHS laws

Safe Work Australia is the national policy body responsible for the development and evaluation of the model WHS laws (the model laws), which are comprised of the:

  • model WHS Act
  • model WHS Regulations
  • model Codes of Practice

The model laws have been developed for implementation by all jurisdictions (that is, the Commonwealth, states and territories). However, they do not apply in a jurisdiction unless the jurisdiction has separately taken action to implement the laws as their own WHS laws.

WHS laws in your jurisdiction

The Commonwealth, states and territories are responsible for implementing, regulating and enforcing WHS laws in their jurisdictions.

The model laws have been implemented in all jurisdictions except Victoria and Western Australia; Western Australia is currently consulting on options to implement elements of the model laws.

In the jurisdictions where the model laws have been implemented, each state and territory is expected to make variations to ensure the laws operate effectively in their jurisdictions. In some instances, states and territories have also made more substantial variations. This is why it is important to make sure you always consider the WHS laws that apply in your state or territory.

Amendments to the model WHS laws

The model laws are amended from time to time. Amendments to the model laws do not automatically apply in a jurisdiction. For an amendment to the model WHS Act apply in a jurisdiction, it must be passed by the Parliament of the jurisdiction and subsequently enacted. For an amendment to the model WHS Regulations to apply in a jurisdiction, it must be made by the person who makes regulations for that jurisdiction.

You can seek advice from the jurisdictional WHS regulator about whether amendments to the model laws have been implemented in that jurisdiction.

Information about jurisdictional WHS regulators, their WHS laws and who to contact is listed below.



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