What are the model work health and safety laws?
Safe Work Australia is developing model work health and safety laws as part of an initiative of the Council of Australian Governments. This initiative demonstrates a commitment to improving the work health and safety of all Australian workers and enhancing productivity.
The harmonisation of work health and safety laws across Australia aims to reduce the incidence of work related death, injury and illness.
Currently all states, territories and the Commonwealth are responsible for making and enforcing their own work health and safety laws. Although these draw on a similar approach for regulating workplaces there are some differences in the application and detail of the laws.
Over the past 20 years there have been efforts to make work health and safety regulations more consistent by developing National Standards and Codes of Practice. However, there has been no binding obligation on governments to adopt these.
This issue has been addressed through an intergovernmental agreement where, for the first time, governments from each state and territory and the Commonwealth have formally committed to the harmonisation of work health and safety laws.
For more information see the following fact sheet, summary and bill: