Safe Work Australia has released a further 15 draft model Codes of Practice and interpretive guidelines as another step towards the harmonisation of Work Health and Safety laws.

Codes of Practice

The model Codes of Practice will supplement the model Work Health and Safety legislation which is intended to commence on 1 January 2012.

The new draft Codes of Practice address a range of topics including:

  • First Aid in the Workplace;
  • Managing Risks in Construction Work;
  • Demolition Work; and
  • Workplace Bullying.

Safe Work Australia has also published an Issues Paper summarising the draft Codes.

There is now a relatively short period of consultation regarding the draft Codes.  The consultation process has been split into two tranches with submissions closing on 18 November 2011 and 16 December 2011.

Interpretive guidelines

Safe Work Australia has also issued interpretive guidelines on three key topics under the model legislation.  The guidelines cover:

Implementation date

There has been an increasing level of concern expressed about the proposed commencement of the new laws on 1 January 2012.  The Victorian government voiced its concerns earlier this week suggesting that further time may be required to implement the laws.  Key stakeholders in the mining industry have also raised concerns about the implementation of the mining safety regulations which have been taking considerable time to progress.

We will keep you informed of further developments in this area.  In the meantime, if you have any questions please feel free to contact any of our Health and Safety lawyers nominated in this alert.