Model OHS legislation

The Australian Government has identified occupational health and safety (OHS) as a priority area for reform. One of the key elements of the OHS reform agenda is harmonisation – moving towards one set of national OHS laws. The harmonisation of OHS legislation aims to reduce the incidence of workplace death, injury and disease right across Australia.
Currently all states and territories are responsible for making and enforcing their own OHS laws. Although these draw on a similar approach for regulating workplaces, there are some differences in the application and detail of the laws. Safe Work Australia is responsible for developing national model OHS legislation. The model legislation will consist of a principal OHS Act, supported by model regulations and model codes of practice that can be readily adopted around Australia. This requires each state and territory to pass their own laws that mirror the model OHS laws and adopt them by December 2011.

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