Work health and safety legislation

We administer and provide advice on the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017.

If you are an employer or business (or other PCBU) you must comply with these laws to ensure the health and safety of your workers.

Our simple safety section explains these laws in plain English.

The WHS legislation is supported by our Compliance policy and prosecution guidelines, which supplements the National compliance and enforcement policy.

This information is general about the law only, and is not a statement of the law as it is applied to a particular problem or individual.

Seek legal advice if you need assistance on the application of the law to your situation.

Statutory review of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011

The NSW Department of Finance, Services and Innovation has conducted a review of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW).

The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW) (the Act) provides a framework to protect the health, safety and welfare of all workers and others in relation to NSW workplaces and work activities. Reviews are scheduled once every five years. This is the first since the Act was introduced.

The scope of this statutory review

Under section 276B of the Act the Minister is required to conduct a review of the Act to determine whether the policy objectives remain valid and whether the terms appropriate for securing those objectives.

This review examined the objectives of the Act and the NSW-specific provisions of both the Act and the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (the Regulation). The review also examined the NSW-specific codes of practice. These codes were introduced in NSW before the adoption of nationally harmonised work health and safety laws, which officially commenced in NSW on 1 January 2012.

Public consultation

A discussion paper was developed and released for a public consultation from 11 November 2016 to 20 December 2016 inclusive.

The discussion paper advised respondents that their submission would be published on the SafeWork NSW website unless they indicated that they wished their submission to remain confidential.

Non-confidential submissions received

Author

Title

Submission Date

Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

AFOEM feedback on the NSW Statutory Review of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 Discussion Paper

20 December 2016

Australian Industry Group

New South Wales Statutory review of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 – Submission to New South Wales Government

December 2016

Australian Manufacturing Workers Union

Statutory review of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011

24 November 2016

Australian Meat Industry Council

Statutory review of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011

19 December 2016

Australian Road Transport Industrial Organisation

Statutory review of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011

19 December 2016

Australian Security Industry Association Limited

Feedback on the 2016/2017 Statutory Review of the WHS Act

15 December 2016

Belinda Sinclair

Statutory review of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011

14 November 2016

Civil Contractors Federation

Submission - Statutory review of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011

20 December 2016

Esa Laukka

Statutory review of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011

20 December 2016

Federation of Hunting Clubs

Review of NSW WHS Act 2011 and Regulation 2011

23 December 2016

Focused Quality Systems

Review of NSW WHS Act 2011 and Regulation 2011

19 December 2016

Health Services Union

Statutory review of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011

21 December 2016

Housing Industry Association

Submission to the Better Regulation Division Statutory Review of the Work, Health and Safety Act 2011

20 February 2017

Julian Richards

Statutory review of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011

2 December 2016

Laing O’Rourke

Statutory review of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011

30 November 2016

Local Government NSW

Submission to the New South Wales Government – Better Regulation Division (‘BRD’) on the 2016/2017 Statutory Review of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW)

December 2016

Norman Cook

Statutory review of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011

20 December 2016

NSW Business Chamber

Statutory review of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011

19 December 2016

NSW Department of Industry

Statutory review of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011

19 December 2016

NSW Game and Pest Management Advisory Board

NSW Work Health and Safety Review November/December 2016

20 December 2016

NSW Health

NSW Statutory Review Feedback

20 December 2016

NSW Minerals Council

Statutory review of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 Submission

19 December 2016

NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association

WHS Act review NSW

December 2016

RnB Solutions

Statutory review of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011

17 December2016

Rob Fisher

Statutory review of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011

20 December 2016

Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association, New South Wales Branch and the Shop Assistants and Warehouse Employees’ Federation of Australia, Newcastle and Northern Branch (joint submission)

Statutory review of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW) Submission

December 2016

South East Timber Association Inc

Statutory review of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 Submission

December 2016

The Law Society of New South Wales

Statutory review of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW)

21 December 2016

Unions NSW

First Statutory review of the Work Health and Safety Legislation

31 December 2016

Review Report

The review has been completed and the Review Report was tabled in the NSW Parliament on 20 June 2017. You can access a copy of the Review Report on this website.

A public information campaign will be conducted prior to commencement of the amendments, most of which are expected to be finalised by the end of 2017.

For further information on this review, please email legislationreview@safework.nsw.gov.au with the subject heading ‘NSW Statutory Review'.

Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017

The Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017 comes into effect on 1 September 2017.

It is essentially the same as the 2011 Regulation, except for minor changes, including formatting and corrections to typos.

The changes are outlined in this table.