List of codes of practice

A code of practice provides detailed information on how you can achieve the standards required under the work health and safety (WHS) laws.

These do not replace the WHS laws, but codes of practice can be issued to help make understanding what you have to do a little easier.

An inspector can refer to a code of practice when issuing an improvement or prohibition notice.

Under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, codes of practice are admissible in court proceedings.

Courts may regard a code of practice as evidence of what is known about a hazard, risk or control, and rely on it to determine what is 'reasonably practicable' in the circumstances to which the code relates.

It is recognised that equivalent or better ways of achieving the required work health and safety outcomes may be possible. For that reason compliance with codes of practice is not mandatory providing that any other method used provides an equivalent or higher standard of work health and safety than suggested by the code of practice.

As well as codes of practice, Safe Work Australia has guidance material that can also help you achieve the standards under WHS laws.

All codes of practice are listed below.

WHS codes of practice
Pre-WHS legislation codes of practice

These codes of practice were developed based on older laws which were replaced with the Work Health and Safety Act and Regulation. However they are still current and can still be used to help you meet your WHS requirements.

Updates to codes of practice

In August 2019, SafeWork NSW adopted 23 model codes of practice (COPs) that were updated by Safe Work Australia and released during 2018.

The updates to the COPs were of a technical and readability nature.

The amendments page at the end of each COP is the same as in the model, noting that the date listed on the amendments page is date the model was updated.

The differences between the model COPs and those gazetted in NSW are:

  • NSW front cover and inside front cover.
  • Minor wording changes that do not impact on the intent or content of the COPs (ie. WHS Regulations to WHS Regulation and WHS Regulation (number) to WHS Regulation clause (number)).
  • Hyperlinks were removed.
  • NSW back cover and disclaimer on the inside back cover
  • A specific change was made to the Code of Practice: How to safely remove asbestos in relation to the transport of asbestos waste.

Draft formwork code of practice

Have your say on the draft formwork code of practice. This consultation is open until 5pm Tuesday 17 September 2019.

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