Work Health and Safety
Work Health & Safety (WHS) is vitally important in the building and construction industry. Every worker has the right to work in a safe environment, and employers should ensure safety is their number one priority on site.
Employees have the right to stop work if there is an imminent risk to their health and safety. If this occurs, employees must follow any reasonable direction of their employer to perform other work that is safe and appropriate for them.
Federal Safety Commissioner
The Federal Safety Commissioner is responsible for developing, implementing and administering an OHS Accreditation Scheme for Australian Government building and construction work. For more information on the Australian Government Building and Construction OHS Accreditation Scheme visit the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner website.
Transitioning to work health & safety laws
Australia’s Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) laws are currently transitioning to new Work Health & Safety (WHS) laws. Australia has been moving towards harmonised WHS laws, with the states having agreed to pass legislation adopting the Model Work Health and Safety Bill to take effect from 1 January 2012.
New WHS laws commenced in New South Wales, Queensland, the Australian Capital Territory, the Commonwealth and the Northern Territory on 1 January 2012. In Tasmania, the new WHS laws are set to commence on 1 January 2013. The other states, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia are yet to make a decision on when the new WHS laws will be implemented.
More information regarding the new WHS laws can be found on Safe Work Australia's website. Links to the relevant authority that governs OHS or WHS laws in your state or territory, and other federal bodies, are available below.
Health & Safety | WorkSafe ACT (02) 6207 3000
NT WorkSafe 1800 019 115
Workplace Health and Safety Queensland 1300 369 915
SafeWork SA 1300 365 255
WorkSafe Victoria (03) 9641 1444 or 1800 136 089
WorkSafe WA 1300 307 877
WorkSafe Tas 1300 366 322
Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner 1800 652 500
Safe Work Australia 1300 134 631
An independent statutory agency responsible to improve work health and safety and workers' compensation arrangements across Australia.
For further information or assistance contact the FWBC Hotline on 1800 003 338.