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So why comply with a COP?


A code of practice aims to demonstrate to the courts that your organisation is compliant with WHS Act and Regulations.  The evidence gathered by the organisation can be used to show what is known about a hazard, risk or control and could rely on the code in determining what is reasonably practicable in the circumstances to which the code relates.

Note that organisations do not need to follow the code of practice.  However, they are required to use another method, such as technical or an industry standard, if it provides the same or a higher level of work practices than the code of practice demonstrates.

Your organisation may also demonstrate their compliance with the WHS Act and Regulations through the use of industry or technical standards, as long as the organisation demonstrates that the technical or industry standard is equal to or better than the code of practice.

There are many standards that you can measure your compliance to WHS against.  The aim of standards is to ensure that products, services and systems are safely guided by procedures and specifications.  Tasks need to be performed reliably and safely, while aiming to ensure that safety and quality standards are maintained.


Current codes of practice include:

  • Confined spaces
  • Hazardous Manual Tasks
  • How to Safely Remove Asbestos
  • How to Manage and Control Asbestos in the Workplace
  • Labelling of Workplace Hazardous Chemicals
  • Managing Noise and Preventing Hearing Loss at Work
  • Managing the risk of falls at workplaces
  • Managing the Work Environment and Facilities
  • Preparation of Safety Data Sheets for Hazardous Chemicals
  • Work Health and Safety Consultation, Cooperation and Coordination.

New codes of practice introduced from July 2012 include:

  • Abrasive Blasting
  • Construction Work
  • Demolition Work
  • First Aid in the Workplace
  • Managing electrical risks at the workplace
  • Managing risks of hazardous chemicals in the workplace
  • Managing risks of plant in the workplace
  • Preventing falls in housing construction
  • Safe design of structures
  • Spray painting powder coating
  • Welding work