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WHS Act 2011


The Objective of this WHS Act 2011 is to provide a nationally consistent and balanced framework aiming to ensure that the health and safety of workers is maintained at all times by:

  • Protecting others against harm by eliminating or minimising risks arising from work or substances or plant;
  • Ensuring that workers are provided with effective and fair workplace representation through consultation, cooperation and issue resolution
  • Encouraging, everyone including unions and employer organisations to take a constructive roles in promoting improvements and assisting workers and persons conducting businesses or undertakings to obtain a healthier workplace
  • Promoting the provision for training, advice, education and information in work health and safety
  • That appropriate monitoring and corrective action is taken by personnel exercising their powers and performing functions under the Act
  • Provide a framework of continuous improvement; and
  • Strengthening the national harmonisation of laws relating to work health and safety and to facilitate a consistent national approach to work health and safety under the Act.


Purpose of the WHS Act (section 3)


The WHS Act provides a framework to protect the health, safety and welfare of all workers at work and of other people who might be affected by the work. The WHS Act aims to:

  • protect the health and safety of workers and other people by eliminating or minimising risks arising from work or workplaces
  • ensure fair and effective representation, consultation and cooperation to address and resolve health and safety issues in the workplace
  • encourage unions and employer organisations to take a constructive role in improving work health and safety practices
  • assisting businesses and workers to achieve a healthier and safer working environment
  • promote information, education and training on work health and safety
  • provide effective compliance and enforcement measures, and
  • deliver continuous improvement and progressively higher standards of work health and safety.

In furthering these aims regard must be had to the principle that workers and other persons should be given the highest level of protection against harm to their health, safety and welfare from hazards and risks arising from work as is reasonably practicable. For these purposes ‘health’ includes psychological health as well as physical health.