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Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984

Safety and health in Western Australian workplaces is regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 and the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 supported by codes of practice and guidance notes.

Content 

  1. What is the Act?
  2. How can I meet my obligations?
  3. View the Act
  4. Forms

1. What is the Act?

The Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 provides for the promotion, co-ordination, administration and enforcement of occupational safety and health in Western Australia.

The Act places certain duties on employers, employees, self-employed people, manufacturers, designers, importers and suppliers. It also places emphasis on the prevention of accidents and injury.

In addition to the broad duties established by the Act, the legislation is supported by a further tier of statute, commonly referred to as regulations, together with a lower tier of non-statutory codes of practice and guidance notes.

2. How can I meet my obligations?

Under the Act, there are three types of instruments to help you meet your workplace health and safety obligations - regulations, Australian Standards and codes of practice.

If a regulation exists about a risk, you must comply with the regulation before any code of practice or guidance note.

If an Australian Standard, or part of a standard is referred to in a regulation, the standard or relevant part of the standard must be complied with.

If there is no regulation about a risk but there is a code of practice or guidance note, you must either:

  • do what the code of practice or guidance note says; or
  • adopt and follow another way that gives the same level of protection against the risk.

If there is no regulation or code of practice about the risk, you must choose an appropriate way and take reasonable precautions and exercise proper diligence to ensure you meet your obligations.

3. View the Act

The State Law Publisher provides an electronic copy of the Act and Regulations.  The State Law Publisher progressively amends its documents to include any legislative changes.  This usually occurs a week or two from the time the amendments appear in the Government Gazette. 

You may download or print this legislation free of charge, however, please note that this is not a legal document and as such can not be used in a court of law.

You can access the latest version of the act on the State Law Publisher site here.

4. Forms

The Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 require that certain forms are used when notifying the Commissioner of certain matters, when dealing with improvement or prohibition notices, when referring matters to safety and health magistrates, and other matters. You can access the required forms here.