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Work Health and Safety Act 2011 – 22 April 2016

Work Health and Safety (Codes of Practice) Notice 2011 – 30 March 2016

Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 – 1 July 2016

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A person conducting a business or undertaking (as defined in section 5 of the Act) must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of workers (defined broadly in section 7 of the Act). An emergency plan for the workplace is to be prepared and maintained. In addition, facilities for workers is a necessity e.g. toilets, drinking water, washing and eating facilities.

  • Sections 5, 7, 8, 18, 19, 47, 48, 49, 70, 71, 72, 79, 272; Regulations 7, 21, 35, 36, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 48 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011

A self-employed person must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, his or her own health and safety while at work.

  • Sections 18, 19

The person with management or control of a workplace must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the workplace, the means of entering and exiting the workplace and anything arising from the workplace are without risks to the health and safety of any person.

  • Sections 18, 20

While at work, a worker must (in addition to other duties): take reasonable care for his or her own health and safety; and take reasonable care that his or her acts or omissions do not adversely affect the health and safety of other persons. Where provided, personal protective equipment must be used in accordance with any information, training or reasonable direction by the person conducting the business or undertaking.

  • Section 28; Regulation 46 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011

A person who conducts a business or undertaking must ensure that the government is notified by telephone or in writing immediately after becoming aware that a notifiable incident arising out of the conduct of the business or undertaking has occurred. A notifiable incident is defined to mean: the death of a person, a serious injury or illness of a person or a dangerous incident.

  • Sections 35, 36, 37, 38; Regulation 699 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011

A worker who carries out work for a business or undertaking may ask the person conducting the business or undertaking to facilitate the conduct of an election for 1 or more health and safety representatives to represent workers who carry out work for the business or undertaking. One power/function of a health and safety representative is to investigate work health and safety complaints.

  • Sections 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 68, 69; Regulations 16, 17, 18 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011

A workplace with health and safety representatives is to have a listing of elected representatives on display. A copy of each up-to-date listing prepared is to be forwarded to the government.

  • Section 74

The person conducting a business or undertaking at a workplace must establish a health and safety committee for the business or undertaking generally within 2 months after being requested to do so by a health and safety representative or 5 or more workers. One function of a health and safety committee is to assist in developing standards, rules and procedures relating to health and safety that are to be followed or complied with at the workplace.

  • Sections 75, 76, 77, 78

If a work health and safety issue has not been resolved after reasonable efforts have been made to achieve an effective resolution of the issue, a party to the issue may ask the government to appoint an inspector to attend the workplace to assist in resolving the issue.

  • Sections 80, 81, 82; Regulations 22, 23 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011

A worker may cease, or refuse to carry out, work if the worker has a reasonable concern that to carry out the work would expose the worker to a serious risk to the worker’s health or safety, emanating from an immediate or imminent exposure to a hazard. Notification (of exercise of the right) is to be given to the person conducting the business or undertaking. Despite notice being given, the worker is to remain available to carry out suitable alternative work. For the powers of a health and safety representative in relation to a cease unsafe work direction, refer to section 85 of the Act.

  • Sections 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89; Regulation 24 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011

A health and safety representative may issue a provisional improvement notice requiring a person to remedy a contravention of this Act. A notice may only be issued after consultation with the person to whom the notice is to be directed. A notice is to comply with the requirements of section 92. Once issued, the notice is to be displayed at the workplace in a prominent place.

  • Sections 90, 91, 92, 93, 95, 97, 99, 100, 101, 102, 209

Work health and safety codes of practice may be approved by the government. For a listing of the codes approved, refer to Schedule 1 of the Work Health and Safety (Codes of Practice) Notice 2011.

  • Sections 274, 275; Regulation 4, Schedule 1 of the Work Health and Safety (Codes of Practice) Notice 2011

A person conducting a business or undertaking at a workplace must not direct a worker to enter a confined space to carry out work unless the person has issued a confined space entry permit for the work.

  • Regulations 5, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 74, 76, Schedule 19 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011

In most instances, a person must not carry out a class of high risk work unless the person holds a high risk work licence for that class of high risk work. To apply for a high risk licence, an application must be made in the approved form to the government.

  • Regulations 5, 81, 82, 84, 86, 87, 89, 90, 91A, 92, 93, 100, 101, 686, 687, Schedules 3, 4, 19 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011

An application for accreditation (as a high risk work licence competency assessor) must be made to the government in the approved form.

  • Regulations 115, 116, 118, 119, 121, 122, 123, 129, 130 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011

A person conducting a business or undertaking who proposes to carry out (high risk) demolition work must ensure that written notice is given to the government at least 5 days before the work commences.

  • Regulation 142 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011

A person who conducts a business or undertaking must not direct or allow a worker to carry out demolition work unless the person holds a licence to carry out demolition work. To apply for a demolition work licence, an application must be made in the approved form to the government.

  • Regulations 143, 144, 144B, 144C, 144D, 144F, 144G, 144H, 144J, 144K, 144L, 144VA of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011

A person conducting a business or undertaking at a workplace must not direct or allow a worker to carry out general diving work or undergo training for general diving work unless the worker holds a current certificate of medical fitness (i.e. a certificate issued within the past 12 months).

  • Regulations 5, 168, 169, Schedule 19 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011

A person must not carry out general diving work unless they hold the relevant qualification/s and possess sound diving knowledge and skill.

  • Regulations 171, 172, 173, 184 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011

A person conducting a business or undertaking must appoint a diving supervisor to supervise diving work.

  • Regulations 177, 178, 179, 180, 181, 183 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011

A supplier of second-hand plant must identify faults in plant and bring these faults to the attention of a prospective buyer by written notice. If plant is supplied for spare parts/scrap, the plant is to be marked accordingly or the prospective buyer informed in writing.

  • Section 6; Regulations 8, 199, 200 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011

The person with management or control of plant at a workplace must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that any pipe or other part of the plant associated with heat or cold is guarded or insulated so that the plant is without risks to the health and safety of any person.

  • Section 18; Regulation 209 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011

The person with management or control of a tractor at a workplace must ensure that the tractor is not used unless it is securely fitted with a roll-over protective structure. Note: A similar rule (not currently in operation) is set out in regulation 217 for earth-moving equipment.

  • Regulations 5, 216, 217, Schedule 19 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011

The person with management or control of pressure equipment at a workplace must ensure that: (a) the equipment is inspected on a regular basis by a competent person; and (b) any gas cylinder that is inspected is marked with a current inspection mark showing the date of the most recent inspection.

  • Regulations 5, 224, Schedule 19 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011

The person with management or control of gas cylinders at a workplace that is a gas cylinder filling station must ensure that a gas cylinder is not filled with gas unless it bears a current inspection mark.

  • Regulation 224 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011

Certain items of plant (boilers, tower cranes, lifts, etc) set out in Schedule 5, Part 2 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 are to be registered. Registration is via approved form to the government,

  • Section 42; Regulations 5, 246, 264, 265, 266, 269, 271, 272, 272A, 273, 274, 276, 277, Schedules 2, 5, 19 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011

A person with management or control of a workplace at which construction work is carried out must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the workplace is secured from unauthorised access.

  • Section 18; Regulations 289, 298 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011

Pole straps, fall arrest harness systems, etc may need to be used for construction work involving ladders.

  •  Regulations 289, 306L, 306N of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011

The principal contractor of a construction project (costing at least $250,000) must ensure signs are installed that show (among other things) the principal contractor’s name and telephone contact numbers.

  • Regulations 289, 292, 293, 308 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011

Workers engaged for construction work are to have completed general construction induction training.

  • Regulations 289, 316, 317 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011

A person who has successfully completed general construction induction training in Queensland may apply in the approved form to the government for a general construction induction training card. An application must generally be made within 60 days after the issue of the general construction induction training certification.

  • Regulations 5, 319, 320, 325, Schedule 19 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011

A flammable gas/liquid can only be supplied by a worker of at least 16 years of age.

  • Section 6; Regulations 328, 336 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011

A person conducting a business or undertaking at a workplace must ensure that a register of hazardous chemicals is prepared, maintained and kept at the workplace.

  • Regulations 5, 328, 346, Schedule 19 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011

A person with management or control of a workplace (that is not a domestic premises) must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that all asbestos at the workplace is identified by a competent person. A further obligation is the preparation/keeping of an asbestos register. However, a register may not need to be kept for buildings constructed after 31 December 1989 where no asbestos is identified. The asbestos register is to be transferred to the new management of a workplace (when new management takes over).

  • Section 18, Regulations 5, 421, 422, 424, 425, 427, 429, Schedule 19 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011

A person conducting a business or undertaking that commissions the removal of asbestos must generally ensure that the asbestos removal work is carried out by a licensed asbestos removalist. Note: The removalist is to provide the government with written notice at least 5 days before removal work is commenced. When removal work is complete, an independent licenced asbestos assessor may be required to conduct an inspection to verify the area is safe for normal work. In some instances, an inspector may be an independent competent person. A clearance certificate by an inspector is required before the area can be reoccupied.

  • Regulations 5, 419, 445, 447, 458, 459, 464, 466, 468, 469, 473, 474, 474A, 475, 480, 481, 482, 485, 486, 487, 491, 492, 493, 494, 495, 497, 498, 499, 500, 502, 503, 504, 515, 516, 529, Schedule 19 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011

The occupier of premises where dangerous goods are stored or handled and the person who is the owner of high risk plant must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of all persons who may be affected by the storage/handling of dangerous goods, or use/operation of high risk plant.

  • Sections 12, 18, Schedule 1; Regulations 702, 703, 711 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011
Reason for law

To provide for a balanced and nationally consistent framework to secure the health and safety of workers and workplaces. (Section 3)

Relevant links

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland

Publications and forms

Codes of practice

Safe work method statements

Enforceable undertaking list

Register of WHS Entry Permit Holders

Licensed asbestos removal businesses

Online safety benchmarking tool

Workers’ compensation claims data

Work Health and Safety Board

QFES Emergency Planning [Queensland Fire and Emergency Services]

Asbestos safety [Queensland Government]

Transport of asbestos and lead acid batteries [Queensland Government]

Court summary search [WorkCover Queensland]

Settling Disputes Out of Court [Queensland Government]

Safety Institute of Australia Ltd

Human Rights Translated Guide [Castan Centre for Human Rights Law]

Global Productivity Institute

Fair Labor Association

Suggested links

Safety Culture

The Safety Compass

Conweigh

Critique

The Long title of the Act references a ‘work health and safety levy’ which does not appear to be in existence.

Media statement

Lifetime care and support for catastrophically injured workers [Queensland Government]

Media article

Global system for labelling chemicals to be introduced

Melbourne app iBackpacker aims to help backpackers find safe employment

Suggested further reading

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PLEASE NOTE: The information published on this webpage may be out-of-date. Please compare the currency date of the Act/Regulation against that published on the Office of the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel website. If you require access to Commonwealth statute law, please visit the ComLaw website. If you require access to the local council laws (by-laws), please visit the Local laws database.

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