Work health and safety (WHS)

(Previously known as Occupational health and safety)

Each Australian state and territory has in force Work Health and Safety (WHS or WH&S) or Occupational Health and Safety (OHS or OH&S) legislation. This legislation imposes WHS/OHS obligations on architects – both directly and indirectly. The most basic of these duties is that of employers to ensure the safety of their employees. Refer Acumen note: Workplace Health and Safety (WHS).

The model WHS legislation - based on Commonwealth legislation - has been adopted by ACT, NT, NSW, Queensland, SA and Tasmania. Refer Acumen note: The model WHS Acts and Regulations (ACT, NT, NSW, Qld, SA, Tas). Victoria and WA have not implemented this model legislation, but continue to have their own OHS legislation in place. Minor variations exist in some jurisdictions to ensure the legislation is consistent with their respective drafting protocols and other laws and processes.