Proposed compliance code: Prevention of falls in general construction - what are the proposed changes?

1. The proposed compliance code: Prevention of falls in general construction (code) provides practical guidance to duty holders about how to comply with their duties under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 and Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 (OHS Regulations) in relation to the prevention of falls in the general construction industry.

2. The proposed code is based on the existing Prevention of falls in general construction compliance code (2008).

3. The proposed code has been updated to reflect changes to the OHS Regulations, aligning with the definitions of terms and including a description of an employer’s legal duties in relation to falls from two metres or below, as set out in the new note to regulation 41(1) of the OHS Regulations.

4. Changes have been made to the structure of information in the code, to better reflect the relevant duties under Part 3.3 (Prevention of falls) of the OHS Regulations. In particular, the part on working at heights above two metres occurs earlier in the proposed code.

5. The proposed code has also been updated to improve alignment with other proposed compliance codes that have been revised as part of the OHS Regulations Reform Project. This includes new detailed guidance on each step of the risk management process and elevated information on an employer’s consultation duties. In addition, there have been improvements in drafting for readability purposes, increased cross-referencing and duty holders are now treated separately for purposes of clarity. There are also redesigned images and increased use of tables and flow charts.

6. The proposed code has been updated to include new guidance regarding:
  • construction-specific training obligations
  • fall protection during civil construction work (for example covers over trenches)
  • the preparation of safe work method statements (SWMS) for performing high risk construction work
  • high risk work licences
  • duties for employers making after-market alterations to plant
  • maintaining risk controls
  • use of elevating work platforms
  • the use of power tools at roof level.
7. The proposed code has been revised to provide, where relevant, alignment with the proposed compliance code: Prevention of falls in housing construction.

8. The proposed code has also been aligned with other relevant guidance and standards, including:
  • the Work Health and Safety (WHS) Model Code of Practice: Managing the risk of falls at workplaces for ladders extending 1m above the stepping off point
  • the nominal weight of a person in AS/NZS 1576 (2010) Scaffolding.
8. The proposed code has been streamlined with the removal of guidance on guarding of holes and openings. References to ladder-bracket scaffolds have also been removed.

Proposed compliance code: Prevention of falls in housing construction - what are the proposed changes?

1.  The proposed compliance code: Prevention of falls in housing construction (code) provides practical guidance to duty holders about how to comply with their duties under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 and Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 (OHS Regulations) in relation to the prevention of falls in the housing construction industry.

2.  The proposed code is based on the existing Prevention of falls in housing construction code of practice (2004).

3.  The proposed code has been updated to reflect changes to the OHS Regulations, aligning with the definitions of terms and including a description of an employer’s legal duties in relation to falls from two metres or below, as set out in the new note to regulation 41(1) of the OHS Regulations.

4.  The proposed code has also been updated to improve alignment with other proposed compliance codes that have been revised as part of the OHS Regulations Reform Project. This includes new detailed guidance on each step of the risk management process and elevated information on an employer’s consultation duties. In addition, there have been improvements in drafting for readability purposes, increased cross-referencing and duty holders are now treated separately for purposes of clarity. There are also redesigned images and increased use of tables and flow charts.

5.  The proposed code has been updated to include new guidance regarding:

  • construction-specific training obligations
  • the preparation of safe work method statements (SWMS) for performing high risk construction work
  • high risk work licences
  • duties for employers making after-market alterations to plant
  • maintaining risk controls
  • administrative controls such as ‘no-go’ areas, permit systems and organising and sequencing of work
  • the safe use of stilts
  • the safe erection of roof trusses.

6.  The proposed code has been revised to provide, where relevant, alignment with the proposed compliance code: Prevention of falls in general construction.

7.  The proposed code has also been revised to align to the Work Health and Safety (WHS) Model Code of Practice: Preventing falls in housing construction on a range of matters, including:

  • installation of sarking for tile roofing
  • installation of perimeter battens for metal roofing
  • maximum distance between a midrail and toeboard/bottom rail
  • midrail for catch platform guardrails
  • portable ladders should extend one metre above stepping off point
  • angle of a roof pitch should be no more than 26 degrees
  • decrease the fall height from 3.8m to 2m for the use of perimeter edge protection when performing floor laying or wall framing work
  • use of a clear zone should only be used as a risk control measure if the risk of a fall is under 2m (not 3m).

8.  Further changes for the proposed code include a decrease of the maximum fall height from 2m to 1.5m for use of single scaffold planks and updated timber guardrail maximum spans, post sizes and gradings.

9.  The proposed code has been streamlined and modernised with the removal of outdated examples (eg ‘Worked example’ and administrative controls in the former Appendix 4).

Proposed compliance code: Managing asbestos in workplaces - what are the proposed changes?

  1. The proposed compliance code: Managing asbestos in workplaces (code) provides practical guidance to duty holders on how to comply with their duties under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act) and ‘Part 4.4 – Asbestos’ of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 (OHS Regulations).
  2. The code is based on the Managing Asbestos in Workplaces Compliance Code 2008, and draws on information from the Removing Asbestos in Workplaces Compliance Code 2008 and the Safe Work Australia How to manage and control asbestos in the workplace Code of Practice 2016.
  3. The code provides information for duty holders on how to safely manage asbestos in workplaces, information for safely performing demolition and refurbishment work, and information for employers carrying out asbestos-related activities.
  4. The code reflects changes to the state of knowledge as well as advancements in ways to control the risks associated with managing asbestos in the workplace.
  5. The code has been updated to provide further guidance on a number of matters which includes, but is not limited to:
    • information on determining who has management or control of a workplace
    • waste disposal sites licensed or exempted by the Environmental Protection Authority
    • factors to consider in the context of determining exposure to asbestos when using certain tools
    • duties that apply in relation to domestic premises
    • when Safe Work Method Statements are required
    • the prohibition of the manufacture of asbestos containing material (ACM)
    • duties of suppliers and risks associated with imported plant and substances
    • examples of asbestos containing dust and ACM that are not fixed or installed
    • types of asbestos
    • reasonable grounds for assuming asbestos to be present in soil
    • labelling asbestos
    • asbestos management plans
    • determining duties of employers or self-employed persons performing minor or routine maintenance work or work of a minor nature
    • who can perform asbestos removal work
    • duty to inform job applicants of asbestos-related activities
    • laundering of clothing contaminated with asbestos.

Proposed compliance code: Removing asbestos in workplaces - what are the proposed changes?

  1. The proposed compliance code: Removing asbestos in workplaces (code) provides practical guidance to duty holders on how to comply with their duties under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act) and ‘Part 4.4 – Asbestos’ of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 (OHS Regulations).
  2. The code is based on the Removing Asbestos in Workplaces Compliance Code 2008, and draws on information from the Managing Asbestos in Workplaces Compliance Code 2008 and the Safe Work Australia’s How to safely remove asbestos Code of Practice 2016.
  3. The code provides information for duty holders on how to safely remove asbestos from workplaces.
  4. The code reflects changes to the state of knowledge as well as advancements in ways to control the risks associated with managing asbestos in the workplace.
  5. The code has been updated to provide further guidance on a number of matters which includes, but is not limited to:
    • information on determining who has management or control of a workplace
    • waste disposal sites licensed or exempted by the Environmental Protection Authority
    • factors to consider in the context of determining exposure to asbestos when using certain tools
    • duties that apply in relation to domestic premises
    • types of asbestos and who can perform removal work
    • examples of limited asbestos removal work involving asbestos contaminated dust (ACD) or unfixed asbestos contaminated material (ACM)
    • who can perform Class A or Class B asbestos removal work (including when independent contractors are permitted to perform such work)
    • informing people in immediate and adjacent areas regarding proposed asbestos removal work
    • when Safe Work Method Statements are required
    • types of asbestos and who can perform removal work
    • new examples of limited asbestos removal work involving ACD or unfixed ACM
    • who can perform Class A or Class B asbestos removal work, including independent contractors
    • informing people in immediate or adjacent areas regarding proposed asbestos removal work
    • examples of appropriate training
    • personal protective equipment, respiratory protective equipment and asbestos removal equipment
    • saturation and wet injection methods for removing friable ACM
    • examples of decontamination procedures in emergencies
    • what should be included in a clearance certificate
    • functions of independent persons
    • removal of asbestos contaminated soil.

Proposed compliance code: Hazardous manual handling - what are the proposed changes?

  1. The proposed compliance code: Hazardous manual handling (code) provides practical guidance to duty holders on how to comply with their duties under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act) and ‘Part 3.1 – Hazardous Manual Handling’ of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 (OHS Regulations).
  2. The proposed code is based on the Code of Practice for Manual Handling 2000, and draws on information from the Safe Work Australia Hazardous Manual Tasks Code of Practice 2011. The title of Part 3.1 of the OHS Regulations has been changed to ‘Hazardous Manual Handling’ to better reflect the scope of the Part. This change has been reflected in the code.
  3. The code also provides information for employers about how to identify hazardous manual handling and manage any risk of musculoskeletal disorder (MSD). Additionally it has information for designers, manufacturers and suppliers of plant, structures and buildings about their duties under the OHS Act in relation to controlling MSD risk.
  4. A number of industry specific examples have been incorporated into the proposed code. The code is now more succinct and streamlined, and reflects changes to the state of knowledge as well as advancements in ways to control the risks associated with hazardous manual handling.
  5. The proposed code reflects the flexibility offered in the OHS Regulations, where employers can choose their own risk control methods if they are already aware of the risk and how to control it (see Part 4 – Risk control measures).
  6. Based on feedback received during public comment on the proposed OHS Regulations, the code also includes some information on organisational (psychosocial) factors such as work demands.
  7. Questions to help assess MSD risk are now provided in Part 3, Sections 47 and 48.

Proposed compliance code: Hazardous substances - what are the proposed changes?

  1. The proposed compliance code: Hazardous substances (code) provides practical guidance to duty holders on how to comply with their duties under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act) and under ‘Part 4.1 – Hazardous Substances’ of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 (OHS Regulations). 
  2. The code is based on the existing Hazardous Substances Code of Practice 2000.
  3. The code has been updated to reflect changes to the Hazardous Substances chapter of the OHS Regulations. References to the Approved Criteria for Classifying Hazardous Substances and the Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS) have been removed and replaced with updated guidance on the classification and labelling of hazardous substances in accordance with Part 3 of the United Nations Globally Harmonized System for the Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). References to ‘material safety data sheets’ (MSDS) have been replaced with ‘safety data sheets’ (SDS). 
  4. The code has also been updated to provide further guidance on the recognition of other labelling systems. Specifically, new guidance about the need for hazard statements and precautionary statements to accompany agricultural and veterinary chemicals to satisfy the requirements of the GHS, in addition to labelling requirements imposed by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA), has been included. 
  5. The code draws content from the existing Hazardous Substances Code of Practice, the WorkSafe Code of Practice for the Storage and Handling of Dangerous Goods 2013, the Safe Work Australia Model Code of Practice – Managing risks of hazardous chemicals in the workplace 2012, the Safe Work Australia Model Code of Practice – Preparation of safety data sheets for hazardous chemicals 2016, and the Safe Work Australia – Guidance on the Classification of Hazardous Chemicals under the Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations. 
  6. Consistent with other codes, the proposed code includes new sections on: 
  • legal duties for employers, self-employed persons, employees, manufacturers and importing suppliers, suppliers other than an importing supplier, and; 
  • the general risk management process.

Proposed compliance code: Plant - what are the proposed changes?

  1. The proposed compliance code: Plant (code) provides practical guidance to duty holders on how to comply with their duties under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act) and ‘Part 3.5 – Plant’ of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 (OHS Regulations).
  2. The code is based on the Plant Code of Practice 1995 (amended 1998). It provides guidance on how to identify hazards and control risks associated with plant used in the workplace for duty holders (employers, persons with management or control of a workplace, manufacturers, suppliers, and persons who install, erect or commission plant). It also sets out guidance regarding record keeping, providing information to other duty holders and design registration.
  3. Duplication within the code has been reduced by:
    - replacing fragmented information about the general risk management process with a separate section at the start of the code
    - cross-referencing within the code, where guidance is relevant to multiple duty holders
    - moving lists of technical standards to Appendix B, and;
    - removing full quotations of regulations.
  4. Diagrams and illustrations have been updated to reflect modern work practices and hazards.
  5. A new section for employers has been added to address what needs to be considered throughout the lifecycle of plant (see Part 3.6 – From Purchase to Disposal).
  6. Several topics have been added to the code, to provide guidance on requirements introduced in 2017 that apply to certain types of plant and control measures:
    - maintaining and reviewing risk controls (Part 3.3)
    - isolating procedures – lock out/tag out (Part 3.4)
    - operator controls (Part 3.4)
    - emergency stop devices (Part 3.4)
    - warning devices (Part 3.4)
    - lifts (Part 3.5)
    - tower cranes (Part 3.5)
    - transportation of plant (Part 3.6) , and
    - disposing of plant (Part 3.6).
  7. Additional guidance has also been added on employer duties regarding powered mobile plant and industrial lift trucks (Part 3.5).
  8. Information for upstream duty holders (designers, manufacturers and suppliers) has been revised.

Proposed compliance code: Confined spaces - what are the proposed changes?

  1. The proposed compliance code: Confined spaces (code) provides practical guidance to duty holders on how to comply with their duties under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act) and ‘Part 3.4 – Confined Spaces’ of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 (OHS Regulations).
  2. The code is based on the existing Confined Spaces Compliance Code 2008. Content is largely taken from the existing Confined Spaces Code.
  3. The code provides duty holders with guidance about risks to health and safety associated with entry and work in a confined space such as a vat, tank, pit, pipe, flue, oven, silo or other similar enclosed or partially enclosed structure that meets other specific conditions such as the likelihood of a hazardous atmosphere occurring or a limited or restricted means of entry or exit.
  4. When reviewing the code, stakeholders advised the current Confined Spaces Code was working well and recommended that content remain largely unchanged except where content needed to be updated to align with the new OHS Regulations.
  5. Information clarifying the supplier duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that plant has been designed and manufactured in accordance with the OHS Regulations before the plant is supplied, has also been added to the code (see Part 2 – Duties of designers, manufacturers and suppliers).
  6. The duty of suppliers of plant to reduce the risks associated with entry to and exit from the confined space, if it is not reasonably practicable for them to eliminate the need for a person to enter a confined space, has been removed from the OHS Regulations. Therefore corresponding amendments have been made to remove guidance regarding this duty from the proposed code. 
  7. Consistent with other codes, the code includes new sections on:
    - legal duties for employers, self-employed persons, employees, manufacturers and/or designers and suppliers and;
    - the general risk management process.
  8. Recent examples of incidents involving confined spaces have been added to Appendix B (Examples of confined space incidents) of the code.

Proposed compliance code: Demolition - what are the proposed changes?

  1. The proposed compliance code: Demolition (code) provides practical guidance to duty holders on how to comply with their duties under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act) and ‘Part 5.1– Construction’ of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 (OHS Regulations) in relation to demolition work.
  2. The code is based on the Demolition Code of Practice 1991 (amended 1998). It provides guidance about the planning and preparation required for demolition work and provides guidance on how to identify and control risks associated with the work, including demolition methods for specific types of structures.
  3. Guidance that is relevant to hazards and risks addressed by other codes has been reduced, including in relation to the prevention of falls.
  4. The code provides guidance on current regulatory requirements, including information on:
    - duties for principal contractors
    - safe work method statements for high risk construction work (which includes demolition work), and;
    - high risk work licensing.
  5. Information on the use of explosives has been revised to emphasise the need for duty holders to consider using safer demolition methods before selecting explosives. The revised information also includes requirements under the Dangerous Goods (Explosives) Regulations 2011, such as the duty to notify WorkSafe of the intention to use explosives.
  6. Consistent with other codes, the code includes new sections on:
  • legal duties for employers, self-employed persons, persons with control or management of a workplace, principal contractors, persons who install, erect or commission plant and employees, and;
  • the general risk management process.

Proposed compliance code: Facilities in construction - what are the proposed changes?

  1. The proposed compliance code: Facilities in construction (code) provides practical guidance to duty holders on how to comply with their duties under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act) and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 (OHS Regulations) in relation to providing adequate facilities for the welfare of employees working on construction sites.
  2. The code is based on the Building and Construction Workplaces Code of Practice, 1990. The code provides guidance about an employer’s duty to provide adequate facilities for the welfare of their employees (including contractors), specific to the construction industry. This includes guidance on the provision of suitable toilets, drinking water, and facilities for washing, changing and meals.
  3. As with the existing Code of Practice, the code does not apply to residential construction projects. WorkSafe published guidance for residential construction sites in September 2016 (‘Information about: Workplace facilities on medium-sized residential construction developments’).
  4. The code retains the minimum number of toilets recommended in the existing code.
  5. Guidance on the provision of drinking water has been amended to clarify that it should be cool and safe to drink. 
  6. Guidance that is relevant to hazards and risks addressed by other codes has been reduced or removed, including content regarding the provision of personal protective equipment and first aid facilities.
  7. The requirement for meal facilities to be above ground has been removed, as acceptable meal areas may be provided in basements where they meet the remaining criteria (e.g. hygienic and waterproof, with suitable ventilation and lighting, and kept at a comfortable temperature range).
  8. A new ‘facilities planning checklist’ is provided in Appendix B, consistent with the Workplace Amenities and Work Environment Compliance Code 2010.

Proposed compliance code: Excavation - what are the proposed changes?

1.  The proposed compliance code: Excavation (code) provides practical guidance to duty holders on how to comply with their duties under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act) and ‘Part 5.1- Construction’ of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 (OHS Regulations) in relation to excavation work.

2.  The code is based on the Safety Precautions in Trenching Operations Code of Practice 1988. It provides guidance to employers, self-employed persons and principal contractors on how to comply with 5.1 of the OHS Regulations when undertaking excavation work. It sets out methods for planning excavation work, and provides guidance on identifying and controlling common risks (e.g. methods to prevent ground collapse).

3.  The code provides guidance on current regulatory requirements, including information on:

·  duties for principal contractors

·  safe work method statements for high risk construction work (which includes excavation work)

·  high risk work licensing

·  the duty to notify WorkSafe at least 3 days before excavation work commences, and

·  the new employer duty introduced in the OHS Regulations to provide emergency procedures where there is a risk of a person becoming engulfed when construction work is performed.

4.  Information on the use of explosives has been revised to emphasise the need for duty holders to consider using safer demolition methods before selecting explosives. The revised information also includes requirements under the Dangerous Goods (Explosives) Regulations 2011, such as the duty to notify WorkSafe of the intention to use explosives.

5.  Consistent with other codes, the code includes new sections on:

·  legal duties for employers, self-employed persons, persons with control or management of a workplace, principal contractors, persons who install, erect or commission plant, persons who design a building or structure and employees, and;

·  the general risk management process.

Proposed compliance code: Noise - what are the proposed changes?

  1. The proposed compliance code: Noise (code) provides practical guidance to duty holders on how to comply with their duties under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act) and ‘Part 3.2 – Noise’ of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 (OHS Regulations).
  2. Victoria does not currently have a Noise Compliance Code. WorkSafe currently provides non-statutory guidance about noise in Victorian workplaces in the Guide for assessing and fixing noise problems at work2005 (Noise handbook).
  3. Content for the proposed Noise Compliance Code is from the Noise handbook, the Safe Work Australia Model Code of Practice – Managing noise and preventing hearing loss September 2015and theWorkSafe Noise Code of Practice No.17, 1992.
  4. The Code provides background about what causes hearing loss and how noise physically damages hearing.
  5. Consistent with other Codes, the proposed Code includes sections on:
  • legal duties for employers, self-employed persons, employees, manufacturers and/or designers of plant, designers of buildings or structures, suppliers, persons who install, erect or commission plant and;
  • the general risk management process.

What is a compliance code?

Compliance codes (codes) provide practical guidance to duty holders on how to comply with duties under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act) and Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 (OHS Regulations).

While the guidance provided in a compliance code (code) is not mandatory, a duty holder who complies with a code will – to the extent it deals with their duties or obligations under the OHS Regulations – be considered to have complied with those duties or obligations.

Codes use simple language, examples, pictures, and diagrams to show known, available, and effective means of achieving compliance in everyday circumstances and situations.

Who is undertaking the review?

WorkSafe Victoria (WorkSafe), in collaboration with key stakeholders, is undertaking the review of the codes on behalf of the Victorian Government.

Why is WorkSafe reviewing the codes?

The codes have been updated to ensure they reflect the duties in the OHS Act 2004 and the OHS Regulations that took effect on 18 June 2017.

What is the difference between a compliance code and a code of practice?

In Victoria, codes of practice that were made under the previous OHS Act 1985 (now repealed) no longer have legal status under the current OHS Act 2004.  

Codes that are made under the current OHS Act have a specific legal status, which means that a duty holder who complies with a code – to the extent it deals with their duties or obligations under the OHS Regulations – will be considered to have complied with those duties or obligations.

Which codes are under review?

WorkSafe is reviewing the following codes of practice and compliance codes as part of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation Reform:

  • Safety Precautions in Trenching Operations Code of Practice
  • Building and Construction Workplaces Code of Practice
  • Demolition Code of Practice
  • Plant Code of Practice
  • Manual Handling Code of Practice
  • Hazardous Substances Code of Practice
  • Confined Spaces Compliance Code
  • Prevention of Falls in Housing Construction Code of Practice
  • Prevention of Falls in General Construction Compliance Code
  • Removing Asbestos in Workplaces Compliance Code
  • Managing Asbestos in Workplaces Compliance Code

Which codes are being proposed?

The proposed compliance codes - Prevention of falls in general construction and Prevention of falls in housing construction - are now available for public comment from 1 February to 28 February 2018.

The proposed compliance codes - Managing asbestos in workplaces and Removing asbestos in workplaces - were made available for public comment in November to December 2017.

The following eight proposed compliance codes were available for public comment in May to June 2017:

  • Hazardous manual handling (previously Manual Handling Code of Practice)
  • Hazardous substances (previously Hazardous Substances Code of Practice)
  • Plant (previously Plant Code of Practice)
  • Confined spaces (previously Confined Spaces Compliance Code)
  • Demolition (previously Demolition Code of Practice)
  • Facilities in construction (previously Building and Construction Workplaces Code of Practice)
  • Excavation (previously Safety Precautions in Trenching Operations Code of Practice)
  • Noise (this is a new code, created from a guidance handbook, Guide for assessing and fixing noise problems at work).

Following public comment, the codes will be updated to reflect feedback and WorkSafe will provide the finalised codes to the Minister for Finance, Robin Scott MP, for his approval.

Why weren’t the codes released for public comment at the same time as the proposed OHS Regulations 2017?

In consultation with stakeholders, it was agreed to release the proposed codes after the OHS Regulations were settled so that the codes can be reviewed in line with the final regulations.

Which organisations are involved in the stakeholder reference groups?

Ten topic-specific stakeholder reference groups consisting of employer, industry, and employee organisations, listed below, were established to support Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Regulation Reform, including the compliance codes review.

AiGroup - The Australian Industry Group

AMCA - Airconditioning and Mechanical Contractors' Association

AMIEU - Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union

AMWU - Australian Manufacturing Workers Union

ANMF - Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation

AWU - Australian Workers Union

CCF - Civil Contractors Federation

CFA - Country Fire Authority

CFMEU - Construction, Forestry, Mining & Energy Union Mining & Energy Union

ETU - Electrical Trade Union

HIA - Housing Industry association

MBAV - Master Builders Association of Victoria

MCA - Minerals Council of Australia

MFB - Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board

MPMSAA - Master Plumbers & Mechanical Services Association of Australia

MUA – Maritime Union of Australia

NGMA - National Gypsum Miners Association

PACIA - Plastics and Chemicals Industries Association

PAV - The Police Association of Victoria

PMAV - Prospectors and Miners Association of Victoria

PTEU - Plumbing Trades Employees Union

SES - Victoria State Emergency Service Authority

VACC - Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce

VCEA - Victorian Congress of Employers Association

VECCI - Victorian Employers Chamber of Commerce and Industry

VicWater – VicWater Industry Association

VicPol – Victoria Police

VTHC – Victoria Trades Hall Council

What changes are proposed to the codes?

Changes proposed reflect the recent changes to the OHS Regulations and current Victorian work practices and hazards. 

You can view a summary of the proposed changes to the codes in these FAQs above.

Why is Victoria not adopting the model codes developed under national Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) legislation?

The Victorian Government has stated that it will not be adopting the model work health and safety laws in their current form.

WorkSafe continues to enforce Victoria's existing Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) laws.

Model codes of practice have not been designed to assist duty holders to comply with Victorian OHS legislation. Whereas, Victorian codes support Victorian legislation and regulations.

In some cases, WorkSafe has considered the content of model codes of practice when developing the Victorian codes, where the subject matter or legislative requirements align with Victorian arrangements.

When will the final codes be made available?

The Facilities in construction, Hazardous manual handling, Noise, Plant and Confined spaces compliance codes were published in March 2018.

The Demolition and Excavation compliance codes were published in May 2018.

The Hazardous substances code was published in July 2018.

The Managing asbestos in workplaces and Removing asbestos in workplaces codes were published in October 2018.

It is anticipated the remaining codes will be finalised by June 2018.

Can I still refer to the existing compliance codes and codes of practice until the new codes come into effect?

When the OHS regulations came into effect on 18 June 2017, existing codes continued to be available as a source of practical guidance and contributed to state of knowledge to assist those who must comply with health and safety laws.

However, complying with a code made in relation to the OHS Regulations 2007 may not necessarily mean compliance with a duty under the OHS Regulations 2017. 

When can I provide my comments?

Public comment on the proposed compliance codes is now closed. 

How can I make a submission?

During a public comment period, submissions will be accepted through the consultation website and via email or mail. 

Will WorkSafe publish my submission?

All non-confidential submissions will be published on this website on the code submissions received page. Please make sure that you advise us in your submission if you would like it to remain confidential and it will not be published.

Do I have to include my name with my submission?

WorkSafe will only accept submissions that have a name provided. However, WorkSafe will not publish your submission with your name if you request to have it removed before publication. 
You can select to not have your name included in the submission form. If you are submitting on behalf of an organisation, the organisation’s name will be published instead of your name.

What happens after I provide a submission?

WorkSafe will review and consider all submissions received during public comment where appropriate and make changes to the codes to reflect the feedback received before providing them to the Minister for final approval.

Your submission will also be published on our consultation website unless you indicate otherwise. If you’d prefer that your name was not included with your submission, make sure to indicate your preference in the submission form.

How can I get more information?

You can get more information by contacting the WorkSafe Advisory Service on 1800 136 089 (free call), Monday to Friday, between 8.30am to 5.00pm. You can also email questions to ohsregsreform@worksafe.vic.gov.au.