Developing the WHS laws
When do the new WHS laws come into effect?
WA’s Work Health and Safety legislation is not expected to come into force until January 2022. This means that the current occupational, mines safety and petroleum safety legislation still applies.
Overviews of the new WHS Act and general regulations
Overview documents provide Information on the new WHS laws coming into effect in 2022. Guidance for mines and petroleum regulations will be released at a later date.
Modernising work health and safety in Western Australia
In 2017, work started on developing modernised work health and safety (WHS) laws in Western Australia. To be more consistent with the rest of Australia, the new laws will largely be based on the national model Work Health and Safety Act (the model WHS Act).
Changes to the laws also mean that there will only be one Act for workplace safety and health across all WA industries.
The Act will be supported by three sets of industry specific regulations to suit WA’s unique conditions. These regulations will help the resources sector continue to use a risk-based approach, and support the safety-case approach for petroleum.
Work Health and Safety Act
Western Australia’s Work Health and Safety Act 2020 (WHS Act) was passed by the Parliament in early November 2020 and assented to by the Governor on 10 November 2020.
When implemented in 2022, almost all Western Australian workplaces will come under this single Act, which will replace the following legislation:
- Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984
- Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994
- the work health and safety elements of three other Acts covering petroleum
There has been extensive public consultation in developing the Act – find out about the Act consultation process.
Work Health and Safety Regulations
On 11 March 2021, the Hon Mark McGowan MLA, Premier, announced his commitment to implementing the three sets of regulations related to the new WHS Act from January 2022. The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) is working to meet this Government commitment.
It is expected that in mid-September 2021, DMIRS will commence promoting advice, providing information and delivering education regarding the new WHS laws.
Information about the WHS laws will also be provided during October’s Safe Work Month.
The WHS Act will be supported by three sets of regulations:
- Work Health and Safety Regulations (General) – applies to all workplaces except those covered by the other two sets of regulations
- Work Health and Safety Regulations (Mines) – applies to exploration and mining operations
- Work Health and Safety Regulations (Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Operations).
Once the regulations are completed, the WHS Act and its regulations will come into force.
Find out about the regulation consultation process.
Got questions about WA's WHS laws?
A list of commonly asked questions and the department’s responses is available.
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