Role of the department

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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.

Overview of the Act Overview of the general regulations

This information is designed to help WA organisations and their associated workforces (including volunteers) prepare for the new Work Health and Safety laws. More information will be added as it becomes available.

What is the role of the Department?

WorkSafe, part of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety, is the WHS department that will assist the regulator in the administration of the WHS Act. This includes the provision of inspectors and other staff to secure compliance with the legislation.

To align with the legislative change the Department is consolidating all its workplace health and safety inspectorates from the existing WorkSafe, Mines Safety, Petroleum Safety, and the teams that support them, under one shared identity, WorkSafe Western Australia.

A unified identity will simplify communication about the relationship between the WorkSafe Commissioner, as the ‘regulator’ under the WHS Act, and DMIRS as the ‘WHS department’.

The new WorkSafe WA identity will assist to reinforce the message that there will be one WHS Act for almost all WA workplaces.

For more information about WorkSafe visit

What powers will inspectors have?

Under the WHS Act, inspectors have powers to:

  • provide information and advice about how to comply with the WHS Act and regulations
  • help resolve work health and safety issues at workplaces
  • require compliance with the WHS Act by issuing notices
  • review disputed provisional improvement notices (PINs)
  • investigate contraventions and help prosecute offences
  • attend coronial inquests into work-related deaths and examine witnesses
  • investigate and report on matters relating to WHS, including particular types of hazards and matters relating to particular industries or particular businesses or undertakings.

Looking for more information?

For detailed information on the powers of inspectors in securing compliance, refer to the Overview of Western Australia’s Work Health and Safety Act 2020.

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