WHS and OHS laws reviewed by state ministers

Safework Australia has announced that model WHS laws will be reviewed by WHS Ministers across Australia to ensure they are achieving their original objectives.

Ministers responsible for WHS have agreed to review the content and operation of the model WHS laws, which is the first opportunity since the laws were implemented to explore how the model WHS laws are working in practice, which is part of the original plan to review the model WHS laws regularly and ensure they continue operating effectively.

Marie Boland, former executive director of SafeWork SA, will lead the review and according to Safework Australia Boland brings expertise and experience gained through years of involvement in WHS policy and regulation.

The review will include:

  • As agreed by WHS ministers, SWA is asked to examine and report on the content and operation of the model WHS laws.
  • The review will be evidence-based and propose actions that may be taken by WHS ministers to improve the model WHS laws, or identify areas of the model WHS laws that require further assessment and analysis following the review.
  • In undertaking the review, SWA will have regard to the object of the model WHS Act (section 3).
  • The review will also consider whether:
    1. the model WHS laws are operating as intended
    2. any areas of the model WHS laws have resulted in unintended consequences
    3. the framework of duties is effective at protecting workers and other persons against harm to their health, safety and welfare and can adapt to changes in work organisation and relationships  
    4. the compliance and enforcement provisions, such as penalties and enforceable undertakings, are effective and sufficient to deter non-compliance with the legislation
    5. the consultation, representation and issue resolution provisions are effective and used by duty holders; and workers are protected where they participate in these processes, and
    6. the model WHS Regulations model Codes of Practice and National compliance and enforcement policy adequately support the object of the model WHS Act.
  • The review will be finalised by the end of 2018.​
  • SWA will provide a written report for the consideration of WHS ministers.


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