Compliance code: Facilities in construction - Key changes

A guide to explain the changes between the new and old Facilities in construction compliance code.



The Facilities in construction compliance code, 2018 was published on 15 March 2018. It replaces the Building and construction workplaces code of practice, 1990. The new code is based on the old code and is designed to:

  • be easy to read and use
  • align with the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 (OHS Regulations)
  • reflect modern work practices and state of knowledge
  • align with other updated compliance codes.

Reference and style changes

The new code includes some standard updates:

  • new references to relevant legislation when legal duties apply
  • additional cross-references to make related information easier to find in the code.
  • information about Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act) duties and OHS Regulations duties.

How to use this guide

The differences between the old and new codes are outlined in the following sections.

The sections reflect the new layout for the codes. Under each section is a short summary of the key changes and under this summary is a table that lists the headings of the old and new code for ease of comparison for duty holders.


What has changed

The key changes include:

The preface in the new code has been updated for consistency with other compliance codes. In the old code this was the 'What is a code of practice?' section.

Part 1 – Introduction

What has changed

The key changes include:

Exclusions listed in the former code have been further clarified in the new code:

  • For residential construction, including references to specific classes under the Building Code of Australia.
  • For civil construction, including thresholds for the number of persons expected to be on site/working and the number of days the construction work is expected to take.
  • For civil infrastructure maintenance sites, including an additional threshold for the number of days the construction work is expected to take.
  • A new cross reference for non-statutory guidance on the provision of facilities for housing sites, multi-residential developments, mobile and short-term civil construction, and infrastructure maintenance sites.
  • Information previously under 'Scope' has been revised to outline the purpose of facilities and provide examples rather than including a list of facility types, under the subheading 'What are workplace facilities?'
  • The duties under the OHS Regulations and OHS Act for employers, persons with management or control of a workplace, self-employed persons and employees, are outlined and references to the 'principal contractor' as the duty holder have been removed.

New information about employer duties to consult with employees on matters related to health or safety.

Part 2 – Identifying and maintaining facilities

What has changed

The key changes include:

  • Information about requirements for the storage of dangerous goods has been removed, and information about the construction and size of facilities has been moved to the 'Meal facilities' section.

New information about:

  • determining what facilities need to be provided
  • accessibility to toilets and drinking water
  • entry and exit to facilities (relocated from the former section 15 'Exit and entry points')
  • lighting of facilities (relocated from the former section 18 'Lighting'), including a new cross reference for non-statutory guidance on emergency lighting and exit signage
  • A new section about maintaining facilities has been added, which outlines the duty to maintain facilities and the need to replenish consumables, undertake repairs, maintain/inspect/test electrical equipment, and use portable generators/gas appliances appropriately.

New information on monitoring the adequacy of facilities.

Part 3 – Types of facilities for construction sites

What has changed

The key changes include:

The order facilities appear in has been revised and some sections removed, including:

  • provision and storage of personal protective equipment
  • safety helmets
  • road safety apparel
  • first aid facilities
  • precautions against drowning
  • remote locations
  • exit and entry points (some information relocated to Part 2 of the code)
  • fire prevention
  • lighting (some information relocated to Part 2 of the code)

In relation to drinking water, new information includes that water needs to be hygienically provided, drinking water taps need to be labelled, and bottled water needs to be kept cool.

  • In relation to toilets and washing facilities, new information includes:
  • The need to ensure that unisex toilets provide adequate privacy, inclusion of hand washing facilities, determining the number of toilets that need to be provided, provision of sanitary units, and examples of whether unisex toilets are permitted to be provided.
  • Matters that should be considered as part of providing adequate hand washing facilities and need to provide separate hand washing facilities for males and females in certain circumstances.
  • The need to have access to hot and cold water, to provide one cubicle for every 10 employees, and to provide separate shower facilities for males and females or unisex showers in certain circumstances.
  • Some information about washing facilities has been removed, including guidance on the provision of portable shower facilities and the provision of soap or other cleaning products.

Under the section 'Decontamination facilities', the duty to provide decontamination facilities when working with lead or performing asbestos removal work has been included, with cross references to the Managing asbestos in workplaces compliance code, the Removing asbestos in workplaces compliance code and non-statutory guidance on working with lead.

  • The 'Dining facilities' section has been revised to outline matters that should be considered as part of providing adequate meal facilities. Information about the provision of sufficient tables and chairs, warming food, and vermin proof containers has been removed.
  • Information about change rooms has been expanded to include examples of circumstances where persons are required to change in and out of clothing.
  • A new section on personal storage outlines the need to provide storage facilities that are separate from the storage of personal protective clothing and personal protective equipment.


What has changed

The key changes include:

  • A new Appendix A outlines the compliance framework, consistent with other compliance codes
  • A new Appendix B provides a facilities planning checklist

WorkSafe Advisory Service

WorkSafe's advisory service is available between 7:30am and 6:30pm Monday to Friday. If you need more support, you can also contact WorkSafe using the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) or the National Relay Service.

1800 136 089 More contact options

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