Compliance code: Communicating occupational health and safety across languages


What it contains

Employers have specific duties and obligations they need to comply with under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act) and Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 (OHS Regulations). These include providing OHS information to employees in appropriate languages and forms and ensuring that employees with limited English proficiency are appropriately represented in consultation on workplace health and safety.

This compliance code provides practical guidance on how to comply with those duties and obligations. WorkSafe has developed the compliance code in consultation with employer and employee representatives.

The information in this compliance code is particularly relevant if you're an employer or health and safety representative (HSR) in a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) workplace. It uses examples and tools you can apply to your own workplace.

It includes information on:

  • the duties for employers in CALD workplaces
  • how to undertake consultation on OHS with HSRs and employees in CALD workplaces
  • how to understand and plan for your workforce information needs, including how to build a language profile for your workplace
  • techniques for communicating for understanding across languages
  • providing language support to employees, including the use of interpreters, translators and multilingual facilitators
  • how to provide effective training for employees, supervisors and managers

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

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