Summary of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004: A handbook for workplaces

Duties and rights under the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act.


What it contains

This handbook outlines how OHS laws apply to workplaces. It is useful for:

  • employers
  • employees
  • health and safety representatives
  • suppliers, designers and manufacturers

The handbook explains:

  • the purpose of the OHS Act and who it covers
  • the role of WorkSafe in ensuring workplaces comply with the Act
  • the general OHS duties that apply to employers, self-employed people and employees
  • how employees should be consulted about health and safety
  • what happens when there is a workplace incident
  • how employers should consider what licences, registrations, permits and certificates of competency are needed for a workplace
  • the role of WorkSafe inspectors in enforcing health and safety laws
  • how decisions made under OHS laws can be reviewed
  • how WorkSafe and inspectors can initiate legal proceedings under the Act

At the end of the document, there is:

  • information about repealing the previous OHS Act
  • a glossary of terms from the Act
  • a table of penalties under the Act