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

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

Jun 2005

Reading level


File type and size

PDF, 3.9 MB

Document length

40 pages

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