Health and Safety Legislation in Western Australia

Health and Safety Legislation in Western Australia assignment help provides an overview of various health and safety legislative requirements for employees.

Published on: Jan 1, 1970


Western Australia is among the six states of Australia which occupies one-third of its entire west. The part of Australia is surrounded by the Indian Ocean from north to west, with the Great Australian Bight and Southern Ocean to the south. Western Australia has a larger area than the other states however it has a lesser population settled in the remote location of the state. 92% of the population of the state is said to have settled in the south-west.

Each state of the continent has its parliament with lower houses pronounced as Legislative assemblies and upper houses as legislative councils. The head of government in each state is pronounced as a Premier and the queen is given the status of governor of the state.

In Australia, each state has developed and enforced its own occupational, health and safety legislation. Each state has the power to pass its own health and safety Acts. The legislation of the state has the wisdom to do the following:

1. Establish general standards for safety
2. Provide rights to workers
3. Aware employees of the state for health and safety at the workplace.

The Legislation of the state disagrees with the model workplace health and safety (WHS) act which forms the basis of the WHS Acts that have been accepted across Australia to enforce work health and safety law in accordance. The WHS relates to the following:

1. Penalty levels
2. Union right of entry
3. Health and safety representatives’ capacity to direct the cessation of work
4. Reverse onus of proof in discrimination matters.

State Legislation also assists OHS compliance using guidance notes that provide detailed information on the requirements of statutes, regulations, standards and codes of practice. Currently, the legislation has the following acts enforced on the state:

1. Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984
2. Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996
3. Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994
4. Mines Safety and Inspection Regulations 1995
5. Workers Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981
6. Workers Compensation and Injury Management (Acts of Terrorism) Act 2001
7. Workers Compensation (Common Law Proceedings) Act 2004
8. Workers Compensation and Injury Management Regulations 1982



The Occupational Safety and Health Act works under the administration of the WorkSafe Western Australia Commission, an authority under the state’s Department of commerce. Work Safe Commission is responsible for policy development, public education, complaints investigation, conducting inspections, facilitating mediation to ensure compliance and if necessary, prosecuting, licensing and registering entities and individuals to ensure that minimum standards are met.


Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 

1. Duties:  All employees, controllers of the workplace, designers and manufacturers have duties of care as per the legislation. The designers and constructors of the infrastructure have the duty of care to design and take care of the hazards to safety and health. The Agencies who break the law are subjected to prosecution.

2. Safety and Health representatives: Under the act the safety representatives are elected by the employees. Employers are allowed to consult the representative on OHS issues. Employees have the power to consult an inspector where there is no safety representative.

The safety representatives can complain about discrimination by employees. Under such a situation to save the safety representative, the prosecution needs to convince the court that the performance of the safety and health functions was dominant.

The safety representatives have the wisdom to issue provisional improvement notices (PINs) when they believe an employer is breaking the act or regulation.

3. Refusal to work: Under the act, workers have the right to refuse to work, at a workplace, where there seems a safety or health hazard to them. However, it is counted as an offence if the obligations are inspected and stated to be false. It is also counted as an offence if the workers deny performing additional tasks, other than the ones that pose harm to their health.

4. Penalties: As per the Work Safe Commission someone who is convicted of serious charges has to pay a penalty of $500,000 for the first offence and $625,000 for the subsequent offence. A person accountable for causing any serious harm or death can be jailed for two years. 



The health and safety legislation in WESTERN AUSTRALIA plays a vital role in defining the well-being of workers and maintaining a safe environment for employees across the state. The WorkSafe Western Australia Commission, the state government, has its own set of acts and regulations that are committed to upholding standards of occupational safety and health. With penalties in place for non-compliance, the legislation underscores the seriousness of adhering to safety protocols. As students and professionals seek a comprehensive understanding of these laws and their implications, resources such as Oz Assignments can provide invaluable assistance in navigating the complexities of health and safety regulations within Western Australia and beyond.

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