Work Health and Safety

Work Health & Safety (WHS), sometimes referred to as Occupational Health and Safety (OHS), is vitally important in the building and construction industry. Every worker has the right to work in a safe environment, and employers should ensure safety is their number one priority on site.

Employees have the right to stop work if there is an imminent risk to their health and safety. If this occurs, employees must follow any reasonable direction of their employer to perform other work that is safe and appropriate for them.

Federal Safety Commissioner

The Federal Safety Commissioner is responsible for developing, implementing and administering an OHS Accreditation Scheme for Australian Government building and construction work. For more information on the Australian Government Building and Construction OHS Accreditation Scheme visit the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner website Link opens external website in new tab.

Work health & safety laws

Each State and Territory has Work Health and Safety laws. All Australian States and Territories except Western Australia and Victoria have adopted harmonised Work Health & Safety lawsbased upon the Model Work Health and Safety Bill.

In Western Australia, the relevant legislation is the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1984. In Victoria, the relevant legislation is the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004.

More information regarding the harmonised WHS laws can be found on Safe Work Australia's website Link opens external website in new tab. Safe Work Australia is an independent statutory agency responsible to improve work health and safety and workers' compensation arrangements across Australia.Links to the relevant WHS or OHS authority in your State or Territory, and other Federal bodies, are available below.

Health & Safety | WorkSafe ACT Link opens external website in new tab (02) 6207 3000

SafeWork NSW Link opens external website in new tab 13 10 50

NT WorkSafe Link opens external website in new tab 1800 019 115

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland Link opens external website in new tab1300 362 128

SafeWork SA Link opens external website in new tab1300 365 255

WorkSafe Victoria Link opens external website in new tab (03) 9641 1444 or 1800 136 089

WorkSafe WA Link opens external website in new tab 1300 307 877

WorkSafe Tas Link opens external website in new tab 1300 366 322

Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner Link opens external website in new tab 1800 652 500

Safe Work Australia Link opens external website in new tab

Need more information?

For further information, advice or assistance please contact the ABCC at 1800 003 338 or enquiry [at] abcc.gov.au.