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Australia: Health and safety

Original and updating authors: Shana Schreier-Joffe and Dean Tolkin

Consultant editor: Nicholas Furlan

Summary

  • Health and safety at work is regulated mainly by legislation at the level of individual states and territories, in most cases based on "model" legislation at federal level. (See General)
  • Employers are obliged to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of workers, and have a range of specific duties in this area, as do workers. (See Duties on employers and employees)
  • Employers must consult workers on health and safety matters, and workers are entitled to be represented by health and safety representatives, while health and safety committees may also be established. (See Safety representatives)
  • Responsibility for monitoring and enforcing compliance with health and safety legislation lies primarily with public regulators in individual states and territories. (See Enforcement and penalties)
  • Employers must generally take out occupational injury and illness insurance for all their employees, under "workers' compensation" schemes governed by the legislation of individual states and territories. (See Compensation for occupational injury or illness)