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A NSW Government website

Codes of practice

An index of safety and health related codes of practice. Also includes information on what codes of practice are, how they relate to the law and how they are developed.

What are codes of practice and how do they relate to the law?

An approved code of practice is a practical guide to achieving the standards of health, safety and welfare required under work health and safety laws.

Who do they apply to?

A code of practice applies to anyone who has a duty of care in the circumstances described in the code. In most cases, following an approved code of practice would achieve compliance with the health and safety duties in the WHS legislation for the subject matter of the code.

Like regulations, codes of practice deal with particular issues and do not cover all hazards or risks. The health and safety duties require duty holders to consider all risks associated with work, not only those for which regulations and codes of practice exist.

What is their legal status?

Codes of practice are admissible in court proceedings under WHS legislation. Courts may regard a code of practice as evidence of what is known about a hazard, risk or control. They may also rely on the code in determining what is reasonably practicable.

You can achieve compliance with the WHS legislation by following another method, such as a technical or an industry standard, as long as it provides an equivalent or higher standard of work health and safety than the relevant code.

An inspector may refer to an approved code of practice when issuing an improvement or prohibition notice.

How are they developed?

WHS codes of practice are generally developed with input from all state and territory WHS regulators as well as worker and business representatives. They are released for public comment as part of the process.

Mining codes of practice have been developed with input from the Queensland and Western Australian mine safety regulators as well as worker and business representatives. In some cases they have been based on draft model codes developed under the National Mine Safety Framework.

Codes of practice for WHS (Mines) legislation

A number of codes of practice have been approved and apply to all NSW mines.

When new draft codes of practice are developed, they are released for public consultation. Check our public consultation page for current draft codes of practice.

If you would like to keep informed of new public consultation as they become available for public comment or are published, subscribe to Mine Safety News.

Codes of practice for WHS legislation

A series of codes of practice have also been approved under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

They are available from SafeWorkNSW.

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