Queensland Codes of Practice
There has been changes since 1st July 2018 to how codes of practice are to be used in QLD, which differs from the other states.
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Understanding the change:
- Within Australia ‘codes of practice’ provide practical guidance on how to identify and manage risk and, achieve the standards required under the applicable work health and safety (WHS) laws.
- Codes of practice are seen as the accepted industry standard on how to meet legislative requirements However, while duty holders were required to comply with the underlying legislation, the practices as laid out in the Codes did not represent the only acceptable means of achieving these standards.
A code of practice did not have the same legal force as a regulation and was not sufficient reason, of itself, for prosecution under the Act although they could be used in a law court to provide evidence, or lack thereof, in meeting these requirements.
As of 1st July 2018 (in QLD only at this stage) this has changed. As of that date, PCBUs in QLD are now required by law to comply with an approved Code of Practice under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.
Although duty holders can still follow another method, such as a technical or an industry standard to manage hazards and risks, as long as it provides an equivalent or higher standard of work health and safety to the code, as a default they must now, at minimum, comply with an approved Code of Practice.
Although this difference seems slight, a code of practice now carries the same legal force as a regulation in QLD. This means that the guidance provided in an approved Codes of practice must be followed for relevant tasks in QLD.
To ensure your safety processes are compliant, it is important that all Work, Health and Safety documentation now used in QLD, especially SWMS, incorporates the requirements of the applicable Codes of Practice.
All SafetyCulture documents are developed to incorporate the applicable Codes of Practice giving you peace of mind that your systems are based on current best practice and, compliant with the regulations.