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Recent changes to Work Health and Safety legislation in the ACT  


Recently, changes have been made to the nationally agreed model Work Health and Safety laws. These changes have now been incorporated into ACT legislation and include:

Workplace Legislation Amendment Act 2024 (‘Amendment Act’)

  • The Amendment Act adopts nationally agreed increases to work health and safety (‘WHS’) penalty amounts and strengthens criminal liability provisions for WHS breaches from 19 August 2024.
  • The Amendment Act expands the ACT’s portable long service leave scheme to accommodation, food, hairdressing and beauty services from 1 April 2025.

Work Health and Safety (Workplace Exposure Standards) Declaration 2024 (No 1)

From 1 October 2024 the workplace exposure standard for welding fumes will be reduced to 1mg/m³ as an eight-hour Time Weighted Average (TWA). Importantly, businesses must continue to meet all work health and safety duties, including levels of compliance set out in the code of practice for welding processes which remains in force and is unamended.

Work health and safety (WHS) ministers have nationally agreed to new Workplace Exposure Limits (‘WEL’) which will replace the Workplace exposure standards for airborne contaminants (WES) from 1 December 2026. WHS ministers agreed to rename the WES as Workplace exposure limits (WEL) to make it clear that these are a limit that should not be exceeded.

You can find more information about the changes to exposure limits here.

Dangerous Goods (Road Transport) Regulation 2010

The Regulation has been amended in line with the Australian Dangerous Goods code edition 7.8, to incorporate all reforms made to the current edition in accordance with the Inter-Governmental Agreement for Regulatory and Operational Reform in Road, Rail and Intermodal Transport (IGA).

For more information about your obligations under the Work Health and Safety laws, reach out to the Workplace Relations and Legal team on 02 6175 5900.