Supporting and enforcing compliance with Australia's harmonised WHS laws

Elizabeth Bluff, Richard Johnstone

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    In Australia, the Commonwealth, four state and two territory governments have harmonised their work health and safety (WHS) laws. However, consistency and efficacy in WHS regulation require more than a harmonised legislative framework. How regulators support, inspect and enforce WHS laws has as much, if not more, impact on workplace parties’ experiences of and responses to WHS regulation. This article presents the findings of empirical research with WHS regulators in the seven jurisdictions with harmonised WHS laws. The research has revealed differences, strengths and weaknesses in the organisation of WHS regulators and their inspectorate resources, the training and development of inspectors, the regulators’ core functions and activities, and their formal and informal models and frameworks for decision making. Some implications for WHS policy and practice are identified, with suggestions for ways to enhance the effectiveness of these WHS regulators.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)30-57 pp
    JournalAustralian Journal of Labour Law
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


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