OHS vs WHS In Australia
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Welcome to our in-depth exploration of the transition from Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) to Work Health and Safety (WHS) in Australia. This change isn’t just a matter of swapping acronyms; it reflects a significant shift in how workplace safety is managed and implemented across the country.

Our guide is designed to unravel the nuances of this transition, making it easy for you to grasp the implications for your business or workplace.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Understand the evolution from OHS to WHS.
  2. Grasp the responsibilities under WHS laws.
  3. Learn how WHS impacts various stakeholders in the workplace.

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For any enquiries on any of our services or if you have any questions don't hesitate to contact us today for your local WHS consultants & training Professionals.

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Ensuring Best Practice in WHS Across All Industries

Spire Safety delivers professional and tailor-made workplace health and safety services for all types of business Australia-wide.

WHS Training Programs for the Modern Workplace

Empower your staff to take charge of workplace safety with our suite of WHS training programs delivered by industry qualified experts.

Specialised Safety Advice for Diverse Clients

No matter the size or type of business, our WHS consultants have the experience and know-how to provide effective solutions that work.

Delivering Innovative Solutions for WHS Compliance

Rest easy knowing that your organisation is meeting its WHS compliance requirements with Spire Safety’s expert safety consultants.

Our Work Health And Safety Services

What is your risk? At Spire Safety we provide the top level of competent and practical safety advice while making the implementation easy.


Legal Compliance Auditing

Helping businesses meet their legal obligations.


WHS Training & Gap Analysis

Finding gaps and providing safety training to personnel


System & Procedure Development

Developing management systems & procedures to manage internal processes

ISO Certification

ISO Certification Services

Become ISO compliant for your business in Australia. Increase your companies reputation nationally and internationally


Other Safety Services & Advice

Miscellaneous safety services and consultation

WHS Training, Courses & Programs For The Australian Workplace

Spire Safety offers a variety of safety and industry courses, these courses are run both for the public and corporate/private clients. Our trainers are qualified and experienced industry experts with the know-how to effectively and safely get the job done.


Non-Accredited WHS Training

Customised training to create a safe work environment.

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Accredited WHS Courses

Workplace training with national accreditation

The Evolution of Workplace Safety in Australia

The Era of OHS: A Historical Perspective

Before 2012, OHS was the framework governing workplace safety in Australia. It focused primarily on the roles of employers and employees in maintaining a safe work environment.

Transition to WHS: A New Paradigm

The shift to WHS marked a more inclusive approach. It broadened the scope to include contractors, visitors, and even customers, ensuring a more holistic safety environment.

Understanding WHS: More Than Just a Name Change

Broadening the Scope: Beyond Occupational Roles

WHS laws expanded the definition of workplace responsibility. Now, it wasn’t just about specific occupations; it was about anyone involved in work activities.

Harmonising Safety Standards Across Australia

One of the key goals of WHS was to standardise safety laws across states and territories, making it easier for businesses with national operations to comply.

WHS Laws and Regulations: What You Need to Know

The Core Components of WHS Legislation

The WHS framework consists of the WHS Act, WHS Regulations, and WHS Codes of Practice. These components work together to establish a comprehensive safety protocol.

Employer Responsibilities Under WHS

Under WHS laws, employers have an expanded set of duties. These include risk identification, provision of safety equipment, and ensuring worker training and supervision.

Role of WHS Safety Consultants

How Consultants Can Aid Compliance

WHS Safety Consultants play a crucial role in helping businesses understand and implement WHS standards, ensuring legal compliance and worker safety.

Choosing the Right WHS Consultant

Selecting a consultant who understands your specific industry and business needs is key to effective WHS management.

Workplace Health and Safety: Ensuring a Safer Tomorrow

The Impact of WHS on Business Operations

Implementing WHS standards can lead to a safer workplace, increased productivity, and reduced legal risks.

WHS: A Shared Responsibility

WHS emphasises the collective responsibility of employers, employees, and other stakeholders in maintaining a safe work environment.

Contact Us

For any enquiries on any of our services or if you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact us today for your local WHS consultants & training Professionals.

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    Service Areas

    Australia, Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Hobart, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin and various regional locations.

    FAQs on OHS and WHS

    What are the main differences between OHS and WHS?
    OHS focuses more on occupational roles, while WHS broadens the responsibility to all individuals involved in work activities.

    Are WHS laws consistent across all Australian states?
    Yes, one of the primary objectives of WHS was to harmonise workplace safety laws across Australia.

    Can a business be penalised for not complying with WHS laws?
    Absolutely. Non-compliance can lead to significant fines and legal consequences.

    Advice & Actionable Tips

    1. Regular Compliance Checks: Regularly review your workplace practices against WHS standards.
    2. Engage a WHS Consultant: Consider hiring a consultant to ensure you’re on the right track.
    3. Continuous Training: Keep your workforce informed and trained in WHS practices.


    The shift from OHS to WHS in Australia is more than just a change in terminology. It represents a significant move towards a safer, more inclusive work environment.

    Understanding and implementing these changes is crucial for businesses to not only comply with legal requirements but also to foster a culture of safety and responsibility.

    Article Sources & Further Reading

    1. LawPath – Understanding OHS and WHS

    Remember, a safe workplace is a productive workplace. Stay informed and stay safe!

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