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Victorian guide to occupational health and safety
In Victoria, WHS in the workplace (referred to as occupational health and safety) is regulated by the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic) (the OHS Act) and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 (Vic) (collectively, Victoria's OHS laws).
There are different laws in other states and territories and your organisation will need to check these if it operates outside Victoria.
The OHS laws set out the duties that organisations and people must comply with in the workplace and are regulated and enforced by Victorian WorkSafe Authority (WorkSafe), a Victorian government authority. WorkSafe may prosecute organisations that breach (do not comply with) the OHS law duties that they are required to comply with.
Because a lot of information and advertisements about Victoria’s OHS laws mention or show businesses, some people think the laws only apply to for-profit, business organisations. This is not correct. The OHS Act is very broad and has the potential to apply to all Victorian community organisations (both incorporated and unincorporated).
The OHS Act applies to community organisations that have employees but may also apply to community organisations that are completely volunteer based where the organisations operate in a 'workplace' that they manage or control .
Our comprehensive guide covers:
- how Victoria's OHS laws apply to not-for-profit community organisations
- specific duties under Victoria's OHS laws
- who may be legally responsible under Victoria's OHS laws and what liability can flow from breaches of OHS
- steps to comply with Victoria's OHS laws and other employee safety obligations
- what to do if there is a workplace incident - initial response and notification requirements, and
- powers of the Victorian WorkSafe Authority (WorkSafe Victoria)
Child safety in Victoria
When you work with children, you have a legal responsibility to ensure their physical, mental and emotional safety.
In addition to the duty of care your community organisation owes employees, clients and possibly members of the public, you should consider the special responsibilities you may have in relation to children that your organisation comes into contact with when providing services.
Our fact sheet covers Victoria’s compulsory Child Safe Standards and aims to help community organisations strengthen their child safety practices.
The content on this webpage was last updated in September 2023 and is not legal advice. See full disclaimer and copyright notice.