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Work health and safety laws

How to protect the health, safety and welfare of your employees and volunteers.

Content last updated 16/05/2024

Victorian guide to occupational health and safety

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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) 
Occupational health and safety laws (Vic)

The content on this webpage was last updated in September 2023 and is not legal advice. See full disclaimer and copyright notice.

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