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Work Health and Safety for Parliamentarians

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Duties under WHS Legislation

As a parliamentarian, you have duties under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act) to ensure the health and safety of persons in any workplace where you or your workers work.

Finance also has WHS duties for some matters within your workplace, arising from the facilities and services provided to support your work and has put WHS systems and arrangements in place to assist Parliamentarians discharge your WHS duties. 

Information summarising your duties and how WHS responsibilities are shared between you and Finance is available.

You must:

  • ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of workers that you engage, direct or influence, including MOP(S) Act employees, volunteers and contractors as well as other persons in the workplace
  • consult, cooperate and coordinate activities with your staff, visitors and Commonwealth agencies who have a role in your workplace so that you are all working together to eliminate or minimise risks.

Meeting WHS obligations

A checklist and guide summarising the steps you can take to keep your workplace safe and comply with the legislation is available to assist you. 

WHS arrangements for MOP(S) Act Employees

Comprehensive information on WHS arrangements for MOP(S) Act Employees is available and includes information to assist with hazards that you and your staff may encounter in the course of your work as a parliamentarian, and online training and advice specifically tailored to MOP(S) Act employment. 

Further information

Information about the WHS Act and general work health and safety (WHS) advice is available from Comcare. Comcare provides detailed advice on the worker and officer duties in its Regulatory Guide Health and Safety Duties.

Departmental Circular 2016/07 Work Health and Safety Arrangements in Parliamentarians’ Workplaces provides additional information for Senators and Members.

To discuss WHS arrangements within your office(s), please contact your Advice and Support Director.

Last updated: 05 November 2019