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A Code of Practice provides practical guidance for people who have work health and safety duty of care in the circumstances described in the code. These codes do not replace the WHS laws but give guidance on:

  • best practice controls for particular types of hazards
  • how to achieve the standards required under the Act
  • effective ways to identify and manage risks.

A code of practice may include:

  • explanatory information
  • recommendations for best practice or
  • references to occupational safety and health laws.

Achieving compliance under a code

In most cases, following an approved Code of Practice would achieve compliance with the duty holder’s health and safety duties in the Act, in relation to the subject matter of the code.

While duty holders must comply with the underlying occupational safety and health laws, the preventative strategies outlined do not represent the only acceptable means of achieving a certain standard.

We recognise that equivalent or better ways of achieving the required work health and safety outcomes may be possible. For that reason compliance with codes of practice is not mandatory providing:

  • you have an alternative policy or solution with the same or a better health and safety standard in your workplace, or
  • you can show a recommended control is not ‘reasonably practicable’ for your particular situation.

Codes of Practice deal with particular issues and do not cover all hazards or risks which may arise. The health and safety duties require duty holders to consider all risks associated with work, not only those for which regulations and Codes of Practice exist.

Approved Codes of Practice in South Australia

The Codes of Practice listed below are the approved codes for South Australia. These Codes were updated on 4 June 2020 following a national review that considered the technical accuracy, usability and readability of the Codes.

Not all topics relating to work health and safety have an approved Code of Practice. Navigate our website for work health and safety advice on topics not covered below.

If you have a specific question or concern please contact us for advice.

Australian standards that are Codes of Practice

Where an approved Code of Practice references Australian or Australian/New Zealand Standards, the risk controls specified in those standards must also be complied with. All Australian Standards provide examples on how to control particular risks and should be considered when determining a suitable control measure.

Our library has the following Australian Standards available for loan:

  • AS/NZS 1200: Pressure equipment
  • AS 4024.3001: Safety of machinery—Materials forming and shearing—Mechanical power presses
  • AS 4024.3002: Safety of machinery—Materials forming and shearing—Hydrologic power presses
  • AS 1418: Cranes, including hoists and winches
  • AS/NZS 1576: Scaffolding (Parts 1 - 4)
  • AS 1735: Lifts, escalators and moving walks
  • AS 1755: Conveyers—Safety requirements
  • AS 3533: Amusement rides and devices
  • AS 2030: Gas cylinders
  • AS 2550: Cranes, hoists and winches—Safe use
  • AS 2593: Boilers—Safety management and supervision systems
  • AS/NZS 3788: Pressure equipment—In-service inspection

Other national codes

Codes under review

Transitional arrangements enable the following Codes to continue to operate in South Australia while national codes are developed. These codes and standards may be used however references to legislation may not be current.

Compliance breaches

An inspector can refer to a code of practice when issuing an improvement or prohibition notice.

Under the WHS Act, codes of practice are admissible in court proceedings.

Courts may regard a code of practice as evidence of what is known about a hazard, risk or control, and rely on it to determine what is 'reasonably practicable' in the circumstances to which the code relates.