Work Health and Safety

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Policy framework statement

The Work Health and Safety Policy Framework specifies the work health and safety (WHS) requirements that all Health Service Providers (HSPs) and the Department of Health (the Department) must comply with in order to ensure an effective and consistent approach to WHS management across the WA health system.


The purpose of this Policy Framework is to ensure:

  • WHS risks are identified and managed to support safe and healthy workplaces
  • minimum standards and consistency are maintained with continuous improvement across the WA health system.


This Policy Framework is binding on HSPs, their staff members and the type of public health services or facilities as specified in the mandatory requirements.

Specific responsibilities in relation to staff considered to be “Officers” under the Work Health and Safety Act 2020 are set out in the WA health system’s WHS Operational Framework contained within MP 0180/23 WHS Management. MP 0180/23 also provides information on the role of staff employed as managers.


The key principles that underpin this Policy Framework are:

The WA health system is committed to the health and safety of staff and others
All HSPs and the Department, as Persons Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBUs), ensure the health and safety of workers and others who may be affected by the carrying out of work, so far as is reasonably practicable.

WHS risks and hazards are identified and addressed
Workplace culture empowers the proactive identification of health, safety and wellbeing risks and management of these risks through elimination or mitigation strategies.

Responsibility for WHS management is shared
HSPs and the Department consult, coordinate activities and cooperate with each other, and with other PCBUs, to manage shared risks.  

All workers contribute to a safe and healthy working environment
All workers across the WA health system take reasonable care for their own health and safety; and also take reasonable care to ensure that their acts do not adversely affect the health and safety of other persons.

Legislative context

The following legislative instruments govern matters relevant to this Policy Framework:

  • Work Health and Safety Act 2020
  • Work Health and Safety (General) Regulations 2022.

Mandatory requirements

Under this policy framework HSPs and the Department of Health must comply with all mandatory requirements, including.

HSPs must comply with the mandatory requirements that apply or relate to them. Compliance requirements and how the System Manager will oversee HSPs’ compliance is set out in each mandatory requirement.

Policy framework custodian

Assistant Director General
Strategy and Governance Division

Enquiries relating to this Policy Framework may be directed to:

Major amendments to this Policy Framework are tracked in the table below. For information relating to additional major amendments contact


This policy framework will be reviewed as required to ensure relevance and recency. At a minimum this policy framework will be reviewed within two years after first issue and at least every three years thereafter.

Version Effective from Amendment(s)
4. 15 March 2024 Amendment: MP 0180/23 Work Health and Safety (WHS) Management Policy Related document ‘WHS Operational Framework’ – Sections 6.8.3 System Manager reporting requirements, 6.8.4 WorkSafe WA reporting requirements and Appendix 2: System-wide WHS Consultative Forum Terms of Reference updated.
3.  6 September 2023 New MP 0180/23 Work Health and Safety Management Policy in effect. 
2. 6 September 2023 3 Employment Policy Framework mandatory policies MP 0117/19, MP 0159/21 and MP 0174/21 transferred to the new Work Health and Safety Policy Framework. 
1. 6 September 2023 Original version of Work Health and Safety Policy Framework. 


This policy framework has been approved and issued by the Director General of the Department of Health as the System Manager.

Approval byDr David Russell-Weisz, Director General, Department of Health
Approval date28 August 2023
Date published06 September 2023
File number