Code of Practice in Australia: A Comprehensive Guide

Following instructions can be difficult without the correct guidelines. In this Business Kitz blog, we will explore the definition of a code of practice as well as the different types of codes that come with it.

What is a code of practice?

A code of practice is a set of guidelines and standards designed to promote safety and health in the workplace. It provides practical advice on how to comply with relevant laws and regulations, and outlines best practices for specific industries or activities. The codes of practice are developed by industry experts and are regularly reviewed and updated to ensure they remain relevant and effective. Adherence to a code of practice is not legally binding, however, following its guidelines can serve as evidence of due diligence in the event of a legal dispute.

Different types of codes of practice

There are a variety of codes of practice available in Australia. These codes provide guidance and practical advice on how to comply with workplace health and safety laws.

Some of the codes include:

  • managing the risk of hazardous chemicals in the workplace,
  • controlling noise and preventing hearing loss,
  • managing the risk of falls in housing construction, and
  • managing the risk of manual handling injuries.

Each code is specific to a particular industry or sector and provides detailed information on the risks involved, control measures and best practices. These codes are not legally binding, but they are considered to be best practice for the industry and are used as evidence in court if a workplace safety breach occurs.

Example of code of practice

A code of practice in the Australian workplace outlines the standard of behaviour, ethical principles, and safety regulations that employees are expected to follow. This code serves as a guideline for employees and employers to maintain a safe and professional work environment.

For example, a code of practice in a construction company may require employees to wear appropriate personal protective equipment, follow safe work procedures, and report any incidents or accidents to their supervisor. Additionally, it may also include guidelines for working with hazardous materials and equipment, as well as addressing bullying and harassment in the workplace.

The code of practice is an important tool to ensure that everyone in the workplace is aware of their responsibilities and is working towards a common goal of a safe and productive work environment.

Importance of code of practice

It is truly important to be aware of the importance of a code of practice. A code of practice in the workplace ensures that employees are aware of the standards and expectations of their conduct, behaviour, and performance. It provides a framework for ethical and responsible actions, promotes a positive work environment, and protects both the company and employees.

A code of practice also helps to minimise disputes and promotes equality and fairness in the workplace. Having a code of practice demonstrates a commitment to high standards, and fosters a culture of trust and respect, contributing to the overall success of the organisation.

Legal advice

If you are considering including a code of practice as part of your business, but are unsure how to legally reinforce your agreements and ensure that they best suit you, our sister company, Legal Kitz can assist you. If not, we also offer a range of legal templates on our website. To arrange a FREE consultation with one of their highly experienced solicitors at  or 1300 988 954.

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