​The Northern Territory, in conjunction with the Commonwealth and other state and territory governments is committed to improving the work health and safety of all Australian workers and enhancing productivity by harmonising work health and safety legislation across Australia.

To assist that goal, Model legislation was developed, and the Commonwealth and most states and territories have now adopted the legislation. The two states that have not adopted the legislation are Victoria and Western Australia. Victoria because the model is based on their legislation and they don’t see a need to change; meanwhile Western Australia has adopted it for the Mining sector and is considering adopting it for all workplaces.

Implementation in the Northern Territory

In the Northern Territory the Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act and Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Regulations commenced on 1 January 2012.

The transitional arrangements were put in place with the commencement of the Act and regulations. The transitional arrangements were designed to help a Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) by providing a period of adjustment to enable them to gain an understanding of the new requirements under the new legislation and assess their current practice against changed or new requirements and make changes as necessary.

The only transitional arrangement still in place relates to complying with the new Global Harmonised System for Chemicals which will come into effect across Australia in 2017.

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