Understanding the Safe Work Australia’s Code of Practice for Managing the Work Environment and Facilities


The health and safety of employees is paramount in any workplace. Recognising the need for a comprehensive guideline, Safe Work Australia developed the “Managing the Work Environment and Facilities Code of Practice.” This code aims to provide practical advice to employers, employees, and other duty-holders on maintaining a safe and healthy work environment. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the essential components of this code and discuss how they can be effectively implemented in the workplace.

Purpose of the Code 

The main goal of the code is to offer practical advice for creating and maintaining a safe workplace. It is designed to assist businesses in complying with health and safety duties under the Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act and Regulations.


The code applies to all types of work and workplaces, including offices, factories, retail stores, and construction sites. It covers areas such as workspace design, lighting, ventilation, facilities, and emergency procedures.

Workspace Design 

One of the essential elements of the code is the design of the workspace. According to the code, workspaces should be designed to accommodate the tasks and the people performing them. Sufficient space should be provided to allow employees to move around safely and perform their tasks without any hindrance.

Lighting and Ventilation 

Appropriate lighting is crucial for ensuring that workers can effectively complete their tasks without straining their eyes. Ventilation is equally vital for maintaining a healthy environment. The code recommends both natural and mechanical forms of lighting and ventilation, tailored to the requirements of the specific workspace.


Basic amenities like toilets, dining areas, and drinking water must be readily accessible to all employees. Furthermore, these facilities should be well-maintained to meet hygiene standards.

Emergency Procedures 

Workplaces must have effective emergency procedures that employees are familiar with. Whether it’s a fire, flood, or other disaster, quick and efficient action can save lives. The code advises employers to develop, implement, and maintain emergency plans.

Compliance and Review 

The code is not a legally binding document, but following its guidelines can help employers meet their obligations under the WHS laws. It is also essential to review regularly and update safety protocols to ensure their effectiveness.


Managing the work environment and facilities is an ongoing process that demands vigilance and commitment from both employers and employees. The “Managing the Work Environment and Facilities Code of Practice” by Safe Work Australia serves as an excellent starting point for organisations to develop a safe, productive, and healthy workplace.

Remember, a safe workplace is not just a legal obligation—it’s a moral imperative. Make safety a priority today.  

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