WHS Working Party

In July 2008, the Council of Australian Governments signed the Intergovernmental Agreement for Regulatory and Operational Reform in Occupational Health and Safety, formally committing all Australian jurisdictions to harmonise work health and safety laws (WHS) across Australia. This led to the formation of an independent body, Safe Work Australia, to drive this process.

WHS Working Party

Safe Work Australia has developed model legislation, regulations and Codes of Practice, which have been implemented by all Australian states and territories apart from Western Australia and Victoria. This has created the need to establish new WHS Guidelines for the entertainment industry. Following the National WHS Summit in July 2012, LPA established a WHS Working Party to review the present safety Guidelines and develop new Guidelines to properly reflect new legislation and practices in the industry.

The WHS Working Party provides guidance on the approach and content of the Guidelines. The Working Party expects to have draft material available for consultation from the start of 2015.  Members of the Working Party (past and present) are:

  • Steve Allen - Reddawn
  • Adam Cartwright - Frankston Arts Centre
  • Chris D'Bais - Meyer Sound
  • Tiny Good - Showtech
  • Chris Hayes - Arts Centre Melbourne
  • Graham Henstock - NIDA
  • Michael Kent - AVERT Risk Management Services
  • Jim Nielsel - Arup
  • Tim Panitz - Empire Theatre, Toowoomba
  • Matthew Peckham - Her Majesty’s Theatre
  • Frank Stoffels - MTC
  • Andrew Thorne - Staging Connections Group
  • David Hamilton - LPA
  • Charlotte St Clair Wilson - LPA
  • Andrew Moon - Consultant
  • David Storie - Consultant and Project Manager

Outline of Contents

The new Guidelines place a stronger emphasis on hazard identification and risk management, reflecting the approach of the new legislation.  Appropriate connections are made with legislation, codes of practice, Australian and New Zealand standards, and with guidance and practices from related industries.  There is also a strong emphasis on consultation and on reinforcing the competency of workers, accredited training and licensing.  The Guidelines provide information on:

The Working Party will develop Guides for:

  • Audience and crowd management
  • Electricity
  • General operational hazards
  • Hazardous chemicals
  • Performer hazards
  • Special effects
  • Staging equipment and plant
  • Temporary structures
  • Theatrical and event rigging
  • Traffic and access
  • Work environment
  • Working at height

The Guides provide information hazards and suggested control measures.  Consultation, planning, and worker competency are also included. 


The Working Party will consult with interested industry parties on the draft guides throughout the drafting process. Please see our current draft guides here.