New Workplace exposure limits (WEL) to apply from 1 December 2026

Work health and safety (WHS) ministers have agreed to the new WEL list and a harmonised transition period ending on 30 November 2026. This change comes after extensive work and consultation to revise the Workplace exposure standards for airborne contaminants (WES).

The WEL will replace the current WES.

WHS ministers agreed to rename the Workplace exposure standards (WES) as Workplace exposure limits (WEL) to make it clear that these are a limit that should not be exceeded, and for Australia to align with terms used internationally.

When will the changes happen?

From 1 December 2026, and following implementation into the WHS laws of the Commonwealth, states and territories, the Workplace exposure limits for airborne contaminants (WEL list) will be adopted throughout Australia.

Until 1 December 2026, persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs) must continue to ensure no person is exposed to an airborne concentration of an airborne contaminant higher than its exposure standard listed in the WES List.

What’s changing?

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