Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) or OH & S as it is more commonly known is a major issue for management. Full compliance with WHS laws and regulations is essential to avoid significant penalties.
It is the responsibility of all managers to provide a safe work environment for their employees and to ensure that safety practices are in place at all times.
In order to provide a safe work environment, you must:
Each state has its own WHS laws and a regulator to enforce them. The WHS framework in each state includes:
When sound WHS policies and procedures are implemented, this is a legal requirement, there are considerable benefits to your business:
Under the Act, there are specific requirements for the risks involved in particular businesses. To check your industry go to https://www.business.gov.au/Planning/Industry-information
Emergency plans and first aid
Readiness to respond to an incident is a key part of your obligations. To this extent you should have an emergency plan in place which covers:
As can be seen from the foregoing the regulations covering WHS are quite wide so management must ensure that their internal policies and procedures are up to date with particular reference to acceptable behaviour such as bullying and harassment in the workplace.
In addition, management must be aware of issues such as staff behaviour at work functions, particularly where alcohol is being served. Whilst such functions are social in nature it is still incumbent on employers to ensure the safety of their staff at all times.