Workplace Health and Safety obligations for businesses can be overwhelming and at times confusing. WH&S legislation differs from State to State and under legislation all people and companies who conduct a business or undertaking (PCBU) have a responsibility for WH&S.
Penalties for WH&S offences are very high, and rightly so. For Category 1 offences under Queensland legislation, corporations can be fined up to $3million, individuals (PCBU) or officers can be fined up to $600,000 or jailed for up to 5 years, individual (workers) can be fined up to $300,000 or jailed for up to 5 years!
So, how do you navigate through the minefield of WH&S to understand your responsibilities and how to fulfil them? Here are some stepping stones for you …
Top 6 responsibilities for employers under Australian WH&S legislation:
- provide a safe and healthy workplace for all workers and other people (general public) who attend the workplace;
- work systems that are safe and without risk to health;
- training of workers to work in a safe and competent manner;
- take steps to prevent injury, illness and disease;
- consult with employees and their representatives over WH&S matters;
- provisions for workplace inspectors to visit workplaces, investigate accidents and enforce provisions of the legislation.
Top 6 ways employers can fulfil their WH&S responsibilities:
- identifying, assessing and controlling (by removal, isolation, substitution or risk reduction) all potential hazards and risks at the workplace - this includes work processes and work systems and is widely referred to as ‘risk management;’
- developing and issuing WH&S policies that promote safe practices generally and encourage a ‘safety culture’ at work; and
- proper training of all workers, including advice, information, education and formal training;
- adequate supervision;
- safe and appropriate work equipment;
- regular inspections and audits of the workplace, preferably in consultation with employees.
To help build a path through the WH&S minefield, Harrison Human Resources can provide your organisation with a WH&S Health Check. This review assists in saving your employees from any risks of injury, and minimises your company’s exposure to fines and penalties.
Harrison Human Resources conducts its WH&S Health checks with the following steps:
- An on-site visit by a Work Health and Safety Consultant to your workplace.
- The consultant will do a walk-through of your site to review your housekeeping status.
- With the consultant, the WH&S Health Check is completed to assist in identifying the gaps in your compliance with WH&S legislation across nine key areas including; Safety Leadership and Culture, Emergency Management, Reporting and Evaluation, Risk Management and more.
- A desktop review of key WH&S documents to further establish the status of your work health and safety system.
- A report identifying the gaps in your WH&S compliance and ways to meet legislative requirements.
We hope the path to WH&S compliance looks clearer. Contact Harrison Human Resources for more information on a WH&S Health check for your organisation.