It can be easy for companies to think that health and safety legislation, or OHS as it’s also known, isn’t relevant to them. However, Occupational Health and Safety needs to be a top priority for all Australian companies of any size. Whether you work with 2 people or 200 people, ensuring that they are safe and well cared for on the job is an ethical, moral and legal responsibility.
As an employer, you have a duty of care to provide to your people. This means that things like reporting incidents, reducing workers risks and ensuring that adequate safety training is undertaken is essential as a legal requirement.
More companies than ever before are actively looking at ways to improve their own occupational health and safety management system, so that they can meet the needs of their people and abide by the OHS standards.
To help you understand what OHS entails, we’re looking at the key aspects of health and safety legislation that you need to know about.
Duty of Care
A business has a duty of care to ensure the health and safety of those at the business is not compromised. This means that no employee, contractor or visitor should be put at risk as a result of the activities of the business. As you can imagine, in high risk sectors this can be hard, however it is essential that employers are consistently assessing the work environment to minimise risk and abide by their duty of care to individuals.
Under duty of care there are regulations that ensure it is fair for both employers and employees. Ensuring health and safety in terms of the duty of care means eliminating risks as is “reasonably practical”. Duty of care means that employers need to be duly aware of risks and be seeking to minimise them. For more information on the obligations associated with each risk type, you can head to the WHS regulations to understand how you can comply with your duty of care.
Working with other duty of care holders
As someone who holds a position of responsibility within a company in terms of OHS, it is essential that you consult and coordinate with other duty holders. WHS regulations dictate that more than one person can have the same duty and therefore they will need to consult one another to ensure that they retain that duty and manage it effectively together.
So far as is reasonably practical, duty holders must “consult, cooperate and coordinate” with another business over the safety of a worker. This continues up until the point that there are limits on their influence or control of the situation.
Consulting with workers
The WHS act dictates that where practical, employees must consult workers on health and safety risks as they arise. This consultation process should take into account their thoughts and feelings on the matter as well as sharing vital information that will keep them safe.
This rule goes not only for direct employees but also contractors and labour hire employees too. A Learning Management System can provide an effective way to communicate with employees and contractors regarding health and safety.
Due diligence features in the Work Health and Safety Regulation in order to ensure that individuals keep up a company’s end of the bargain when it comes to health and safety.
While a company may have duties and responsibilities overall, there are also obligations that individuals must abide by in order to be compliant with “due diligence”. This part of the WHS ensures that individuals must do everything in their power, where reasonably possible to ensure that health and safety regulations are upheld. If individuals do not show “due diligence” then they may be personally responsible.
Safety And Compliance Software That Keeps You On Track
With safety regulations that must be respected and legal requirements that must be met, it is essential that businesses find the right systems to maintain compliance. These software systems could include learning management systems, incident reporting systems and safety management software.
With compliance software, companies find it much easier to stay on track with the health and safety legislation that must be met. Plus, with a digital trace, companies are able to protect themselves and better understand how their people are tracking in terms of health and safety. If you think your company could benefit from better health and safety management, why not contact Beakon to sign up for a free trial?