Work Health and Safety Update

Are you reviewing your OHS systems?

OHS&W has been, and still is, subject to significant change which is and will affect business. In brief:

  • employment conditions are now subject to the Fair Work Act 2009 which is effective from 1 Jan 2010
  • First aid practices are subject to the new “Approved Code of Practice for First Aid in the Workplace” which is effective from 1 Dec 2010
  • The requirements of OHS legislation are being nationally harmonised and new OHS legislation, currently in development, is scheduled for implementation on 1 Jan 2012.

By then we all need to have our “act together”.

The new draft act defines due diligence in more specific terms, which include:

  • taking reasonable steps
  • keeping current with knowledge of workplace health and safety matters
  • understanding and eliminating or minimising hazards and risks
  • ensuring appropriate processes are in place to receive, consider and respond to incidents and hazards
  • ensuring the organisation has and implements processes for complying with its obligations and duties under the act
  • verifying the system

All of that begs the question. What do we do? Here are some key transition points which may be useful.

  1. Undertake a risk analysis – formal risk analysis must be the foundation for your OHS system
  2. Review, revise and supplement policies and procedures
  3. Implement -including training and ongoing review
  4. Develop effective representation and consultation processes
  5. Develop robust issue resolution processes
  6. Review and revise all aspects of corporate governance in WHS to ensure effective management and ‘due diligence’ compliance.

How to reduce operational costs of compliance…

  • integrate so that you are running only one management system which addresses all your compliance requirements
  • streamline your records management processes and include your ‘unstructured data’. With structured retrieval, access and storage systems in place, staff will be significantly more productive.
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