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.
- Undertake a risk analysis – formal risk analysis must be the foundation for your OHS system
- Review, revise and supplement policies and procedures
- Implement -including training and ongoing review
- Develop effective representation and consultation processes
- Develop robust issue resolution processes
- 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.