Workplace health and safety (WHS) refers generally to the series of precautions taken to minimise the risk of harm occurring to anyone working on or visiting a business’ premises. Broad in scope, they are designed to provide adequate protection for employees, customers/clients, contractors, visitors, and others.
Each business is bound by a minimum standard that they must comply with, set out in WHS regulations. Jointly administered and enforced by Safe Work Australia and state and territory authorities, these regulations are something every business owner needs to thoroughly understand. To help you grasp the foundational aspects of the Australian WHS regime, the team at WHS Training & Compliance have prepared this short introductory guide to the key principles underpinning the system. Read on and learn how to better protect your staff and your customers.
Understanding the general requirements
WHS regulations can differ by industry, location and organisation size, but broad principles exist that every business owner can be expected to be aware of. These include everything from providing safe business premises where security risks are identified and mitigated to committing to continuous assessment and improvement of current business practices to ensure that the highest standard of safety is always delivered.
They can also include an educational and administrative component, including ensuring that employees are aware of their WHS obligations and keeping insurance and worker’s compensation policies up to date. Additionally, they can be a starting point for an assessment of the intangible aspects of the business, including demands such as ensuring that workplace layout and workflows are safe and that processes taught are safe and effective.
Specific to your industry
Safe Work Australia also provides industry-specific advice for businesses. These guidelines highlight the unique risks inherent in certain forms of work and offer a wealth of information for a business owner looking for a starting point for an investigation into specific remedies.
For example, Safe Work highlights the extremely high number of fatalities in the agriculture industry, pointing out that one in five workers who died at work die in agriculture. Of these, 37% died in vehicle-related (quad bike and tractor) accidents. As such, Safe Work recommends that all quad bikes and tractors be chosen based on their safety rating. Injuries, accidents, and fatalities can be minimised by fitting tractors with rollover protection and instructing workers using quad bikes in how to safely ride around inclines.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can make your business a safer place to be, speak to the team at WHS Training & Compliance and let us support you.