Work Health and Safety in Australia

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As a company owner, you have a legal duty to handle health and safety in your office. To do this, it’s essential to comprehend the health and safety requirements that use to your service type and place.


Work health and safety (WHS)– often called occupational health and safety (OH&S)– includes the management of threats to the health and safety of everybody in your work environment. This includes the health and safety of anybody who does work for you in addition to your suppliers, visitors and consumers.

It might at first cost money and time to implement safe practices and set up safety equipment but is important to the success of your business. Not acting might also lead to prosecution, fines and loss of your competent personnel.

Workers’ settlement laws likewise need you to have a workers’ payment insurance coverage for your staff members.


Creating a safe workplace is a legal requirement. It’s also critical to the long term success of your business and can:

help you keep your staff

improve staff performance

decrease injury and disease in the office

minimize the expenses of injury and workers’ settlement.


You need to put health and safety practices in place as quickly as you start your organisation. Under Australian WHS laws your company must guarantee the health and safety of your employees and not put the health and safety of other individuals at threat. To do this you should:

supply a safe work environment

provide and preserve safe equipment and structures

offer safe methods of working

ensure safe usage, handling and storage of machinery, substances and structures

offer and keep sufficient centers

provide any details, supervision, direction or training needed for safety

keep track of the health of workers and conditions at the office


People operating in your business have WHS obligations to themselves and others at work. They should:

take care of their own health and safety

make sure not to do anything that could injure others

follow WHS directions

follow the work environment’s WHS policies and procedures


Each state has its own WHS laws and a regulator to implement them. The WHS framework for each state consists of:



NT –


SA –


VIC –!OpenDocument&Highlight=0,occupational,health,safety

WA –


Act– describes your broad responsibilities.

Regulations– set out particular requirements for particular threats and risks, such as noise, equipment, and manual handling.

Codes of practice– offer practical info on how you can satisfy the requirements in the Act and Regulations.

Regulating company (regulator)– administers WHS laws, examines offices, provides recommendations and implements the laws. Inspect their site for WHS info and resources.

The Commonwealth jurisdiction covers employees for the Commonwealth Government (e.g. the general public service and the Australian Defence Force) and services certified to self-insure under the Comcare plan.

Safe Work Australia develops policy for work health and safety and employees’ payment– helping to improve WHS throughout Australia. Safe Work Australia does not regulate or implement WHS laws. State and area governments regulate and enforce the WHS laws in their jurisdiction.


Your organisation’s WHS requirements depend upon the threats in your work environment. Look for WHS requirements for the risks in your service type in the market details pages.

It may be worth getting independent guidance on the WHS requirements for your organisation.


Part of WHS is being ready to respond if an accident or emergency happens. To help minimise workplace risks and be much better gotten ready for emergency situations, check:

1. Do you have an emergency plan?

2. Have you done an emergency treatment evaluation of your business?

3. Do you have enough trained first aiders to cover unexpected staff lacks?

4. Is the emergency treatment devices in your office easy to find and access?

5. Does your workplace run emergency drills?

6. Have you examined your organisation activities to determine areas of increased danger?


Severe weather, including severe heat, cold, hail or strong winds might impact your company. It’s crucial you understand your commitments to workers when these events take place.

Under WHS laws you need to offer a safe working environment and keep your employees safe in severe weather. You must make sure you’re mindful of the indications of heat-related health problem and how to manage the threats.

Not all companies have to supply leave if their workers can’t work because of extreme weather, but some do. You would require to inspect whether your workers have privileges to leave under your award or agreement. Check out the Fair Work Ombudsman site or contact the Fair Work Info line on 13 13 94 if you’re not clear on your rights and obligations as a company.


Work functions are a terrific method to celebrate and thank your personnel for their effort. Keep in mind that while your personnel might be ‘off the clock’, you’re most likely still accountable for their health and safety. Here are some ideas to help commemorate safely.

Prior to the event:

Make sure your internal policies and treatments are up to date, consisting of those for appropriate behaviour, and bullying and harassment in the work environment.

Send out a friendly e-mail to personnel, reminding them that while the party is a time to relax, it’s still a work function.

Remind them of any guidelines, consisting of those around sexual harassment. To be careful if consuming alcohol

At the event:

any alcohol being served must be served legally and properly

there need to be enough food and non-alcoholic beverages available there ought to be arrangements for personnel to get house securely later on, you could organise a bus, pre-order taxis, or organize designated chauffeurs

Safe Work Australia establishes policy for work health and safety and workers’ compensation– helping to enhance WHS throughout Australia. Safe Work Australia does not regulate or impose WHS laws. Not all companies have to supply leave if their workers can’t work because of extreme weather, however some do. If you’re not clear on your rights and obligations as a company, check out the Fair Work Ombudsman website or get in touch with the Fair Work Info line on 13 13 94.

Work functions are a fantastic way to commemorate and thank your staff for their difficult work.