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Health and Safety

WHS/OHS Overview

When it comes to developing workplace safety procedures, many business owners and mangers can find themselves not knowing where to start, and many times it has been found that they either give up on the processs altogther, or it gets thrown into the too hard basket and gets delayed to a more opportune time, which rarely ever comes around.

Here at BlueSafe, we're all about giving you some quite comprehensive safety management tools, safety manuals, and a whole array of other solutions to get you off the ground when it comes to this very important aspect of your business. We also partner with organisations such as the National Safety Council of Australia (NSCA) and other training organisations to help make sure we have a vast array of resources to help our clients by delivering high quality resources and tools. Many times, we can save you valuable hours and resources by fast tracking the process and cutting out much of the groundwork, so that you can get on with business as usual.

This doesn't mean that it's a set and forget way of doing things, however it is certanly a giant leap forward for you. By giving you some tools to work with, we will literally save you months of hard work and time.

Why Are New Model Work Health and Safety Laws Required?

The Commonwealth, including all state and territory governments are in agreement for harmonising their work health and safety laws, together with Regulations and Model Codes of Practice, which will make them standard in each jurisdiction.

The responsibility for making and enforcing work health and safety laws lies individually with the Commonwealth, states and territories. Most laws are similar, however, some are different and could be a source of confusion. It is agreed that work health and safety standards should remain the same for any Australian worker, regardless of the operating jurisdiction.

For the first time now, governments from every state and territory and the Commonwealth have officially committed to standardise the work health and safety laws between borders. This is being done by developing and adopting a model Work Health and Safety Act, which is supported by model Regulations and model Codes of Practice. The goal is to enable all Australians to access the same work health and safety protection right across the board.

How Are Work Health and Safety Laws Being Standardized?

Model work health and safety laws are being developed by Safe Work Australia. This is an independent statutory body established on 1 November 2009, under the Safe Work Australia Act 2008. The primary function of Safe Work Australia is to promote the model work health and safety laws under partnership with all the state and territory governments, workers and employers, represented as members of Safe Work Australia.

All jurisdictions will individually review the process of enacting their legislation to mirror the model laws. Some minor but necessary variations may be necessary in different jurisdictions for ensuring consistency with other laws and processes.

What Are the Changes Under the New Work Health and Safety Laws?

The key changes under the new work health and safety laws include but are not limited to:

  • The nature of the employment relationship will no longer define the duties of care. That means, the term 'employer,' as is currently applied in most occupational health and safety laws, is replaced by the term 'person conducting a business or undertaking.' Additionally, the term 'employee' is replaced with 'worker,' as it has a broader definition.
  • The term ‘worker’ now includes employees, volunteers, contractors, sub-contractors, apprentices, work experience students and outworkers.
  • In most jurisdictions, the term 'workplace' gives a broader definition to include any place that a worker may go to or likely to go to while at work.
  • For ensuring the person conducting a business or undertaking complies with its duty of care, 'due diligence' may be exercised by the 'officers' while conducting their positive duties. This is a new way of expressing officers’ responsibilities under current law. Currently, if a corporation has breached a duty, some Occupational Health and Safety Acts attribute the liability to the officers. In turn, the reverse onus of proof is with the officers to evidence they did what was reasonably practical or that they did not influence the breach. Such attributed liability no longer exists under the new work health and safety laws.
  • A new duty is introduced for cooperating and coordinating activities with other duty holders. This new duty addresses situations where several duty holders are responsible for the same work health and safety matter. This ensures that the duty holders work together and control the risk of work health and safety.

For more information and the range of solutions we provide in this area have a peek at our OH&S Packages Page.

Contact Us

BlueSafe Online Pty Ltd

ABN 45 617 812 094

ACN 617 812 094

Phone:  1300 877 609

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About Us

It's now been 7 years since we ventured out and started helping small business owners by providing effective WHS, Employee Management and Productivity Tools. Since then we have grown to a network of business owners and professionals of over 40 personnel.

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