Workplace Health & Safety – In each state or territory there are laws to protect workers against potential Work Health & Safety (WHS) risks. One of your obligations as a business owner is to exercise a duty of care to make sure that those laws are applied properly. Workers compensation insurance for your staff must also be taken out by you.
Workplace Health & Safety – Your Obligations
Under WHS legislation you are obliged to provide the following for your employees:
- Safe premises
- Safe machinery and materials
- Safe systems of work
- Information, instruction, training and supervision
- A suitable working environment and facilities
- Insurance and workers compensation for your employees
You also need to:
- Report certain incidents (i.e. injuries and diseases) in your workplace
- Assist an injured worker to return to work
- Comply with Work Health and Safety laws
- Get the necessary registrations and licenses for; certain high risk work activities, operation of certain items of plant or using particular chemicals in your workplace
Your WHS regulator may provide workshops and advisory material to help you understand your obligations and keep your workplace safe.
Workplace Health & Safety – Ensuring your control stay effective
You need to monitor the control measures you have implemented and ensure that they remain effective. The following steps will help you achieve that:
- Accountability and responsibility: When everyone is responsible, no one is responsible. Clearly allocate accountability to ensure that procedures are followed by everyone. This might include managers and supervisors with authority and resources.
- Maintenance: Regular inspection and testing of your equipment is very important.
- Training: Competency is a key and all of your workers should be competent is applying your control measures. Make sure that new workers are trained to work safely.
- Awareness: Information about hazards is updated regularly and should be checked to make sure our controls are still relevant. Use the emerging of technology to make your job easier.
- Consultation: We mean consulting your workers because after all they are the ones at risk. Talk to them and seek different perspectives on how to make their jobs more secure for them.
Safe Work Australia
This is a wonderful website full of useful information on the development of policy to improve work health and safety and workers’ compensation arrangements across Australia. It was established by the Safe Work Australia Act 2008. Refer to their website for more information;
- Business Victoria: Occupational health and safety guide at;
- Safety in your workplace at;
- Travel for business;
- Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency
- WHS Codes of Practice:
- Safety Month: you can download it at;
Your feedback and participation is highly appreciated.
We wish you the best of luck with your venture.
Part One - Business Startup Australia – Introduction Part Two - Business Startup Australia: Getting Help and Support Part Three - Business Startup Australia: Business Structure Part Four - Business Startup Australia: Business Plan Part Five - Business Startup Australia: Obtaining Finance Part Six - Business Startup Australia: Registering Your Business Part Seven - Business Startup Australia: Registering Business Name Part Eight - Business Startup Australia: Understanding Australian Taxes Part Nine - Business Startup Australia: Home-based Business Part Ten - Business Startup Australia: Online Business Part Eleven - Business Startup Australia: Employing People Part Thirteen - Business Startup Australia: Online Marketing Part Fourteen - Business Startup Australia: Securing Your Online Business Part Fifteen - Business Startup Australia: Importing Part Sixteen - Business Startup Australia: Exportation