Is there a difference between Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) and Work Health and Safety (WHS) in Australia? The short answer: No. In January 2012 new WHS laws commenced in most states and territories to harmonise existing OHS laws across Australia. With this modification came a change in terminology, and OHS obligations became known as WHS obligations.
The workplace health and safety laws in Australia place the responsibility on the employer to do all they reasonably can to prevent accidents and injuries.
Under these laws employers must have insurance to cover their employees in the event of an accident. In addition, employers have a positive duty to ensure both the physical and mental health of their workers.
What are my WHS Obligations?
Employers must be able to demonstrate that they have taken steps to ensure a safe work environment. This includes a process of risk management and complying with all applicable WHS legislation and industry standards.
At its most basic, an employer has an obligation to:
- Identify any workplace hazards;
- Demonstrate to employees how to safely fulfil their duties and role;
- Provide safety equipment when needed;
- Provide all new employees with a WHS induction;
- Take reasonable and necessary steps to avoid workplace injuries;
- Provide a safe work premises; and
- Assess risks and implement appropriate measures for controlling them.
How HR Assured Can Help:
WHS can be a nightmare to manage. As part of FCB Group, HR Assured gives you over 25 years of experience working in all areas of employment law, including WHS management. HR Assured can assist your business today through our comprehensive WHS audit, and advanced WHS management system.
Our complete cover package involves a comprehensive Work Health and Safety Audit of your business which will identify any possible breaches or areas in need of improvement.
To support this, our HR software provides an online storage space for your businesses safety resources. Our WHS module is content rich and loaded with polices, templates and guides to ensure your business.