Work Health and Safety (WHS) can be an absolute nightmare for organisations to manage. Your workers may be exposed to any number of risks on any given day, including physical injuries like sprains, broken bones and back injuries as well as physiological injuries like stress, anxiety and depression.
So how do you minimise these risks and avoid liability?
When it comes to work health and safety, risk management is the key. Do you have an adequate risk management system in order to ensure the health and safety of your workers, and avoid personal liability?
The duty to ensure a safe work environment
Organisations have a positive duty under the respective WHS legislation to ensure both the physical and mental health of their workers.
In order to avoid liability in the event of a workplace accident or incident, you must be able to demonstrate that you had taken all reasonable steps to ensure a safe work environment. This includes undertaking a process of risk management whereby workplace hazards are identified, as well as complying with all applicable WHS legislation and any specific regulations regarding safe work practices in your industry.
The duty of due diligence
In addition to ensuring a safe work environment, WHS legislation imposes a positive duty on officers to undertake a process of due diligence and take proactive steps so as to ensure compliance.
This means that HR professionals and senior management may be held personally liable for workplace injuries, unless he or she is able to demonstrate that they have taken reasonable steps to:
- acquire and maintain knowledge of any applicable WHS legislation;
- ensure that the organisation has appropriate policies and procedures in place to identify and respond to workplace hazards; and
- ensure that the organisation has complied with its obligations under the applicable WHS legislation and any specific regulations regarding safe work practices in that industry.
How HR Assured can help
The WHS Management capability within HRA Cloud contains a number of tailored workflows that allow you to identify potential workplace hazards, record details of any incidents that do arise and manage an individual’s return to work following a workplace accident.
HRA Cloud is HR Assured’s complete Human Resources Information System. This web-based HR support system provides you with access to information, advice and best practice guidance on all Australian employment law matters.
For more information on the recommendations and what this means for you, clients should contact the HR Assured team. If you’d like more information about the benefits of becoming an HR Assured client contact us today for an informal chat.