1 January 2012 saw the commencement of the harmonised Work Health and Safety Act. To date, the new legislation to implement a national approach to workplace health and safety has been adopted by the Commonwealth, New South Wales, Queensland, Northern Territory and ACT governments.
The Work Health & Safety (WHS) legislation requires those persons who have a duty to ensure health and safety in the workplace to manage, or at least minimise, risks to workers so far as is reasonably practicable.
This duty applies to the person who is conducting a business or undertaking (a PCBU). A PCBU includes:
– sole traders
– volunteer organisations that employ workers
The PCBU must ensure the health and safety of workers, and also has a duty of care in relation to customers and visitors to the workplace.
Workers include employees, volunteers, labour hire staff, apprentices, contractors, sub-contractors and work experience students. Workers have a duty to take reasonable care for their own safety whilst at work, and to ensure that their actions in the workplace do not detrimentally impact on the health and safety of others.
In order to satisfy the new legislative requirements, PCBUs should develop work health and safety policies and procedures. However developing a policy will not of itself ensure compliance with the WHS Act – PCBUs must ensure that workers are trained in work health & safety matters and comply with the strategies adopted by the PCBU.
Is your business compliant with the WHS legislation?
The Employment Law team at Everingham Solomons is well equipped to assist you with all your workplace relations issues from provision of written policies, advice regarding termination of employees and redundancy, contracts of employment and warning letters, to the application of the Modern Awards, because Helping You is Our Business.
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