Ensure your organisation is covered by implementing WHS Procedures & Policies. Download our fully customisable, printable version for now. Entirely free.
This free Australian Workplace Health & Safety policy will outline your organisation’s WHS policies to help keep employees safe and help prevent your organisation from compliance and liability issues.
The objectives of this policy are to, as far as reasonably practicable:
achieve a safe and incident free workplace
consider WHS in project planning and work activities
involve workers and subcontractors in the decision-making process through regular communication and consultation
ensure workers and subcontractors identify and control risks in the workplace
monitor and review the elimination or control of potential risks
enhance workers’ WHS knowledge through a program of education and training.
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What are the top risks and hazards I need to be aware of?
You need to be aware of the potential hazards in your workplace. These vary according to the industry but it is imperative that you understand your own working environment. For example, in the hospitality business, accidents such as cuts and burns will occur regularly. In construction, you have a lot of people working with dangerous equipment which could cause health and safety risks if not used correctly.
Is mental health included in WHS?
Yes. As an employer, you have an obligation to ensure your employees’ mental health is taken care of. It is recommended that you have separate policies and procedures to deal with bullying, harassment and discrimination. If you need further advice on a policy template click on the link above.
Why do I need a workplace health and safety policy?
Previously called OHS (occupational health and safety), WHS (workplace health and safety) is an extremely important component to ANY business as not only is it a legal requirement but you have a moral obligation to take care of your staff.
A health and safety policy sets out your general approach and commitment together with the arrangements you have put in place for managing health and safety in your business. It is a unique document that says who does what, when and how.
The success of a WHS management plan depends on:
the commitment of all persons to achieve the policy objectives
planning work activities, with due consideration given to WHS
undertaking the risk management process in an effective manner
communication and consultation between your workers and subcontractors.
Is it a legal requirement?
Safe Work Australia leads the development of national policy to improve work health and safety and workers’ compensation arrangements across Australia. It does not regulate or enforce WHS legislation. As a business owner, you must meet the WHS requirements set out in the acts and regulations in your state or territory.
Why should you have a WHS policy?
We understand that writing and reviewing policies and procedures takes time away from an employers’ core business and so this task is always at the bottom of the to do list. If this is occurring in your business you should be warned that neglecting your policies and procedures can come at a considerable cost to your organisation.
All organisations who employ staff should have well documented policies and procedures, at the very least, for the following reasons:
Policies and procedures can fulfil employers’ obligations and responsibilities under certain legislation such as work health and safety and discrimination legislation.
Policies and procedures provide employees with a clear understanding of what is expected of them.
Policies and procedures provide a fair, predictable and consistent approach to managing the workplace and workplace issues. Avoiding the need make it up as you go which in almost all cases will result in a problem.
Being able to refer to a set of policies and procedures can save time when inducting new employees and for training purposes.
Policies and procedures and a written employment agreement are valuable reference tools in managing workplace issues arising from employee misconduct or inappropriate behaviour.
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