Workplace Health & Safety: What, Why & How

Posted by Riskology on 05/06/19 09:18

Did you know that 56 workplace fatalities have already occurred this year (source: Safe Work Australia)? This statistic is an unfortunate fact that highlights how critical Workplace Health and Safety is, irrespective of what industry you’re in. While Australia is still ranked among the top health and safety performing nations, this statistic is still too high.

With this in mind, in Australia, you have a legal obligation to ensure everyone who spends time in your workplace (employees, customers, contractors, visitors, volunteers and or suppliers), is protected and safe. This mandate to ensure a safe workplace includes both physically and mentally.

WHS Blog

Workplace Health and Safety (WHS), which is also referred to Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) depending on your jurisdiction, refers to the multidisciplinary field concerned with the safety, health, and wellbeing of all stakeholders in the workplace.

Under Australian legislation, businesses are legally obliged to:

  • Keep workplaces that you manage and control in a safe condition, free of risks to health
  • Provide and maintain safe systems of work
  • Assess risks and implement appropriate measures for controlling them
  • Ensure safe use and handling of goods and substances
  • Provide and maintain safe plant (machinery and equipment)
  • Give your employees the necessary information, instruction, training or supervision to enable them to do their work in a way that is safe and without risks to health
  • Have appropriate insurances and workers’ compensation insurance for your employees
  • Communicate the health and safety plan and management system to all stakeholders

To support organisations in meeting these requirements, systemic and sustained approaches need to be developed and implemented organisation wide. Depending on the size, nature and complexity of your organisation, this can be a costly exercise, however doing so is imperative to the long-term success of your organisation. Aside from direct financial benefits from minimising lost time and claims costs, there are other notable benefits to ensuring your workplace is safe and free from harm.

  • Helping retain staff: By creating a safe and pleasant environment for your employees, you are investing in their well-being, which plays a huge role in workplace retention and morale.
  • Avoiding serious legal and business consequences: Not complying with WHS requirements could result in prosecution and fines, so in doing so, you are preventing a potential legal headache that could damage your organisations’ reputation and overall success and well-being.

So far it all sounds quite straightforward, however ensuring you are keeping up with your health and safety obligations and requirements can at times feel overwhelming. With so many moving parts to the health and safety story, it is worth considering investing in health and safety management software. Software like RiskWare, with its Health and Safety Management Module, allows you to systematically approach workplace health and safety with features that assist you in identifying and assessing risk, implementing appropriate preventative measures and action plans, analysing situations if/when they do happen and reporting on hazards and incidents and overall health and safety performance, to name a few.

Ultimately, your employees are your most valuable asset. Investing in tools such as RiskWare, can support your organisations WHS approach by providing you the power to manage several components within the one platform. This not only allows you to gain valuable visibility and insights into your health and safety environment, but also ensures that decisions can be made knowing they’re based on the best available information. After all, your people deserve to feel safe and secure in their workplace, and you deserve the peace of mind knowing that your organisation is protected.  

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Topics: Health & Safety

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