The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 was developed by Safe Work
Australia with the aim to reduce breaches of WHS practices, and
ensure the health, safety and welfare of team members who may be
negatively affected by work activities in the workplace.
Here are three reasons why having effective procedures in place to
comply with the WHS Act is essential for your workplace:
Whether staff members fail to follow procedures or leaders fail to
take effective preventative measures; injuries, fires and evacuations
will hurt your organisation’s productivity and profitability.
Accidents are inevitable and hazards exist in almost every workplace environment.
But if you invest time in the development of the health and safety of
your team members, you will be able to prevent illness and injury.
This is because adequate procedures will help your organisation
understand and avoid the potential hazards in the work environment.
For example, chemicals, equipment, wires or even furniture can
potentially cause harm to your team members. Remember that injuries
are also psychologically damaging as well. Your organisation’s
anti-bullying and sexual harassment procedures should be up to date
If you provide your team members with great
training, you will help manage such risks in your business and
improve the safety and welfare of your team members.
While staff members have an obligation to report potential hazards
and follow WHS procedures, the onus is on employers to maintain a safe
workplace for its staff members. The federal WHS laws provides for
great scrutiny and penalties for those that do not exercise due
diligence to comply with WHS laws.
Ensuring that your workplace complies to the WHS Act will help
decrease the risk of work stoppages, lawsuits, penalties, fines and
even the closure of your business. Safe
Work Australia’s report found that work-related injury and
disease cost the Australian economy $61.8 billion, representing 4.1%
GDP in 2012-13.
Furthermore, failing to meet WHS obligations can help someone
strengthen their case. Take into account that implementing an
effective work health and safety procedure in your organisation will
help demonstrate good business practice to the public.
You do not want to risk the reputation of your company by neglecting
your health and safety obligations as accidents will lead to negative
publicity. If you avoid the legal problems and costs associated with
poor management, your company’s reputation and assets are protected.
If you place emphasis on health and safety policies, it will prove
your company’s credibility. A good idea is to state that your
organisation is committed to working with a set of health and safety
principles on your website and on job advertisements. This will
highlight your organisation’s commitment to caring for its employees.
It is common for small businesses to struggle to keep up with the
complex fair work laws in Australia and some find they are often
caught up in breaches.
When an organisation invests time in developing consistent health and
safety policies to comply with the WHS Act, it will save time in
allowing health and safety matters to be handled efficiently through
an existing procedure.
You will avoid the hindrance of team members dealing with issues as
they happen or responding differently. Your team is more likely to
stay with your company if they feel that they work in a fair,
professional and safe environment. As an outcome, you will risk losing
valuable team members if you do not proactively take the steps to
include policies and procedures that mirror your legal compliance
obligations to the WHS Act.
Reduce the risk of breaching WHS guidelines and help your employees
stay up to speed with the latest Australian laws by upskilling your
team with a WHS course.