Your safety obligations as an employer in Australia
The reality today is that safety compliance is essentially a “license to operate”. Most safety authorities take the view that businesses should not be operating unless they can operate safely. Authorities have the power to stop business operations immediately and the power to prosecute individuals under criminal law.
Our workplace safety compliance experts can provide advice, implement changes and even provide easy to use workplace safety software solutions to monitor and track training for your compliance reporting. This will give you complete peace of mind when it comes to your safety obligations as an employer.
So what are some of the key compliance requirements under safety laws?
These can be summarised into seven main areas which include:
Identifying hazards, assessing and reducing risk
Providing and maintaining safe plant and equipment
Maintaining a healthy and safe work environment
Storing, using and transporting substances safely
Ensuring safe systems of work are in place and maintained
Ensuring workers are consulted on matters affecting their safety
Ensuring adequate instruction, training and supervision is provided to workers and others such as visitors
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Under Work Health and Safety Acts, directors of businesses and their senior managers have a proactive Duty of Care. This means they need to prove they are demonstrating the following:
- Keeping up-to-date with health and safety knowledge;
- Understanding the hazards and risks facing the organisation;
- Providing appropriate resources and processes to address hazards and risk;
- Demonstrating a timely response to incidents; and
- Having processes in place to ensure legal compliance.
Penalties include a maximum fine of $600,000.00 and/or five years jail.
New Industrial Manslaughter laws
ACT, Northern Territory, Queensland and Victoria have introduced new Industrial Manslaughter laws enabling senior managers to be jailed for up to 20 years for workplace deaths.
All States have provisions in their safety legislation enabling criminal charges to be laid against “Senior Officers”, however, Industrial Manslaughter laws have significantly increased jail time.
Working with a safety consultant from Your Safety Partners can help you feel confident that you have met your workplace safety obligations.
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A workplace safety consultant can also ensure the owners and managers of businesses meet their safety compliance requirements. This helps protect them from compensation or legal costs.