Effective OHS policies and procedures
by Chris Beasley
Keeping your workers safe is an integral part of running a successful
If employers - known under the new national model work health and safety
laws as 'PCBUs' -don't provide a safe working environment there are serious
consequences, possibly the least of which are penalty notices, imposed by
the relevant state WorkCover authority.
Workplace incidents cost time and money - a loss in productivity,
re-training of workers, increases in workers compensation premiums and loss
of business that may stem from a poor record and reputation to workplace
health and safety potentially dwarf any fine that may be imposed for a
perceived 'at fault' workplace incident.
Putting an effective and integrated OHS management system
- one that includes working OHS policies and procedures in
place minimises the likelihood of an incident, where worker engagement
creates a 'buy in' of workplace health and safety .
Many paper based 'OHS management systems' are simply a set
of OHS policies and procedures that a lot of the time, sit
on a desk in a corner gathering dust.
An OHS management system should almost certainly be online
and engage the user when necessary to make a more concerted, systemised
approach to OHS a much easier proposition.
The system should include risk registers, workplace inspections, risk
assessment and contractor management tools AND OHS
(workplace health and safety) policies and procedures
manuals that relate to the industry the workplace engages in.
Many online OHS management systems provide template copies
of OHS policies and procedures manuals and some even
provide separate templates to suit particular industries.
A workplace should also check with their industry association and
respective state WorkCover authority to source relevant codes of practice
and guidance documents to shape the OHS policy and
procedures manuals to suit the business.
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