Complying with the Health and Safety at Work Act

In just over 2 weeks this law takes effect.  For those who have an effective system already in place the changes needed are relatively minor, unless you work in a more complex environment with numerous organisations on site. If you have not yet done so, you should really make them now - probably as part of an annual review of the system.

In brief:

  • You need to insert a guiding principle of "Providing the highest level of protection."
  • You need to define your role as a PCBU (Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking), including that you only need to discharge your duty to the extent you are able to.  But you now have responsibility not only for your staff but others where you influence their activities and those who are affected by your business down the line (e.g. by purchasing your product)
  • You need to replace your Hazard Management with Risk Management - some form of risk analysis should be in use, but mostly the documents will be similar.  However there may be some risks not previously identified including things like bullying; stress and fatigue.
  • You will need to have a process for interacting with other PCBUs in your workplaces
  • Your Boards will need to be pro-active in ensuring that the organisation is fulfilling its responsibility - so you will need reporting and reviews of systems and figures.
  • Your policy will need to include a commitment by employees to comply with reasonable instructions in H&S - as they may be prosecuted for not doing so.
  • You must have a formal process for individuals to engage in H&S
  • You will need to replace the "Serious harm" definition with a "Notifiable Events" one.  And your process for advising Worksafe after an accident may need to change slightly.

If you need any assistance doing this we are able to help, and if you need more specialist help I can help you find someone suitable.

Need help managing staff?

Mike has a wealth of experience advising on every aspect of the employer-employee relationship. I can give you per-phone guidance or work along side you to make things happen.

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