By Joanna Weekes
A new year brings a new opportunity to learn as much as you can about the matters surrounding health and safety in your workplace. This is especially the case since it is such a tricky time for many businesses – the WHS Act having been adopted in some jurisdictions and not others.
Some businesses operate in multiple jurisdictions, some are not sure whether they should be preparing for the transition or not, and some are in the process of transitioning their safety systems over to the new legislation.
Wherever your business is in terms of its health and safety legislation, think about what you achieved last year and take some time to create goals that you want to achieve throughout 2013.
It could be that you want to implement a new safety system to reduce the risk of fatigue to shift workers, talk to your workers more about how they feel health and safety is treated in your company, put formal procedures in place around documenting and recording the safety systems that are carried out in your business, take steps to engage your company directors in safety matters or train your workers in the changes that will occur with the new legislation.
Whatever you decide your goals will be, create timelines and stick to them. The sooner you start achieving your health and safety goals, the sooner your workplace will become safer.
Status of the WHS Act in your jurisdiction
On 1 January 2013, Tasmania and South Australia commenced the WHS Act. These two States now join New South Wales, the ACT, the Northern Territory and Queensland in adopting the WHS Act.
Western Australia has delayed the WHS Act and Victoria has stated that it will not adopt it.