August 07, 2013

An Overview of OHS Law in Australia


In Australia, employers are required to provide a safe workplace for their employees, and the specific requirements that employers must meet are outlined under the OHS Law. This law, which may also be termed the Work and Health Safety Act, should be known by both employers and employees. By understanding it more fully, workers can take action if violations are present, and employers can take steps to ensure that they are providing a safe workplace for employees that meets legal standards established under the OSH law


The Intent of the Law

First, employers and employees should understand what the specific intent of the law is. One important intent of the law is to define what common risks to employees' safety are and to decrease these risks through precautionary measures. Furthermore, it provides a uniform minimum requirement that all employers must meet to ensure the safety of their workers while on the job. The law features specific, itemized rules to accomplish these goals.


Determining Risk for Specified Job Duties

The OHS law goes into detail regarding how to determine what the specific risks for each job function are. Many jobs require workers to perform more than one task over the course of the day, and all of the duties that the employee is responsible for during the course of a workday should be analysed to determine the risk. These risks may vary from job to job and from employer to employer, and the OHS law has established a regulator to visit each office or workplace to ensure that the employer and employee performing each job duty are aware of the risks and that proper measures have been taken to reduce the risks associated with these job duties. There are specific rules that regulators must follow when entering a workplace, and employers should understand what these rules are and what actions the regulator may legally take. Furthermore, the employers should also understand how they may be penalised if they are not in compliance with the law.


Understanding and Minimising the Risk

Employers are required by law to determine what the risks of each job function are and to minimise those risks as much as possible. For example, with some specific job functions, employers may be required by law to invest in safety equipment that can keep employees safe. Some positions are risker to perform than others, and workers who are involved with more dangerous work functions should be made aware of the dangers and risks of their position. Education about how they can remain safe while performing their job functions may also be required under the law.

The OHS law in Australia is very detailed, and it can be complicated to understand. However, because it is designed to protect valued employees from risk while also minimising the risk of liability in the workplace related to employees' injuries, it is a highly beneficial law for all parties. Employers and employees alike should take time to learn more about the law and to ensure compliance in the workplace. A HBA diploma ohs, qualifies you or your employee to assess your business and make sure that it is compliant with OHS law.

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