WHS harmonisation helpful but safety still relies on workplace culture

Date: Nov 28, 2011

Research into the implementation of workplace safety procedures has found that successful adoption relies on a number of key areas.

A survey conducted by workforce management software company ComOps at the Safety Show Sydney 2011 has indicated that as many as 87 per cent of managers believe that the harmonisation of work health and safety (WHS) laws will have a positive impact on their business.

In addition, 68 per cent of respondents indicated that the new model – due for introduction in 2012 – will unify the bulk of WHS legislation, while a further 60 per cent said that the new laws will improve on the personal liability provisions currently in place.

The changes to the health and safety regulations are designed to improve the measures put in place by organisations by increasing the visibility and accountability of the systems – who is responsible for what, where reports are required and how they should be delivered.

In essence, the new laws will help to define the roles of managers, directors and owners in relation to workplace safety in a much more concrete fashion – leaving little in the way of room for misunderstandings.

The survey goes on to detail the internal factors considered to be the most import drivers in delivering lasting change.

To successfully deploy an updated WHS program, 74 per cent said that the culture of the workplace was critical to ongoing success – highlighting the importance of fostering a safety-aware attitude in employees at all levels.

A further 52 per cent said that management's participation and ongoing support was vital – while 48 per cent also said that making use of reporting tools to identify and act on hazards and accidents was also an important factor to the scheme's success.

Speaking on the results of the survey, general manager at ComOps Daniel Sheahan said: "Harmonisation provides an excellent opportunity for organisations to strengthen their management and employees’ awareness of risk.

"During the remaining months, businesses would be well advised to audit their risk management strategy as well as revisit their existing WHS plans, and confirm that they are still appropriate and will meet the requirements of the new legislation."

While many businesses take extraordinary care of the health and safety of their workers, there are occasions where accidents are inevitable.

Employees injured during the discharge of their duties are usually able to apply for payments to cover any medical treatments they require as a result of their injuries – often with the assistance of a compensation lawyer.

While the initial cost of consultation could cause some victims to pause, a no win no fee law firm offers them the chance to have their case professionally assessed before deciding on a course of legal action.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.