Work Health and Safety is an industry in a constant state of flux as it reacts to changes in the business environment and Australian and state law. As a result, staying up to the minute on the current state of WHS in Australia can be challenging. Fall behind and you risk not complying with industry standards, and violating state laws – perhaps even endangering employees.
WHS practitioners also risk advising their clients or employers incorrectly, a mistake which could have high stakes in this industry! We've had a look at the state of change in the WHS industry, and explored the reasons why it's so essential to keep up to date with health and safety training courtesy of Alert Force. Read on to find out more.
Harmonisation is an initiative by Safe Work Australia that aims to standardise work health and safety legislation across all states and territories. The reason for this is obvious – with one simple and clear set of laws and guidelines instead of several, a national standard can be set simplifying WHS for both businesses and practitioners.
This will ensure that all Australian workers have a minimum standard of WHS no matter where they work. it will also simplify the operations of companies working across several territories as they will only have to adhere to one set of rules.
Safe at Work also proposes that harmonisation will make government provision of WHS regulation more efficient, while reducing the incidence of death, injury and disease in the work place. It's clear then that this initiative will be beneficial for you in the long run, but what does it mean right now?
Recent law changes
WHS may see rapid change across all states in the near future.
Most states have implemented some form of legislation to adhere to the harmonisation initiative. Changes are also expected soon in South Australia where a review is currently underway to assess WHS legislation in the state and adhere even closer to the Safe Work harmonisation model.
SafeWork SA Executive Director, Marie Boland commented on the model in a recent Safety Culture media release:
"The harmonised laws aim to provide workers with the same standard of health and safety protection regardless of whether they work – here in South Australia or interstate and regardless of the work they do."
Safework NSW also updated the following codes of practice in September in order to fit the SafeWork national model:
- Hazardous manual tasks.
- How to manage and control asbestos in the workplace.
- How to safely remove asbestos.
- Welding processes.
- Managing electrical risks in the workplace.
- Demolition work.
It's clear then that WHS may see rapid change across all states in the near future and that it's essential to keep your finger on the pulse to avoid missing a beat.
Make sure you're up to date
Considering the rate that these changes are being made, it's understandable that some businesses and WHS practitioners may have fallen behind. Alert Force provides an easy solution to this problem, offering a large selection of professionally taught WHS courses.
Practitioners can brush up on NSW and national legislation and gain industry qualification through the diploma in WHS. This is an essential qualification for those looking to establish a career in WHS and will include information on the legislation around health and safety.
Businesses can also improve their WHS compliance by sending key employees to complete short courses with Alert Force. We provide a number of courses, which could be the key to decreasing your businesses costs, avoiding fines and legal trouble and of course keeping your valued employees safe.