What is governmentlegislation The term ʻActʼ refers to legislation debated and passed by Parliament. An Act of Parliament is usually supported with a series of Regulations.The Act of Parliament that deals with the health andsafety of people at work is the Occupational Healthand Safety Act 2000 and the regulations relating to thisAct are the Occupational Health and SafetyRegulation 2001.
Objectives of the legislation The objectives of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000 are to: secure and promote the health, safety and welfare of people at work protect people against workplace health and safety risks provide for consultation and cooperation between employers and workers in achieving the objects of the Act ensure that risks are identiﬁed, assessed and eliminated or controlled, develop and promote community awareness of occupational health and safety issues, provide a legislative framework that allows for progressively higher standards of occupational health and safety to take account of new technologies and work practices protect people against risks arising from the use of plant (ie. machinery, equipment or appliances).
To what work environments does Act apply?This Act applies to all places of work whether paid orvoluntary
Responsibilities... EmployersAn employer must ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of all the employees of theemployeeThat duty extends (without limitation) to the following: a. ensuring that any premises controlled by the employer where the employees work (and the means of access to or exit from the premises) are safe and without risks to health b. ensuring that any plant or substance provided for use by the employees at work is safe and without risks to health when properly used c. ensuring that systems of work and the working environment of the employees are safe and without risks to health d. providing such information, instruction, training and supervision as may be necessary to ensure the employees’ health and safety at work e. providing adequate facilities for the welfare of the employees at work.
Outline the duties of employees under this actAn employee must, while at work, take reasonable care for the health and safety of peoplewho are at the employee’s place of work and who may be affected by the employee’s acts oromissions at work.An employee must, while at work, co-operate with his or her employer or other person so faras is necessary to enable compliance with any requirement under this Act or the regulationsthat is imposed in the interests of health, safety and welfare on the employer or any otherperson. There is a general obligation on employees to take care of others and cooperate with employers in matters of health and safety An employee must also co-operate with the employer or other person so far as is necessary to enable compliance with the OHS Act 2000 and OHS Regulation 2001.
PPE What are the workers obligations in relation to personal protective equipment (PPE)? As a worker, you must co-operate with the OHS requirements stipulated by your employer. If your employer’s rule is that PPE should be worn, then you must wear it. In addition, you must not intentionally or recklessly, interfere with or misuse anything provided in the interest of health and safety, which includes PPE.Who has to pay for the personal protective equipment (PPE) required at theworkplace?The employer must pay for all safety equipment.
What happens if an employee refuses to wear personal protective equipment (PPE)?An employer is expected to develop a policy and procedure that clearly explains theworkplace requirements and the action that will be taken for failure to comply with thepolicy. This policy should cover PPE requirements at the workplace.The policy must be developed in consultation with the employees through the safetycommittee, health and safety representative or other agreed arrangements and whererelevant, the union.If an employee continues to resist wearing or using PPE, then the employer would beexpected to take stronger action such as disciplinary action or moving the employee toanother area. All of this should be documented in the procedure.If the policy is developed in consultation, then this reduces the risk of industrial actionshould an employee be terminated or disciplined for breaching safety rules.
Employers OHS responsibilities are not conﬁned tojust taking precautions. Employers should seek tounderstand OHS in their business at a sufﬁcient levelto make it an integral part of the business. It is alsovital that an employer does not let its concern forindustrial harmony jeopardise the safety of itsworkers and ensures the enforcement of health andsafety rules/procedures.
There are many speciﬁc actions which can be taken toimprove the occupational health and safety in aworkplace, including:regular workplace inspections, safety training ofemployees, involving managers and employees inﬁnding the solutions to safety hazards, identifyinghazards which can be assessed and managed, anddiscussing your workplace with an OHS specialist.
Workplace culture can have a huge effect on how thebusiness copes with risks. Do workers feel safe toreport problems?Is there bullying involved? Health concerns?
SignsNeed to be clearVisibleIn an area where relevantNot cause problems themselves....
The communication of important information and safetywarnings is essential in the workplace. The design of safety signage must ensure that information is easy to read, easy to understand (non- ambiguous) and must be able to be interpreted the same way by people of all languages. That is why signs are created to an internationally recognised standard. Messages are conveyed using different colours, standard shapes and graphics depending on the purpose of the sign.
After Accidents... Accident Report Books Procedure reports...post accident analysis of accident, prevention methods and likelihood of reoccurance.