As you would know already, a safe working environment is essential to be maintained within the office or factory. Thus, based on the various industries, workload, machinery and work scope there are varying levels of safety requirements needed to maintain and ensure the safety of the staff. To ensure this safety is maintained, each government and even global laws have been set by specific bodies to ensure that this system is properly regulated, employers and corporations follow strict procedures when handling safety and to make sure that if in the case of an accident, the employer looks after the employee and proper compensation is paid.
Safety Laws in Australia
As is the case of almost all governments, Australia has in place a National Compliance and Enforcement policy and a model code of Practice in place. The WHS or the Model Work Health and Safety Act and regulations are in place as a guideline to assist companies to ensure safety standards are met in the workplace. This set of laws and the act is what regulates and harmonizes the safety laws across Australia.
The national policy body is Safe Work Australia. This body is responsible for the evaluation and development of the model work health and safety laws as mentioned above, and through which the regulations and guidelines are set in place for the whole country.
How to Match these to Fit Your Office
The regulations set obviously must be followed to the dot. However, while there are some specifications for certain industries, others are general guidelines for the average office environment. However, apart from the set guidelines, it is important to implement safety precautions within your office premises and set out training programs such as the manual handing course to ensure your staff has adequate manual handling training to reduce injuries and possible heavy compensation payments by the company.
Having proper training programs and set schedules and procedures when handling specialized equipment, bulky machinery which could be potentially harmful or toxic chemicals, or the average office environment where there may be a gas leak or slippery floor, it is important to have in place set rules and procedures on how to act in such a situation, while still adhering to the government acts and statutory limitations. Having in place a contingency plan and insurance coverage for the staff may not be a statutory requirement in certain parts of the world, however, as a responsible employer, it is best to have these in place to safeguard both the company and its employees on the long term.