Cert IV in WHS – What is New in Work Health and Safety in Australia?

When you attend the Certificate IV in WHS with LMIT, you’ll be exposed to the latest industry trends and information related to workplace health and safety.

Australia is a step closer towards harmonising the work health and safety laws with the development of the model Work Health and Safety Act spearheaded by Safe Work Australia, an agency focused on the work health and safety guidelines across the whole of Australia.

The said model Work Health and Safety Act has officially been implemented last January 1 with four key principles. These are outlined in the following section:

Health and Safety Duties

Under this principle, any person, regardless of the nature of work, shall be protected from exposure to hazardous materials and any other risks that may arise while he or she is in duty.

Meaning to say, no one is exempted from the protection that company owners and employers must provide to all of their employees, including those employees who are on a project-based, contractual, and or temporary basis.

Worker Representation, Consultation, and Participation

This key principle, on the other hand, states that all companies must provide their employees/workers with avenues wherein they could voice out their concerns regarding their work health and safety as well as report any undertakings by the company that is not aligned to the Work health and Safety Act 2012.

This could be done through committees and representative organization within the company, such as Health and Safety Representatives or Health and Safety Committees.

Compliance and Enforcement

Another key principle of the Work Health and Safety Act 2012 is the enabling of compliance and enforcement of this particular act as mandated by the Safe Work Australia.

Creation of Regulations

Lastly, the fourth principle of this Act is the provision of the Codes of Practice to the members of the company.

Meaning, this Codes of Practice should be accessible to all the employees and should be aligned with the guidelines and regulations outlined in the Work Health and Safety Act 2012.

Guide to the model Work Health and Safety Act

This particular publication contains all the necessary information that could aide people in understanding fully the content of the new Work Health and Safety Act 2012. Topics included in this publication include their health and safety duties, rights, and responsibilities needed to be performed at work.

Other Features

Further features included in the amended Work Health and Safety Act 2012 are as follows:

1. Definition of “Worker” — This term does not only refer to certified and registered official employees in the company. The Work Health and Safety Act 2012 continues to define “worker” and extends its definition to include the project-based employees as well as the contractual, temporary, and volunteers. Anyone who is working for a company, regardless if what his or her “title” might be, falls under the umbrella “worker”.

2. Duties and Responsibilities of PCBU — PCBU or person conducting a business or undertaking is hereby entitled to provide a safe environment and work procedure for all of its “workers”. To achieve this, any sign of a risk should automatically be acted upon.

3. Responsibility of an “officer” — An “officer” has the responsibility of working hand in hand with the PCBU in minimizing and/or eliminating possible work health and safety risks.

New Terminologies

The Work Health and Safety Act 2012 also has introduced new terminologies such as the following:

1.”Work safety” has been changed to “work health and safety” or works under the abbreviation WHS

2. “Work groups” has officially replaced the term “work consultation units”.

3. The term “health and safety representatives” and “health and safety committees” have replaced the old terms “work safety representatives” and “work safety committees”, respectively.

4. “Authorised representatives” is now responds to “WHS entry permit-holders”

This Work Health and Safety Act 2012 is an upgraded version of the Work Safety Act 2008, which ceased its effectively on December 31, 2011.

Work Health and Safety Act 2012: “Familiar Principles, New Approach”

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Published by: LMIT

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