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Work Health & Safety. A new concept?

Release Date

02 October 2012

Written by Larry Forsyth, Senior Manager, WHS & HR Consulting Services

I was talking to a work colleague recently who reminded me of the old days when they worked in the government sector, that work health & safety didn’t really exist.  Or did it, and we just didn’t know about it? 

My colleague went on to tell me (don’t ask me how long ago they worked there) they had ‘tea ladies’ who pushed trollies to your desk and offered you a cake or biscuit with a cuppa.  There were even government hand towels that were issued to staff.  These mostly sat on the back of each workers chair and were used to wipe your hands after you had eaten your sweet and drunk your cuppa. 

Jump to 2012, would this still work?  It seems like a no-brainer really. I just don’t see how we could integrate the tea ladies’ job descriptions and have them signed off by the CEO, as a requirement of the Safety Management System (SMS) under the Workplace Health and Safety Act 2011. 

Obviously at this point in time, while the tea ladies can’t be included in the SMS, what is ultimately important for a successful SMS is Employee Management, Risk Management, Injury Management, Record Management and Environmental Management.  Seems like a lot of management doesn’t it? 

As an employer, it is your responsibility to manage and maintain a safe and healthy workplace.  A safety management system or safety program supports and improves work environments, increases employee and workplace productivity and enables managers and leaders to get on with the job of managing their people’s performance. 

If you’re looking to implement an effective and compliant SMS then contact Australian Business & Consulting Services on 1800 505 529 or via email.  I know the ‘tea ladies’ would be proud of you.

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