Work Health & Safety Law

Work Health and Safety, Risk Management, Hazard Identification, incident reporting, WHS lawyer, Brisbane Work Health and Safety, Occupational Health and Safety
Make Work Health & Safety everyone's duty and stay out of the blender

What we can achieve together

1. An audit of your Work Health and Safety (WHS) System – what works, what doesn’t, what are the legislative gaps and what can be undertaken to maintain your ISO compliance.

2. Review you company WHS procedures and policies against, undertake an infield / site audit to review the physical application of the procedure throughout the workplace.

3. Assist as a third party in major incident investigation.

4. Company risk assessment, set up a  three level approach – Frontline, site and corporate. Complete a detailed risk review based on likelihood, consequence and exposure. 

5. Review Safe Work Method Statements / Job Safety Analysis and run workshops to create awareness.

6. Work Health and Safety Change Management to align with company Employment Law standards.

7. Tell us what the WHS deficiencies are and we can prepare a tailored program to suit your business.

What are some of the WHS Law Principles

When taking a broad view of Work Health and Safety (“WHS”) Law in Queensland and most other jurisdictions there are some important terms and clauses that should be understood, some prominent ones are:

  • Worker
  • Person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) and
  • So far as reasonably practicable (SFARP).

The key ingredient in WHS law is that the safety and health of the worker is of paramount importance. So how do we make certain that we achieve a WHS standard that meets this requirement? This brings us to the PCBU. The PCBU is the entity or company that hires the workers for their undertaking. These workers might be hired directly as employees or as contractors. The undertaking depends on the nature of the company, or industry that the company operates in. Finally, we need to look at SFARP which is the extent that the PCBU must mitigate or reduce the risk of injury or a negative health outcome in order to protect the worker. Remember that it is not the duty of the regulator to tell the PCBU how to reduce the risk, that is the sole responsibility of the PCBU.

To further divide WHS law in Queensland there is a general law and industry specific laws. The general WHS law is the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (QLD), for Coal Mining there is the Coal Mining Safety and Health Act 1999 (QLD) and in the Oil and Gas industry the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 (QLD) applies. All Acts have relevant Regulations which provide more specific rules, but interpretation can still be complex. Finally, there are Codes of Practice which simplify the legislation by providing some industry guidance.

North Law provides specialist advice for companies in all areas of WHS law including but not limited to:

  • Advice on system development and business integration.
  • System auditing against known international standards and legislative instruments such as the MHF Safety Case regime.
  • Advice on risk mitigation strategy.
  • Document review.
  • Follow-up advice relating to significant workplace incidents.
  • Advice relating to regulator improvement notices.

Tim Hutchins is North Law’s WHS Specialist. Tim has worked as a site based WHS specialist for many years and is able to provide a realistic WHS roadmap for your company.

Have you thought about some of the emerging hazards in industry?

Have you put in-place a Respiratory Crystalline Silica (“RCS”) Plan in your workplace?

Have you thought about how to manage the risk of psychosocial health?

There is a lot more the WHS that you might have imagined. Remember that as the PCBU you have a strict “primary duty of care” to reduce the risk of health and safety impacts to the worker. Don’t wait until it is too late, call North Law and book a free initial consultation and reduce your Workplace Health and Safety risk.