WHS Policies and Procedures Explained

WHS Policies Procedures

WHS Policies and Procedures Explained

Work Health and Safety (WHS) covers the detailed regulation of health, safety, and well-being in the workplace. Also called Occupational Health and Safety (OHS), the protocols and requirements involved apply to every area of the work environment. This includes onsite activities and equipment as well as the mobile equipment used off-site. While WHS is a complicated area, it is essential for the welfare of workers and the health of the business as well. The following information provides more detail on WHS policies and procedures.

WHS Compliance in Australia

WHS compliance in Australia is the legal responsibility of employers. It is a result of the WHS Act which was created in 2011 to replace existing Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) laws. While OHS laws varied by state, the WHS Act streamlines the process by eliminating those variations. The act offers a framework for the execution and management of WHS Management systems.

What Are WHS Policies and Procedures?

In short, WHS policies and procedures keep workers safe and a WHS management system ensures compliance with these guidelines. WHS strategies provide the reasoning behind the plan as well as its goals, all of which require documentation and review. They outline what the organisations will do in response to accidents and illnesses as well as substance abuse and harassment in the workplace. It also provides step-by-step guidance on the performance of tasks.

What’s Covered

A WHS management system includes policies and procedures for the following:

  • Drugs and alcohol
  • Workplace bullying and harassment
  • Safety planning and objectives¬†
  • Hazards identification
  • Risk assessment and risk control
  • Performance monitoring and review

Work health and safety policies and procedures show that an organisation holds itself accountable both to its stakeholders and to the law. It defines and guides companies on the performance of workplace duties and responsibilities. It ensures the proper communication of safety measures and incident reporting as well as what is unacceptable behaviour in the workplace. Of course, it also results in time and money savings with the reduction of workplace injuries and absenteeism.

WHS Policies and Procedures Benefits

Comprehensive work, health and safety policies and procedures provide many benefits for companies operating in Australia. The biggest benefit is an increase in worker safety as a result of lower workplace injuries and illness. Other benefits include:

  • Higher morale and increased staff productivity
  • Lower healthcare and compensation costs
  • A reduction in missed workdays
  • An awareness of acceptable workplace behaviour

A work health and safety management system helps businesses comply with workplace safety laws. It allows organisations to set goals and keep accurate records. Because safety protocols evolve over time, a system-based approach is easier to manage. It allows for feedback and improved communication. It integrates with other management systems and gives safety managers the tools and data needed to make good decisions. Additionally, it keeps organisations compliant with Heath and Safety Standard ISO 45001 which details conditions for WHS management systems. 

To be effective WHS policies and procedures must be accessible to all employees. The plan should focus on specifics and not generalities. Emergency response information and risk assessments are other key parts of the strategy as well.

Learn More About WHS Policies and Procedures

WHS management systems help businesses keep compliant with health and safety laws. Book a demo today and receive free templates.

Safe Write