According to RMH Schaffer & Co , Workcover NSW have issued a reminder to all employers. They have warned that employers (in the small to medium class, the largest single group of employers in Australia) should not expect any leniency in Workcover NSW’s resolve to ensure that all employers recognise the importance of compliance with NSW’s OH&S law as well as the Regulatory Authorities’ Industry Guides and Codes of Practice.
In determining the bare essentials of OH&S law compliance, it can be difficult for an employer to know where to begin and how to evidence “due diligence.”
As a guide and solely as a start point, the following may be of assistance. OH&S law compliance is not a “once only” exercise but an ongoing continual improvement compliance obligation. All OH&S compliance issues revolve around two classes of OH&S documents. First, a well thought through and carefully drafted OH&S policy document. The OH&S policy document must identify the business’ specific risks and must commit the management to control those risks. The second class of important documents are the risk assessments. These identify the hazardous risks, assess them according to the Workcover guide and also list suitable controls to manage the risks. From this platform, SME’s can overtime progress the development of a safety management system evidencing an employer’s compliance with their duty of care obligation.
RMH Schaffer & Co and OH&S consultants can assist the business to develop an OH&S SMS that delivers a “due diligence” management defence to any criminal prosecution.