WORK HEALTH & SAFETY AND WORKER’S COMPENSATION 

SPECIALIST ADVICE ON MANAGING YOUR SAFETY AND COMPENSATION RISKS

WORKPLACE HEALTH AND SAFETY

The Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic) (“OHS Act”) is Victoria’s primary source of workplace health and safety law.

The OHS Act came about as a result of a major review of the previous 1985 Act, which found that the legislation needed to be modernised to reflect the changing nature of workplace arrangements across the state.

The 2004 Act fosters increased participation by employers and employees alike in managing workplace health and safety issues, and therefore understanding your obligations under this legislation is vital.

 

What does the OHS Act do?

The OHS Act sets out mandatory health and safety obligations and expected outcomes that are required in all Victorian workplaces, and specifies the roles and powers of various persons authorised to enforce the Act.

The primary objective of the OHS Act is to ensure that those with authority over particular aspects of the working environment exercise their power in a manner that is not harmful to the health and safety of any person at the workplace

 

How do we comply with OHS?

Your organisation can improve your OHS compliance by starting with these four key steps / focus areas:

1. Decide who will help you with your duties – appoint someone who is competent to assist you in meeting your obligations under the OH&S Act. Someone with relevant skills, knowledge and experience in managing health and safety is advisable, and you may even opt for expert advice from outside the business.

2. Involve your workers – it is important to consult with your working to gage the health and safety matters that directly affect them, as research shows effective consultation leads to better health and safety outcomes. Setting up a safety committee within the business is always a good start.

3. Provide information, instruction, training and supervision – ensure your staff has access to your OH&S policies, which should describe how you intend to manage health and safety in your business, and outline who is responsible for certain outcomes and when/how these will be achieved. This information should be easy to understand, regularly reviewed and continuously reiterated to all staff (including contractors).

4. Identify hazards, and plan for emergencies – It is not possible to eliminate all hazards in your workplace, therefore its important to identify which hazards require the most urgent attention and identify sensible ways to control the risk. Making relevant plans and arrangements in the event of an emergency is crucial, and establishing a Register of Incidents and Injuries, as well as taking out Workers Compensation Insurance, may assist in minimising costs in the unlikely case of an OH&S incident.

How we help

Our experts at Workplace Wizards can review your existing OH&S Management Systems (OHSMS) or specific policies to ensure your systems, procedures and arrangements meet minimum statutory standards as well as the specific requirements of your business. We are also able to provide Codes of Conduct and company policies to protect your company from OH&S-related incidents and costs.

Specifically, we offer the following popular OHS specialist assistance to help you manage safety risks in your organisation:

 

Site Safety Audits



We attend your worksite and perform a multi-hour detailed analysis of your current work practices relating to safety, including a ‘gap analysis’ of what you have in place, what needs updating and/or what’s missing from your safety systems. We compile detailed Audit Reports which are an essential tool for plugging any gaps in your safety systems and demonstrate your proactive steps to comply with safety requirements.

Wouldn’t you like the peace of mind to know your site safety practices are compliant and ‘up to scratch’ before a WorkSafe inspection or, of more concern, you have a serious safety incident occur with one of your family, co-workers or the general public on your site? Contact us today to organise your site safety audit.

 

Safety Manuals and Guides

We develop OHS Management Systems (OHSMS) and manuals/handbooks that provide organisations with a comprehensive, structured, clear and concise safety management system that complies with relevant legislation, regulation and Codes of Practice. We can tailor our manuals to your industry-specific risks and needs.

Our comprehensive manuals include such essentials as a Health and Safety Plan, Hazard Reporting, Safe Work Method Statements (SWMSs), Incident Reporting, Emergency Procedures and Workplace Inspection Procedure.

Every workplace needs an up-to-date, detailed OHSMS. Contact us today to ensure yours is in shape.

WORKER’S COMPENSATION SUPPORT

Any company that employs any workers in Victoria must register for WorkCover / workers’ compensation insurance. Businesses that are not registered for WorkCover insurance when they should be face severe penalties if caught, and can also be required to reimburse WorkSafe for any compensation paid to their injured workers (which can become a very expensive exercise!).

 

HOW WE HELP

The management of workers’ compensation is a constant, complex and time-consuming frustration for small and medium-sized employers. Why not outsource this painful task and focus on other core concerns in your organisation?

Workplace Wizards assists managers to take the complexity and hassle out of managing workers’ compensation claims through:

  • Assisting you lodge your Workers Compensation claim forms (as well as compiling all necessary information) for any injured worker;
  • Acting as your company’s ‘Return To Work Coordinator’;
  • Becoming the liaison point between your company’s WorkCover Agent (insurer), the injured employee and his/her doctors;
  • Dealing with your company’s insurer to ensure circumstance investigations are conducted, Independent Medical Examinations of the injured worker are held, the injured employee’s rehabilitation and work obligations are being upheld etc.
  • Managing various issues concerning return to work of injured employees, which can arise from time to time, such as
    • Organising review of claims;
    • Ensuring up-to-date action plans on each claim;
  • Intervention to assist RTW Plans to be adhered to and agreed action items are delivered efficiently.

Take the pain out of dealing with injured workers (and the messy workers’ compensation system, forms and processes). Contact us today to see how we can free up your time and reduce your stress levels.