Guiding harmonised health and safety 15 Dec 2014

Protecting workers and reducing business risks in key primary industries has become easier for employers following the release of a guide to the latest Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) laws.

Designed as a one-stop shop, Work Health and Safety Legislative Responsibilities has been prepared by Tony Lower from the Australian Centre for Agricultural Health & Safety (University of Sydney) on behalf of the Primary Industries Health and Safety Partnership (PIHSP).

Mr Lower said the new guide is designed to improve workplace safety and ultimately save businesses money. 

“The Federal Government, States and Territories have largely harmonised WHS legislation over recent years, and the new report pulls together all the requirements, along with extensive web links to the information employers need to comply with,” he said.

It also provides a sample WHS plan and a step by step guide to drafting a plan for your own business.

“The report includes case studies that clearly illustrate how businesses and workers can reduce the risk of incidents and how following the correct processes can minimise the potential for action by work health agencies if an incident does occur,” Mr Lower said. 

The document is broken into five major sections covering:

  • Essential definitions

  • WHS planning and action

  • Relevant web links to information in each state/ territory

  • A list of other national resources 

A quick user-guide checklist of high-risk issues and registers for records that must be included for specific commodities (fisheries, cotton, grains, marine, fishing and sugar).

PIHSP is funded by the Research and Development Corporations for the meat processing, cotton, grains, fishing and livestock industries as well as the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation.

Copies of Work Health and Safety Legislative Responsibilities and more information about the Partnership can be found at