Anyone who owns a business, even sole traders and sub-contractors, are required by law to ensure the health and safety of all workers, volunteers, the general public, and other visitors to their business premises or workplace.
In brief, the technical requirements of safety compliance include implementing safe systems of work, ensuring safe use of plants, structures, and substances, emergency management planning and systems, adequate facilities for the welfare of workers, and the notification and recording of workplace incidents.
Business owners must meet their legal obligations, so far as reasonably practicable, under either the Work Health and Safety legislation in NSW, QLD, ACT, SA, and TAS, or the Occupational Health and Safety legislation in VIC and WA.
To enable any business to work towards compliance under safety legislation, which is especially important for start-up businesses, it’s a requirement for the business owner to demonstrate that they have basic understanding of their duties and obligations regarding safety and they must have safety management system in place which is appropriate and effective for their workplace.
As a business owner facing the day-to-day pressures of running a business, the thought of having systems in place to manage health and safety can seem overwhelming. However, managing health and safety and Return to Work does not need to be difficult.
Having a proactive attitude towards the safety of your workers, contractors, customers, and the public is an important first step. Workplace safety should not be seen as an additional cost to your business – it’s part of your business. It’s always far better to deal with health and safety issues before they escalate. Though it may cost to implement safe practices and install safety equipment in the first instance, the personal cost, business cost, and long-term ramifications of not taking action can be severe.
Better health and safety outcomes in the workplace also improve your bottom line and help make your business more productive and successful.