Contribute to WHS Processes HLTWHS300A. #1 Introduction to Workplace Health & Safety. Lesson Outline. Introduction to WHS definition importance relevance to community service work WHS legislation & standards State & Territory WHS contacts Employers’ & employees’ WHS responsibilities
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#1 Introduction to Workplace Health & Safety
What is WHS?
Workplace health and safety (WH&S) is the term used to describe the laws and processes that help to protect employees from death, disease and injury while at work.
Why is it important?
Watch these short videos & discuss why WHS
is an important workplace consideration :
Workplace Health and Safety protects workers by setting standards for the workplace.
It provides guidelines for lifting, for working with hazardous chemicals, institutes regulations with regard to protective equipment like hard hats and eye protection, and limits the number of hours a person can work at a particular job (preventing injury due to fatigue/ stress).
The community services sector encompasses group homes, youth centres, child services, mental health day centres, residential facilities for people with disabilities, working in client’s homes or home care services, aged care facilities, and more.
Workers in this sector can be exposed to a wide range of hazards which can have serious effects on their health and/or safety.
If you are working in the community sector, the following Acts, regulations & codes control how you may safely work. When working in disability or aged care services, manual handling of clients is a WHS issue where policy and procedure controls how clients can be lifted for personal care and other needs.
1. Workplace health legislation
The WHS legislation relevant to each state or territory sets out the general requirements for protecting health and safety in the workplace.
WHS Acts make it clear that safety is the responsibility of employees, employers and representatives.
Encourages the parties to work together to resolve health and safety issues in the workplace.
Workplace health and safety regulations
Regulations provide a simplified approach to health and safety in all workplaces.
Approved codes of practice made under the Act
Approved codes of practice provide minimum standards for health and safety.
A code of practice provides practical guidance on how a particular standard of health and safety can be achieved by using preferred methods.
4. Policy & procedure at the organisational level
What can we expect from our organization?
An organisation is legally bound, under the Act, to provide & maintain:
What are our responsibilities as employees under the Act?
The role of WHS Committees in the workplace involves:
Help develop safe work practices & review changes being made to processes or work methods
Assist in hazard/risk assessments to resolve workplace safety issues
Create open communication channels with workers & management so that safety issues are addressed seriously by all
Inform employees about up to date safety measures & information
Make sure all in the workplace know how to report incidents, accidents and hazards they identify
The committee can work on issues that cannot be resolved at the employee level, using expert advice if needed
The members of a WHS committee must be at least 50% employees
The WHS Representative:
Video: Working on a Safer Queensland
2. Explanation of Australian (Federal) WHS legislation and Regulation: Safe Work Australia Volunteer Regulations factsheets
3.OHS/WHS legislation at the State/Territory level: Queensland Work Health & Safety Act 2011
4. Sample Policy link/handout : WHS Incident & Injury Reporting policy from a simulated community organisation
Geldard D & Geldard K 2011 Basic Personal Counselling: A Training Manual for Counsellors, 7thedn., Australia: Pearson education
It only takes a second safety video, online video, accessed 26 July, 2012 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYwMhepuJMA
McDonald C, Craik C, Hawkins L & Williams J 2011 Professional practice in human services organisations, Allen & Unwin, Australia
O’Hara A & Pockett R (eds) 2011 Skills For Human Service Practice: Working with Individuals, Groups and Communities, 2ndedn., Oxford University Press, Australia/ New Zealand
Quinlan M, Bohle P & Lamm F 2010 Managing occupational health and safety in Australia. A multidisciplinary approach, 2ndedn., South Melbourne Victoria: Palgrave Macmillan
SafeWork Australia, Legislative Factsheet Series, 2011, How Volunteer organisations can Comply to WHS Act, accessed 31 July, 2012 http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/SWA/AboutSafeWorkAustralia/WhatWeDo/Publications/Pages/HowVolunteerOrganisationsComplyFactSheet.aspx
Work Health & Safety Act 2011, Queensland
Working on a Safer Queensland, online video, Workplace Health & safety Qld, accessed 26 July, 2012 http://www.deir.qld.gov.au/workplace/publications/multimedia/index.htm
Workplace Health & Safety Queensland, The five Steps, 2012 accessed 26 July, 2012, http://www.deir.qld.gov.au/workplace/subjects/riskman/fivesteps/index.ht
Workplace Safety Australia, National Safety Handbook, 9thedn., Australia & New Zealand
www.counsellingresource.com – theory of counselling supervision
www.aipc.com.au – Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors
www.aasw.asn.au – Australian Association of Social Work
www.weblaw.edu.au – source of law materials and legislation
www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au – promotes OHS in Australia
www.legislation.vic.gov.au - Vic Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
www.legislation.vic.gov.au - Vic Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007f
Journal of Occupational Health and Safety Australia and New Zealand. CCH Australia Limited www.cch.com.au
Sample Occupational Health and Safety Management System. www.ncoss.org.au
Psychologists and Counsellors – a guide to practice. www.workcover.nsw.gov.au