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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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contribute to whs processes hltwhs300a

Contribute to WHS ProcessesHLTWHS300A

#1 Introduction to Workplace Health & Safety

lesson outline
Lesson Outline
  • Introduction to WHS
    • definition
    • importance
    • relevance to community service work
  • WHS legislation & standards
  • State & Territory WHS contacts
  • Employers’ & employees’ WHS responsibilities
  • Role & responsibilities of WHS representatives
what is whs
What is WHS?

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 :

  • Don’t sleep at work
  • Funny Accident compilation
  • Forklift narrow squeeze
importance of whs
Importance of WHS

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).

r elevance to community service work context
Relevance to community service work context

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.

whs legislation standards
WHS legislation & standards

WHS Acts

  • States and territories are responsible for making and enforcing laws about Workplace Health and Safety (WH&S).
  • Each state and territory has its own WH&S Act, setting out requirements for ensuring that workplaces are healthy and safe.
  • These requirements spell out the duties of different groups of people who play a role in workplace health and safety.
whs legislation standards1
WHS legislation & standards

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.

whs legislation standards2
WHS legislation & standards

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.

whs legislation standards3
WHS legislation & standards

4. Policy & procedure at the organisational level

  • A policyis a line of action adopted from other considerations such as government legislation, to guide and determine present and future decisions. Policies provide an overall plan with general goals.
  • A procedure prescribes actions that need to be executed as a sequence of activities, tasks, steps and processes that when undertaken produce the desired result or outcome. As a community service worker you may need to carry out WHS procedures such as fill in incident reports.
employers responsibilities
Employers’ responsibilities

What can we expect from our organization?

An organisation is legally bound, under the Act, to provide & maintain:

  • A current WHS policy signed by the CEO
  • A safe, healthy work environment which includes appropriate & safe equipment, safe work systems.
  • Facilities for employees’ welfare at work (eg: kitchens and bathrooms)
  • Safe access in the workplace, even during any construction or renovations.
employers responsibilities1
Employers’ responsibilities
  • Safe methods for use, handling, storage & disposal of plant or substances, including hazardous substances
  • Consultation & communication with staff on safety & reporting workplace hazards
  • Help with the election of a workplace WHS representative or WHS committee
  • Support the people chosen to be the WHS representatives & inform them of hazards/incidents/accidents
  • Procedures to enable workplaces to be regularly inspected for hazards
  • All these measures aim to ensure the employer meets its duty of care to its employees & clients
employee responsibilities
Employee responsibilities

What are our responsibilities as employees under the Act?

  • work safely and follow all training, processes and procedures
  • not put anyone else in danger
  • report any hazards or incidents, including near-misses
  • follow instructions
  • use personal protective equipment (PPE) appropriately
  • cooperate with the supervisor & employer
  • understand that your rights & responsibilities are equally important.
whs committees
WHS Committees

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

whs representative
WHS Representative

The WHS Representative:

  • May be elected to take much the same role as a WHS Committee
  • The employer must allow a WHS rep. to be elected if the employees ask for it
  • They investigate safety complaints, conduct inspections of any reported risks, and liaise between staff and the employer to resolve them
    • Their role includes referring health & safety matters as needed
roles and responsibilities of ohs representatives
Roles and responsibilities of OHS representatives
  • Designated WHS persons in the workplace may include:
    • Team leaders
    • Supervisors
    • WHS representatives
    • WHS committee members
    • Managers
    • Organisation WHS personnel
    • Other persons designated by the organisation

Video: Working on a Safer Queensland

  • Discuss some of the hazards employees in the human services sector may experience. How are they different from those shown in the video?
whs scenario activity
WHS Scenario Activity
  • Pairwork: You are a volunteer coordinator in a residential centre for people with an intellectual disability. A worker took 3 residents on a BBQ in a large suburban park for a lunch outing. She has just called to say she fell and sprained her ankle while helping cook the BBQ. She says she cannot walk without assistance unless one of the residents helps her, and is in pain even to stand up. The residents are physically mobile, c an speak in very simple sentences but have very limited planning or organisational skills. They cannot safely cook nor use a stove without monitoring.
  • As volunteer coordinator, you are responsible for her health and for the risks for the residents
  • List all the hazards & risks you can think of in this situation
  • Use ipads to find websites for the legislation & sample policy on the next slide to help you brainstorm what you should do as volunteer coordinator to comply to WHS Law
whs scenario activity1
WHS Scenario Activity
  • Commonwealth Work Health & Safety Bill 2011:

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

  • Make a list of things you as volunteer coordinator would be responsible for to respond to this incident. Discuss as a class
  • Archer R, Borthwick K, Travers M & Ruschena L 2012 WHS: A management guide, 3rd edn., Cengage Learning: Australia
  • Building Stronger Communities Through Stronger Community Organisations, Model OHS Injury & Incident Reporting policy, West Melbourne, accessed 31 July, 2012, date site last updated not cited, ttp://
  • Business, web finance incorporated, 2012, accessed 26 July, 2012

  • Child Care Safety: Manual handling and slips, trips and falls - Family Day Care, online video, accessed 26 July, 2012
      • Corey G, Corey MS & Callanan P 2011 Issues and ethics in the helping professions, 8th edn., Cengage Learning: Brookes/Cole , United States
  • Creighton B and Rozen P 2007 Occupational Health and Safety Law in Victoria, 3rd edn., Australia: Federation Press
  • Dept of Justice & Attorney General, Working Safely in People’s homes, 2011, Queensland

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

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

Work Health & Safety Act 2011, Queensland


Working on a Safer Queensland, online video, Workplace Health & safety Qld, accessed 26 July, 2012

Workplace Health & Safety Queensland, The five Steps, 2012 accessed 26 July, 2012,

Workplace Safety Australia, National Safety Handbook, 9thedn., Australia & New Zealand

Additional Websites: – theory of counselling supervision – Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors – Australian Association of Social Work – source of law materials and legislation – promotes OHS in Australia - Vic Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 - Vic Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007f

Additional Articles/Journals:

Journal of Occupational Health and Safety Australia and New Zealand. CCH Australia Limited

Sample Occupational Health and Safety Management System.

Psychologists and Counsellors – a guide to practice.