Work Health and Safety – Company Directors Getting Ready for the New Laws

By

Australia has 10 different laws relating to Occupational Health and Safety. This will change on 1 January 2012 with the introduction of the Work Health and Safety Act. The Federal Government has established Safe Work Australia to implement the new laws.

The Australian Institute of Company Directors, in the August 2011 edition of their magazine “Company Director” published an article by Domini Stuart summarising the changes.

The article referred to a checklist prepared by Steven Cole, chairman of Emerson Stewart for company directors to implement to ensure their businesses are ready for the new laws (this also applies to business owners of all kinds). The list includes:

  1. Engaging an occupational health and safety expert to give a high level presentation to the board (or your business) on the principles and effects of the new regime;
  2. Review the existing occupational health and safety arrangements and practices and report these to the board, along with recommendations for improvements and assured compliance;
  3. Use these findings as the basis for a comprehensive review of your business’ occupational health and safety policies and procedures;
  4. If your business does not have a specialist occupational health and safety expert on the executive, ensure that an appropriate and suitably competent person has responsibility for the occupational health and safety function in your business;
  5. Schedule regular reports and reviews of your business’ occupational health and safety practices in your calendar, including board meetings;
  6. Ensure board members, or management if you are not a company, visit relevant work sites from time to time so they have a thorough understanding of the workplace environment and practices.

Directors and management of businesses throughout Australia are now in a position to influence the occupational health and safety regime of their organisation. It is imperative to address this now so that appropriate procedures are in place come 1 January 2012. It is very important to establish a culture now to ensure safety is taken seriously.

Please contact me if you need any assistance with your businesses implementation of its occupational health and safety practices so as to ensure compliance.

Tagged in: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


You may also be interested in:

6 Things You Can Expect When Declaring Bankruptcy

Declaring bankruptcy should be your last resort when you are faced with financial difficulties, whether as an individual or as a business owner. It is not exactly a “Get Out of Jail Free” card, as it comes with many adverse consequences, which may significantly impact your financial standing over a considerable period. So what consequences continue reading

How do you determine if a company is insolvent?

The answer to the question “How do you determine if a company is insolvent?” is important because there are serious consequences for a director if debts are incurred after the company has become insolvent, including civil penalties, compensation proceedings and criminal charges. However, it is often difficult to know when a company has crossed the continue reading

What to do if you receive an ATO Director Penalty Notice

Did you know that company directors may potentially become personally liable for unremitted Pay As You Go (PAYG) deductions and Superannuation Guarantee Charges (SGCs)? The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has significant powers to recover a company’s unpaid liabilities personally through its directors and may issue a Director Penalty Notice (DPN). This article focuses on the continue reading

Liability Limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation | Website by VA