The Work Health Safety and Injury Management Systems (“WHSIMS”) Manual provides a comprehensive selection of forms, documents and procedures necessary for a systems approach to managing WHS issues.
The (updated) WHSIMS Manual reflects introduction of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 plus the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011, which replace the Occupational Health and Safety (“OHS”) Act 2000 plus the Occupational Health and Safety (“OHS”) Regulation 2001. All States and Territories have committed to implementing uniform safety standards across Australia and the new Work Health and Safety (“WHS”) Laws are the result of this national approach.
In general terms, the traditional approach under previous OHS Laws was hazard-based and risk assessment involved hazard identification, analysis, evaluation and implementation of the “hierarchy of control” (elimination, substitution, isolation, engineering controls, administrative controls, thence personal protective equipment).
However the WHS Laws prescribe a new due diligence approach which is precaution-based and risk assessment is more focussed upon identification of credible, critical issues and precautionary options based on a balance between the significance of these risks versus the effort required to reduce or eliminate them. In short, due diligence involves identification of credible, critical issues which must be balanced against practicable, precautionary options in treating the risk(s). Additionally, WHS Laws require senior decision-makers of an organisation to demonstrate due diligence for safety hazards created by their business or undertaking, not just delegate these responsibilities.
The WHSIMS Manual has been extensively overhauled to reflect the new WHS Laws.
Racing NSW has developed and provided the Manual to assist Racing Industry employers and participants in meeting their WHS obligations, and to encourage a consistent approach by the industry. WHS Laws require that all parties meet certain responsibilities/obligations (as noted above), and these are detailed within the Manual.
The Manual provides policies and procedures, including documents needed to implement and maintain WHS systems. This initiative has the immediate benefit of saving industry stakeholders considerable development time and money.
It is anticipated that by adopting this Systems Approach to WHS, industry participants will be equipped with consistent and effective tools to assist them in meeting their WHS responsibilities and obligations.
Nonetheless, all industry participants must familiarise themselves with the new WHS Laws as they prescribe a new “due diligence” approach to Work Health and Safety which is precaution-based (whereas the old OHS Laws prescribed a different hazard-based strategy). Further information may be found at:
http://www.workcover.nsw.gov.au and http://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au
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