Grains Research and Development

Date: 02.03.2015

New health and safety guide to help compliance

Image of Professor Tony Lower

Associate Professor Tony Lower.

A new guide to Australia’s latest workplace health and safety (WHS) laws may make it easier for grains industry employers to meet their responsibilities, protect workers and reduce business risks.

The report, Work Health and Safety Legislative Responsibilities, was prepared by Associate Professor Tony Lower, director of the Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety (at the University of Sydney), on behalf of the Primary Industries Health and Safety Partnership (PIHSP).

Associate Professor Lower says the new guide provides relevant information to improve workplace safety systems and practices, and ultimately save businesses money.

“The Australian Government, states and territories have largely harmonised WHS legislation over recent years, and the new report pulls together all the requirements, along with extensive web links to the information employers need to comply with,” he says.

The report also provides a step-by-step guide to drafting a WHS plan and includes a sample plan to assist this process.

“It includes case studies that clearly illustrate how businesses and workers can reduce the risk of incidents and how following the correct processes can minimise the potential for action by work health agencies if an incident does occur,” Associate Professor Lower says.

The guide is divided into five major sections covering:
  • WHS definitions;
  • WHS planning and action;
  • relevant web links to information in each state/territory;
  • a list of national resources; and
  • a quick checklist of high-risk issues and registers for records that must be included for specific commodities including grain.
The PIHSP is funded by several Australian R&D corporations, including the GRDC. It aims to drive sustainable improvements to WHS outcomes through investment in R&D.

The Work Health and Safety Legislative Responsibilities guide can be downloaded from the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation website (www.rirdc.gov.au/publications).

A fact sheet specific to WHS in the Australian grains industry is available at: https://rirdc.infoservices.com.au/items/14-091

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