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Unit: Safety at work

MSAPMOHS200A: Work safely
LMFFL3002A: Establish and maintain a safe flooring technology work environment

Section 2: Laws and systems

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Most companies spend a lot of time and money keeping their Work Health and Safety (WHS) system up-to-date, so that it stays compliant with changing legislation, codes of practice and insurance company requirements.

But the bottom line can always be summed up in the basic question:

Is the system making the workplace safer?

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If the answer is 'Yes', then your safety system is working.

Not that this means you can relax and take it for granted.

An effective system is only effective while everyone continues to apply its policies to their daily activities.

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If the answer is 'No', then you've got a problem on your hands.

No-one likes filling out forms if they think it's pointless.

And people soon lose the motivation to follow strict procedures if they don't see any benefit in it.

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In this section, we'll look at the legislation that underlies safety in the workplace, and the administrative system that turns these laws into workplace practices.

We'll also discuss the role of the new 'model' Work Health and Safety Act (2011) that has replaced the old Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act in most states and territories, and the continuing process of 'harmonisation' occurring between them.

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Completing this section

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The assignment for this section will ask you to describe your own role in workplace safety and the consultation process, and identify the laws that apply to your state or territory.

Have a look at the Assignment now to see what you'll need to do to complete it. You'll find the link in the menu bar.

Also in the menu bar are links to the lessons for this section:

  • Laws and regulations

  • Rights and responsibilities

  • Consulting with workers

  • WHS management systems.

These lessons will provide you with background information that will help you with the assignment.

You can also test your general knowledge of work health and safety issues by going to the questionnaire on the Just for fun page.

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