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WHS General Policy

Version 1.1 Updated 26 Sep 2023
Policy Manage

Who can use this document

This document can be used by all employers.

Commentary
The purpose of a work or occupational health and safety (WHS) system is to provide a framework for managing WHS risks. The aim is to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of all of your workers and other people affected by your business (e.g. customers and contractors). For a WHS system to be effective, it is important that there is a culture of WHS in the business. The culture will only exist if workers believe that that is the intent and objective of the most senior managers in the business (top management). A WHS policy is a document used by management to communicate to workers and others, the businesses' commitment to WHS. It is important that it is credible and unambiguous. It should show leadership and commitment.

Official sources also state that the WHS policy should demonstrate:

  1. Details of how top management is taking responsibility for WHS compliance.
  2. Details of how top management will be accountable for WHS compliance.
  3. Details of how top management will be involved in WHS compliance.
  4. That all injuries (in the wider sense) will be reported to top management.
  5. Top management will monitor the implementation and ongoing compliance with the WHS system.

 

Whilst statements such as the ones above are admirable, they can place top management in a vulnerable position following an incident.  It is probably enough that there is a strong statement of commitment in the policy.

In addition to the commitment to WHS, business policies often include statements of commitment to other objectives.  This policy covers both WHS obligations.

WHS policies and procedures should be communicated to all workplace participants, notably employees, but also contractors and volunteers. Even short-term visitors should be advised of any WHS requirements relevant to them. Anyone who performs work at your business premises should be aware of the policies and procedures which exist in the interests of workplace health and safety.

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