Occupational Health and Safety
Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) refers to the policies, procedures and activities which are aimed to ensure a healthy and safe working environment for all workers. The OHS protects the health, safety and welfare of all people at the workplace. It is relevant to all NSW workplaces. As many Australians, tragically lose their lives at the workplace and many more are injured.
Employers have a duty of care, to provide a safe system of work and employees have a responsibility of care, to follow whatever directions are given by the employer. An employer is required to provide safe premises, safe machinery, safe systems of work, provision of information and suitable working environment and facilities. Employers are also responsible for the health of people other than workers, who may be present at the workplace.
The Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000 is a legislation that covers the OHS and outlines the legal requirements for employers and employees. The Act requires employers to consult with workers on matters affecting their health, safety and welfare. The legislation ensures that risks to health and safety at a place of work are identified, assessed and eliminated. The Act also develops and promotes awareness among communities.
Employers have a variety of obligations in relation to the working environment. They must provide sufficient working space to allow people to work safely and ensure that the floors are constructed and maintained to minimise the possibility of slips and falls. Employers must also provide adequate lighting to allow workers to work and move safely as well as, providing adequate ventilation and air movement in indoor environments.
Hazards are anything that has the potential to harm the health or safety of a person. These can arise from the work environment, use of machinery and substances, poor work designs and inappropriate procedures conducted by either an employee or an employer. Hazards can...