Public sector OHS professionals should review workplace safety governance systems and make sure their OHS systems provide for clear accountability and KPIs as well as effective communication and reporting processes ahead of the national OHS regime, according to Comcare.
Governmental OHS systems should also facilitate effective and targeted training, while public sector OHS professionals should also begin mapping policies and procedures against the draft Work Health Safety Act.
“All OHS professionals to start thinking now about how their agency or organisation will transition to the new model Work Health Safety laws,” said Melissa Ryan, general manager of “Project Harmony” – Comcare’s dedicated project team which is helping federal departments transition to the new OHS regime.
Ryan also said public sector OHS practitioners should identify long-term contracts in place (or being considered) that will continue to have effect post-January 2012, and involve workers in the design of any internal programs or initiatives.
“Ensure that your procedures and processes for consultation are effective and reach all workers,” said Ryan, who recommended visiting the Comcare website for up-to-date information.
In addition to working with federal government departments, the Project Harmony team is also working with the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and Safe Work Australia to develop the legislation.
The team is also promoting safety culture and leadership in preparing the federal government for the implementation of the model WHS laws.
“Public sector leaders should take the opportunity to promote safety leadership and culture while reviewing and preparing for the new laws,” said Ryan.
“Leaders need to show commitment everyday to health and safety. Lead by example – understand your responsibilities [and] drive change management and support initiatives.”