Generative HSE works in proud alliance with Owen Hodge Lawyers who have been providing specialised legal services since 1951. Together, we work with our clients to deliver a seamless and full suite of WHS products including comprehensive legal services. Our alliance ensures that we can deal with the most complex of complaints and deliver highly informed and effective mediation.
Legal Obligations for WHS
Workplace health and safety is one of the most heavily regulated areas that business owners and operators come across in their day to day operations.
Business owners and operators have far reaching legal obligations to provide and maintain a safe and healthy workplace. These obligations do not just relate to employees, but also to the people who interact with the business. You cannot contract out of your legal obligations in relation to workplace health and safety. If you try, that part of the contract will be deemed to be void.
While there are general legal obligations relating to workplace health and safety that apply to all businesses, there are many industry specific obligations that are set out in guidance and codes of practice. Much of the industry specific guidance and codes of practice has been approved by the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, and has the force of law. Even the guidance and codes that do not have the force of law may still be used as evidence of good practice in the workplace, and as such, is ignored at risk.
There may be serious consequences for not complying with obligations. Not least of which include putting workers’ health at risk. If organisations do not comply with their legal obligations, owners and/or employees may be personally responsible and may risk fines or even imprisonment.
Generative HSE in conjunction with Owen Hodge Lawyers provide a full range of services to ensure that you comply with all your obligations in relation to workplace health and safety.
You are legally obliged to have in place a systematic and ongoing process to identify risk. We can carry out a comprehensive risk audit. We can also work with you and your employees to develop a tailored and realistic plan to help you put into place the processes to identify risks going forward.
In our risk assessment, we carry out a comprehensive review of your workplace environment including the physical space itself, any equipment, substances and materials in use, the work tasks of your employees and how they are performed and the management of those work tasks. We identify and suggest provision for your vulnerable workers. Our audit includes not only identifying the physical risks but also the psychological ones.
Once risks have been identified, you are obliged to assess how you are able to control them. As far as reasonably practicable, the law requires you to eliminate (preferably by prevention) or minimise all risk identified. There are many industry specific risks, the management of which is prescribed in detail in the law. If you have identified any risks, the management of which is set out in the law, then you must comply with those obligations.
You are not required to eliminate the risk if the cost of doing so is out of all proportion to the risk. We are able to advise you on the balance between risk elimination and cost.
You have legal obligations in relation to the prevention of risks through certain measures including information, training and monitoring the health of those affected. We provide a range of risk prevention programmes to ensure your employees have the information and training that they need to support the prevention of risk in your organisation. We are also able to provide tailored programmes to suit your needs.
Incident Response and Crisis Management
Your legal obligations cover the way you respond to accidents that occur in your workplace including the way that they are recorded and reported. In conjunction with Owen Hodge Lawyers, we are able to advise you on your response obligations.
It is in everybody’s best interests and also your legal obligation to work towards prevention of accidents in the workplace. However, when accidents do occur, we can provide a fast, seamless and expert service to help you manage the crisis. We offer a full crises management service that includes:
- a 24/7 crisis response service whereby one of our team of expert lawyers can come to the scene of an incident and advise you or your representative to ensure that you respond in a manner that assists your situation should your organisation be subject to litigation as a result of the accident. Please call 1800 770 780 if you require this service right now.
- Advising on and handling any proceedings that arise as a result of an accident or claim. Together with Owen Hodge Lawyers, we can provide you with practical and timely advice that is appropriate to the size and nature of your business, helping you to address all your workplace health and safety needs.
Legal Review of WHS Systems
Many of our clients have been operating within the confines of their WHS Systems for a few years. It's important to conduct legal reviews periodically to ensure that any changes made to they system or process over time are still compliant with current legislation.
Together with Owen Hodge Lawyers, we can provide you with practical and timely advice that is appropriate to the size and nature of your business, helping you to address all your workplace health and safety needs.