On the 1st of July, 2020, Victoria’s new workplace manslaughter offences were brought into effect. This legislation has been introduced to strengthen workplace OH&S practices and minimise the number of workplace deaths that occur across the state. The introduction of these offences mean that if certain duties listed under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act) are breached and cause the death of someone owed that duty, any employers, duty holders or officers of an organisation may be held accountable. While this legislation doesn’t create any more work for employers that are already complying with OHS duties, the consequences for those that are not are now much more severe. The penalties are reflective of the seriousness of the case, but can extend to a maximum of:
- 25 years imprisonment for individuals
- Fines of $16.5 million for body corporates
An extensive list of your duties as an employer can be found on the Worksafe website, however these include (but are not limited to):
- Providing employees with safe machinery and/or equipment
- Implementing and maintaining methods that ensure safe systems of work
- Ensuring safety when using, handling, storing or transporting machinery, equipment or substances
- Providing suitable welfare facilities at your workplace
- Providing employees with any information, instructions, training and supervision which may be deemed necessary for them to work safely, without risks to their health
For many employers, keeping employees safe and informed involves the use of site-specific SWMS. In fact, in many states, SWMS are mandatory for high risk construction work. You can find specific details for each state by reading their relevant legislation. Trak offers users the opportunity to create their own compliant, site-specific SWMS templates, ready for use on the jobsite. You can read how to do this here, or watch our tutorial on using SWMS here. If you’re struggling to find time to enter your own SWMS, or are yet to use any, Trak has recently also released a SWMS store, where you can purchase pre-made templates for the one time fee of $20 per item. You can read more on that here, or access click here to access the Template Store. Please note that for all templates purchased from the SWMS Store, we do still recommend that a member of your OH&S team reviews each item to make sure it’s appropriate for your workplace and complies with current codes relevant to your location and trade. If you have any questions about SWMS, the Template Store or any other Trak feature, get in touch with us by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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