OSHEM Solutions | Work Health & Safety Compliance Check

Work Health & Safety Compliance Check

Work Health & Safety Compliance Check

On the 1st January 2012, the NSW Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act 2000 was replaced with the Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act 2011. Based on the model act developed by the federal government’s Safe Work Australia, the new WHS laws introduced several significant changes for NSW.

WHS Compliance Check

In response, OSHEM Solutions developed our WHS Compliance Check tool. This tool is part audit, part workplace inspection and is based on the core requirements of the NSW Work Health & Safety Act and Regulation.

The WHS Compliance Check demystifies the new safety laws by providing:

  • A plain English report, emailed within 24 hrs
  • A compliance score for each section
  • Easy to read performance graphs
  • Plain English actions required to improve legal compliance

Of course our consultants will provide feedback and advice on the day of the compliance check and are available, at no extra cost, to provide further clarification once the report is received.

Importantly, the WHS Compliance Check minimises the disruption to your business as it generally only takes half a day.

Next Step

If your business has not yet verified that it is meeting the requirements of the Work Health and Safety Act, contact us on 1300 657 279 for an obligation-free quote and to discuss how our WHS Compliance Check can be of assistance to you.

OSHEM Solutions | WHS for SMEs

WHS for SMEs

WHS for SMEs

Modern business is complex and fast paced. Most roles require some level of multi-skilling. In Small to medium enterprises (SMEs) many of the same obligations apply but with less people to resource them. Staff may ‘wear many hats’, dabbling in disciplines that large organisations employ specialists. Furthermore, with small financial resources available, SMEs are less able to hire in external expertise.

Health & Safety is one of these specialist obligations that SMEs must face. For most, health & safety is an issue that floats up and down the priority list as issues arise and are dealt with. It can suddenly become a priority if something goes wrong, someone is hurt or worse. Work related injury or illness can have terrible impacts on workers and their families. In large businesses they are costly and disruptive. In SMEs they can be financially and operationally devastating, bringing the business to its knees and potentially resulting in closure.

Work Health and Safety Compliance Check

OSHEM Solutions recognise that SMEs are both time poor and financial stretched. We also recognise that the Jan 2012 introduction of new Work Health & Safety (WHS) laws introduced a large and complex legal burden on NSW SMEs. That is why we developed our WHS Compliance Check.

The WHS Compliance Check is a quick and efficient way of determining if your organisation is meeting the key obligations of the law and managing the type of risks that could hurt your workers.

The benefits of the OSHEM Solutions WHS Compliance Check include:

  • Minimise Risk: Our consultants are WHS experts
  • Minimise Disruption: An hour of your time, we complete the check within 4 hours.
  • Understand Your Legal Obligations: A plain-English report and list of any actions required.
  • No Waiting: You are briefed on the day and emailed the completed report within 24 hrs.
  • Minimised Cost: Developed to meet an SME budget.

To find out more about how the WHS Compliance Check can assist you in managing your Work Health & Safety obligations contact us on 1300 657 279. For more information, follow this link: WHS Compliance Checklist or download a flyer.

OSHEM Solutions | WHSMS for Asbestos Removalists

WHSMS for Asbestos Removalists

WHS / OHS Management System for Asbestos Removalists

Asbestos Removal Licences

In terms of Work Health & Safety, few hazards have received as much media exposure as asbestos. As a relatively cheap and highly versatile product, asbestos made its way into our homes and workplaces over decades. It was not until years later that the potentially fatal consequences of exposure were discovered and its use was eventually banned.

Asbestos in various forms and condition is the legacy of this long term use. In any workplace asbestos must be managed to protect people from its health effects and any removal carried out under strict controls.

Under the NSW Work Health & Safety (WHS) Act and Regulation (enacted January 2012), a licence (Class B) is required to remove 10m2 or more of Non-Friable Asbestos and any associated Asbestos Containing Dust (ACD) or up to 10m2 of Friable Asbestos and any associated ACD. To remove more than 10m2 of Friable Asbestos (and its associated ACD) a Class A licence is required.

WorkCover NSW have contacted those companies holding current Friable Asbestos Licences (equivalent to Class A) advising that they must have (or be in the process of obtaining) a certified safety management system (AS/NZS4801).

How to obtain AS/NZS4801 Certification for Asbestos Removal

AS/NZS4801 is an Australian and New Zealand Standard which describes the audit criteria for an occupational health & safety management system. Any organisation wishing to be certified to this Standard must have a health & safety management system that conforms to all the requirements specified. What is a WHS Management System? Click here.

OSHEM Solutions can assist in the design, development and implementation of a WHS Management System which meets the requirements of AS/NZS4801. For asbestos removalists which already have a WHS Management System, OSHEM Solutions can carry out a gap analysis against the Australian Standard to ensure it will pass a certification audit.

OSHEM Solutions is not a certifying body so can provide detailed action plans and assistance to asbestos removalists prior to and after they engage a certifier. Furthermore OSHEM Solutions can assist these companies in meeting their obligations of Internal Audit and Continuous Improvement.

Contact us on 1300 657 279 to discuss your requirements.

OSHEM Solutions | Class A Asbestos Removal Licence

Class A Asbestos Removal Licence

Class A Asbestos Removal Licence

Health & Safety Management System Obligations

As of the 1st January 2012, the nationally “harmonised” Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws were enacted in New South Wales. Under the associated WHS Regulation, Class A Asbestos Removalists require a Health & Safety Management System which is certified to Australian & New Zealand Standard AS/NZS4801 “Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems” by 2013 to maintain their Asbestos Removal Licence.

What is Class A Asbestos Removal?

Class A Asbestos Removal Licence is required for any removal of more than 10m2 of Friable Asbestos (and its associated Asbestos Containing Dust(ACD)). Class A Asbestos Removalists can also remove any quantity of Non-Friable Asbestos (and its associated ACD).

What is an OHS Management System?

An OHS Management System is a formal, documented series of processes describing how Work Health and Safety is managed within the business. It generally includes policy and procedural documents. For the OHS Management System to be certified to AS/NZS4801 it must conform to the requirements set out in this standard. Follow the link for more on OHS Management Systems.

How can OSHEM Solutions assist my Asbestos Removal Business?

OSHEM Solutions can:

  • Design an OHS Management System to meets the requirements of AS/NZS4801
  • Modify an existing OHS Management System to meets the requirements of AS/NZS4801.
  • Meet your Internal Audit obligations.
  • Assist your management in implementing the policy and procedures contained within your OHS Management System.
  • Facilitate the Management Review obligations of your OHS Management System.

Want to know more, contact us on 1300 657 279.

OSHEM Solutions | WHS Law: Reasonable Care

WHS Law: Reasonable Care

WHS Law: Reasonable Care

Under Work Health and Safety law, all workers must take “reasonable care” for their own health and safety and take reasonable care that their acts or omissions do not adversely affect the health and safety of other persons. But what does this mean?

According to lawyer, James Mattson, who spoke at The Safety Conference Sydney 2012, “…reasonable care requires workers to genuinely think about safety in their work and to ask themselves, on an ongoing basis, ‘Am I performing this particular task as I have been trained, in accordance with all safety instructions and procedures and in a manner that is otherwise safe for me and others?’”.

Whilst Officers of the company have additional obligations under Work Health & Safety (WHS) laws, all managers and supervisors have this ‘reasonable care’ duty just like any other worker. However, their influence is greater and therefore so is the expectation. Individuals who control work must ensure that safety is planned and deadlines do not put people at risk.

“The duty to take reasonable care also requires a worker to speak up if they see any unsafe work practices. A degree of being proactive is required, and being proactive on safety is not just ticking the box by attending training and signing off on safe work method statements. ‘Reasonable care’ means showing real care about safety,” Mattson said.

Organisations must ensure that safety is a core component of how work is done. There must be a continued focus and constant checking. Mattson identified auditing as a key tool in achieving this. WHS audit “not only identifies gaps but also sends a message to workers management that safety must not be ignored.”

OSHEM Solutions provides a range of services including WHS audits, legal compliance checks, workplace inspections and risk management. We can also coach your management on what they need to do to meet their obligations and demonstrate safety leadership. Contact us on 1300 657 279 for more information.

OSHEM Solutions | Types of Health & Safety Consultants

Types of Health & Safety Consultants

Types of Health & Safety Consultants

As explained by WorkCover South Australia in How to Select an OHS Consultant: A Guide for Managers, the term Health & Safety Consultant covers a broad range of skills and disciplines.

OHS consultants (now often referred to as WHS consultants) may have a varying qualifications and experience. In the WorkCover publication the list of OHS consultants includes:

Occupational Physicians, Occupational Hygienists, Safety Professionals, Ergonomists, Occupational Health and Safety Management Consultants, Occupational Health Nurse Consultants, Occupational Therapists, Occupational Physiotherapists and Health Physicists.

This regulator guildeline makes an excellent resource for managers who are new to selecting a health & safety consultant and provides a range of things to consider.

The following provides some more information on the various types of health and safety consultants that can be provided by OSHEM Solutions.

Occupational hygiene is sometimes referred to as industrial hygiene. It is the scientific and technical approach to the recognition, evaluation and control of chemical, physical and biological factors that may adversely affect the health, comfort and efficiency of people in the work environment.

During the identification phase of hazard management, the occupational hygienist will consider and note matters such as:

  • Raw materials, products, by-products and principal airborne contaminants
  • Physical hazards, such as noise, heat, radiation
  • The number of employees exposed and potentially exposed to each health hazard
  • The mechanism of exposure
  • Control measures in use

On the basis of the hygienist’s knowledge and experience, a more detailed investigation may be required, particularly in relation to the airborne concentration of contaminants or the intensity of the physical factors. The hygienist will devise the monitoring strategy (duration and frequency of sampling), method of evaluation, analytical technique and, most importantly, the interpretation of the results in the context of current occupational health standards. The occupational hygienist may, based on the initial hazard survey or as a result of more detailed monitoring work, make recommendations on the most suitable preventative measures.

These may include:

  • Substitution by less hazardous materials
  • Enclosure or isolation of dangerous processes
  • Attention to general and local ventilation
  • Improvement to work procedures, taking into consideration ergonomic and psychological factors
  • Improvements to personal hygiene and good housekeeping
  • The correct personal protective equipment to be used and how it should be used.

The specialist practitioners in this field, known as occupational hygienists (or industrial hygienists), hold professional qualifications in science or engineering, and have acquired skills from practice or education in occupational hygiene.[/vc_column_text][/vc_accordion_tab][vc_accordion_tab title=”Safety Professional”][vc_column_text]Safety is the application of the physical and social sciences to the prevention of incidents. It includes the conservation of health, life and property through education, investigation, research, invention and design and the development and direction of risk reduction programs.

The safety consultant is likely to have a background that includes statistics, chemistry, engineering, behaviour motivation, communication, management theory and/or organisational practice.

The functions of a safety consultant include:

  • The identification and appraisal of work health and safety exposures, loss producing conditions and practices, and evaluation of the consequences.
  • Provision of advice concerning compliance with applicable laws, regulations and standards; and the determination of the need for surveys by allied Work Health & Safety consultants (e.g. hygienists)
  • The development of incident prevention and loss control procedures and programs, including developing policies, procedures and safety standards for an organisation, incorporating essential safety and health requirements in purchasing and contracting specifications, to advising on the application of safety principles in design and manufacture to achieve maximum product safety
  • Communication of incident and loss control information to staff and management
  • Measurement and evaluation of incident and loss control systems and instigating appropriate modifications.

Several criteria can be examined when choosing a safety consultant including:

  • Experience
  • Consultancy Achievements
  • Qualifications in OHS

Ergonomics takes the psychological, physiological and anatomical characteristics of people and applies this knowledge to ensure the best possible match between people and their tasks and environment. It is concerned with developing reliable information about human beings in a variety of environments and applying this knowledge so that people perform more efficiently, safely, comfortably and healthily.

Ergonomists may come from a variety of backgrounds including psychology, engineering, architecture, physiology, management, medicine, physiotherapy and occupational therapy.

An organisation may need an Ergonomist:

  • During establishment, at the design stage, to improve efficiency by fitting the working environment to the worker
  • When planning renovations or upgrading and when planning to purchase new equipment or introduce new systems
  • When injuries or diseases occur – as part of the investigation and prevention process
  • As part of rehabilitation or return to work for injured employees
  • To provide training and education
  • To investigate problems such as fatigue, loss of vigilance and heavy workloads
  • To promote and develop physical conditioning through exercise programs and graduated return to appropriate duties
  • To evaluate changes introduced into the workplace

Factors to be considered when engaging an Ergonomist include:

  • The tertiary qualifications of the person
  • Details of specific experience and the results achieved.

An OHS Management Consultant can act as the link between the business and the technical aspects of an Occupational Health & Safety Management System (OHSMS). This can help to assure compliance with legislative requirements and maintenance of adequate work health and safety (WHS) standards. The OHS consultant can provide advice and assistance to Government, registered associations and employees on related issues. In particular, the OH&S consultant may provide advice and assistance in the following areas:

  • Legislative obligations
  • Strategic planning
  • OHS management systems (OHSMS)
  • Policy development
  • Hazard management principles
  • Effective OHS communication
  • Consultation with workers
  • OHS committees and WHS representatives
  • Designation of functional responsibilities
  • Cost evaluation and control
  • Identification of specialist needs
  • Performance appraisal
  • OHSMS auditing
  • Rehabilitation policy and claims management systems for the reporting, recording and analysis of injury statistics
  • Development of emergency response systems
  • Mechanisms for the identification, assessment and control of risks

The OHS consultant works closely with other work health and safety professionals in the identification of hazards and assessment of risks and in the development of appropriate control strategies.

The primary qualifications for an occupational health and safety management consultant could be in OHS and include areas as diverse as law, personnel, management or industrial relations.

Post-graduate qualifications in OHS are essential. OHS Management Consultants should also be able to demonstrate wide experience in the field.

OSHEM Solutions | NSW Government Work Health & Safety Management Systems

NSW Government Work Health & Safety Management Systems

NSW Government Work Health & Safety Management Systems

The Work Health and Safety Management Systems and Auditing Guidelines (Edition 5) has been released by the NSW Government as a resource for agencies which undertake construction and infrastructure projects.

According to this document, it aims to:

  • Improve safety outcomes for all construction industry participants.
  • Provide a consistent, minimum standard for construction companies seeking NSW government construction projects.
  • Facilitate a safety management systems approach by construction contractors.
  • Increase productivity and efficiency by improving planning and reducing incidents.
  • Support NSW government agencies in demonstrating they are meeting their obligations under Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws.

The Guidelines require that all contracts valued at $1 million or more must require tenderers to provide evidence of an acceptable corporate WHS Management System.

Those contractors who have already been certified under the previous program or the federal scheme may be deemed acceptable. New entrants or those who have left their accreditation lapse must apply under the Work Health and Safety Management Systems and Auditing Guidelines Edition 5.

OSHEM Solutions can assist your organise to achieve accreditation either through designing a WHS Management System that meets the prequalification requirements or by one of our Authorised Assessors carrying out an audit of your WHS Management System against the criteria contained within the 5th edition NSW Govts Health and Safety Management Systems and Auditing Guidelines.

OSHEM Solutions can also assist with your environmental system development or accreditation.

To discuss your needs or obtain an obligation free quote, contact us now on 1300 657 279.

OSHEM Solutions | Choosing a Health & Safety Consultant

Choosing a Health & Safety Consultant

Choosing a Health & Safety Consultant

Who and What

As we discussed in a previous article, WorkCover SA, have published How to Select an OHS Consultant: A Guide for Managers to provide guidance to managers on how to select a health & safety (often referred to as OHS or WHS) Consultant.

Additionally, WorkSafe Victoria have published a guideline to assist organisations comply with their legal obligation to “employ or engage persons who are suitably qualified in relation to occupational health and safety to provide advice to the employer concerning the health and safety of employees of the employer”.

Who is the Best OHS Consultancy for my organisation?

The following is sourced from WorkSafe Victoria’s guideline Employing or engaging suitably qualified persons to provide health and safety advice.


Requirement: Is the person(s) reputable and able to provide referees who can attest to the quality of their health and safety work?

Response: OSHEM Solutions is proud of our reputation and our clients are happy to provide references. Some of examples can be found on our website, here. Our consultants have personal references on their LinkedIn pages. We are also happy to provide specific references at time of proposal. Contact us for more information.

Professional Association

Requirement: Is the person(s) a member of a professional health & safety association that require the attainment of and continuing development of certain knowledge, skills and experience to gain and maintain membership.

Response: All OSHEM Solutions WHS Consultants are members of the Safety Institute of Australia (SIA). This is the professional body for Health & Safety Professionals. They are also Registered Safety Professionals (Aust) through the SIA. Furthermore, all OSHEM Solutions WHS Consultants are registered as Occupational Health & Safety Auditors through the RABQSA, which is an independent organisation for the certification of auditors.

Professional Activity

Requirement: Is the person actively engaged in the field of OHS? Have the experienced the area for which they are going to provide advice? How long has the person been professionally involved in health & safety?

Response: Our Health & Safety Consultants have many years experience with a broad range of clients. However, we are most proud of their background in Senior Health & Safety Management roles where they have been responsible for teams of professionals and working with senior management, just like yours, to implement OHS solutions.

Who and What

According to WorkSafe Victoria, the following are matters which should be taken into account when assessing whether a person has the skills, knowledge and experience to be ‘suitably qualified’ under the legal obligation. We encourage you to challenge us and any other OHS Consultancies, to demonstrate that the consultant provided will meet these requirements.


Can the person demonstrate they have relevant knowledge in Occupational Health & Safety or a related field through the completion of education? If no formal qualifications, can the person otherwise establish they understand the current state of knowledge on the issue and OHS principles and legislation?

Industry experience

Has the person carried out health & safety work in the industry, or with employers of like size and structure, or dealt with similar plant or equipment, have they addressed OHS issues and developed controls or improvements?

Communication Skills

Is the person able to verbally explain and communicate in writing to clearly state what needs to be done, such as the requirements for managing the hazard or controlling the risk, the information that should be contained in the OHS audit report, etc?

WHS Legislative Understanding

Is the person familiar with the Work Health & Safety legislation?

Next Steps?

Whenever you consider engaging a Health & Safety Consultant, consider the things you expect. As part of scoping the assignment, consider what qualifications, experience, organisational culture and approach you want to partner with.

For an obligation free discussion with one of our Environmental, Health & Safety Consultants, contact us on 1300 657 279 or leave us a message via our email form.

OSHEM Solutions | Christmas Party Risk

Christmas Party Risk

Christmas Party Risk

What are your obligations?

Under Work Health & Safety law in Australia, a company-sanctioned Christmas Party is like any other activity of the business.

In fact, in most cases, there are numerous duty holders. The organisation has the obligation to ensure there are processes to protect the health & safety of its workers. The venue controller must make sure it provides a safe location. Management is expected to enforce company processes and policies, and workers are expected to co-operate with their management.

We have all heard stories (and even seen accounts in the media) of celebrations that haven’t gone as planned. The companies and personnel involved are often named and shamed. Reputation is lost. Sometimes employment is lost. Court cases are not uncommon.

The Solution

So what is the solution? Like any other aspect of running the business, the best results come from consulting with relevant stakeholders. Management should seek to identify potential results of a decision, put processes in place to prevent negative results, clearly communicate expectations and monitor to ensure that things go as planned. Or in other words, apply “risk management”.

This risk-based decision making process applies just as much to a work Christmas party as is does any other event or undertaking which could introduce health & safety, reputation, or any other risk into the business.

The Tool

As a present to your organisation, OSHEM Solutions has developed a checklist to identify the potential risks associated with your Christmas Party – Christmas Party Risk Management Checklist (click to download).

Use it as a prompt, in consultation with your workers and their representatives, making notes as you go. Where you are unsure of an answer, investigate further. Where there are areas of risk / weakness, allocate action to relevant people and follow up until you are comfortable that the issue has been addressed. The tool is a guide only so do not stifle any ideas your group may have.

Further Assistance Required?

Should you require further assistance carrying out risk assessments of your Work Health & Safety Risks or Environmental Risks, do not hesitate to contact OSHEM Solutions. One of our Health, Safety & Environmental Consultants would be more than happy to discuss your particular need and provide an obligation free quote for whatever WHS Consultancy / Environmental Consultancy service you require.

OSHEM Solutions | Safer Drivers Program

Safer Drivers Program

Safer Drivers Program

Work-Related Fatalities

In the last 10 years of data, vehicle accidents accounted for over 65% of Australian workplace fatalities. Nearly 15% of these were light vehicles, such as company cars, utes and vans. 58 bystanders were killed when struck by company cars.

In the last 5 years of data, 10% of vehicle-related fatalities were single, light vehicle crashes. That is, the driver was solely responsible for their fatal accident.

Other Work-Related Incidents

In addition to the fatalities, there are more than 3,000 Workers Compensation claims made in Australia for serious vehicle-related incidents each year. On average, each incident results in the worker being off work for 5 weeks and a workers’ compensation bill exceeding $9,000.

Managing Risk

Is your organisation managing what is most likely its highest risk activity? Unfortunately, managing driver safety is not like other work health & safety risks in your business.

Drivers spend most of their days unsupervised and therefore don’t receive immediate managerial feedback on their decisions and actions.

In fact, in most cases, the only way to know if your drivers are safe is by monitoring the number of infringements they receive and accidents they are having and that’s no way to manage safety.

Safer Drivers Program

Your drivers know how to drive safe. They are licensed, experienced and, in some cases have already undergone a range of driver programs over the years. Your fleet is equipped with more safety technology than ever before. But none of these can improve the attitude, decision making and behaviours of your drivers.

The OSHEM Solutions “Safer Drivers Program” is designed to do this. Research shows that such a program is more successful at reducing both the number and severity of accidents than customised driver training programs, safety awareness campaigns and even paid incentives.

We are so confident in our Safer Drivers Program that we guarantee improvement.

Want to know more?

Contact us on 1300 657 279 to discuss your needs and find out more about our Safer Drivers Program guarantee. Or download our Safer Drivers Program Flyer.