Your employees are the most important part of your business, so it is only fair that you put their health and safety first.
In this article, we’re going to discuss what your safety responsibilities are as an employer.
As an employer, you are in control of your place of work so you are what is now known under the WHS Act of 2012 as a PCBU.
What is a PCBU?
A ‘person conducting a business or undertaking’ (PCBU) is a legal term under WHS law. As a PCBU you are responsible for the health and safety of anyone on any site under your control including workers, visitors, contractors and volunteers.
What is my responsibility as an employer?
As an employer, you have a responsibility to provide and maintain, a safe working environment for your employees. This includes:
- providing and maintaining workplaces, plant and equipment, structures, substances and systems of work so workers are not exposed to hazards;
- providing information about any hazards and risks at the site;
- providing training (including an induction) and supervision to all employees so they are able to work safely;
- consulting and co-operating with safety and health representatives (if any) and all employees about safety and health;
- where required, providing adequate personal protective clothing and equipment without any cost to workers;
- ensuring safety and health in relation to plant and hazardous substances so workers are not exposed to hazard; and
- keeping records on the health and safety of the employees and workplaces.
You might think it all seems too hard. How are you supposed to run a business when you must meet all these requirements? Providing a safe workplace and making sure employees and anyone under your control are safe to me is basic common sense. You must do it as per legislation but really you should be doing it anyway. It’s how I believe you run a business that makes the difference.
Over the years I have owned and ran many businesses. One of my businesses was a large fitness and aquatic centre with over 70 employees. When I took over business, in a five year period business increased from $320k per year to $2.5m. Yes, it was a result of good marketing but also by having the right systems in place.
The safety systems in place not only provided a safe workplace, but also made my employees more professional, happy and educated to undertake their roles. The result of a better safety systems was increased revenue as a result of a better product.