Codes of Practice are now an enforceable standard in Queensland
While many of the provisions of the 2017 amendment Act came into effect at the commencement last year, there are a number of items that were scheduled to commence on the 1stJuly, including the enforcement of standards as set out in the individual Codes of Practice.
From 1 July, standards set by individual codes of practice (or equivalent or higher standards) must be followed by all organisations, or they risk enforcement actions being taken.
What is a Code Of Practice (COP)?
A code of practice provides practical guidance for on how to achieve the standards required under the Act and effective ways to identify and manage risks.
With close to 50 COP currently listed on the QLD Safety authorities’ web site, this is a significant list of reading. However, many of the codes are industry specific and not all will apply to your specific workplace.
You must comply with all requirements and instructions in a code of practice, as well as train your staff to ensure they are aware of and know how to comply with relevant codes. Ideally, you would cover codes of practice as part of your staff induction program, and hold regular ‘refresher’ training to ensure everyone is aware of their responsibilities under a code of practice.
The standards set out in the codes are directly enforceable, which gives clarity to employers managing safety risks. On the other hand, it also assists WHS inspectors when they need to take action against organisations that are not compliant.
What steps should be taken in your business?
- Find out which codes of practice are relevant to your business activities
- Workout which Code that would likely make the biggest impact to your business
- Start with this Code and then work through the others in order of priority
- Conduct a gap analysis of your current processes and create an action-list ticking off each aspect as you go
- Review your induction and refresher training and implement changes
If you’re concerned about your implementation process, or simply don’t have enough time, get in touch with TANDI, who can work with you to update your safe systems of work at your workplace, including legally compliant safety training for new and existing staff.