30 August 2021 posted by Recovery Partners

The Australian Government defines a Workplace Health and Safety Management System (WHSMS) as a set of policies, procedures and plans that systematically manages health and safety at work and can help to minimise the risk of injury and illness from workplace operations.

We asked Brianna McCormick, Safety Consultant at Recovery Partners, to share her insights about WHSMS and why you need one.

Brianna, in your words, what is a Work Health Safety Management System?

A Workplace Health and Safety Management System, often referred to as ‘WHSMS’, is a set of policies, procedures and forms that manage work health and safety in a guided systematic approach. The aim of WHSMS is to simply streamline the process.

When I meet with new clients, I always like to hear their opinion on the highest risks involved in running their business. A question I will always refer to is “Do you have a maintained Work Health and Safety Management System?”.

Whether they do or not and whether it’s 5 documents or 75 documents, the crucial component is maintaining the system, record keeping and documentation.

An effective WHSMS is not to be stored away collecting dust on a manager’s desk or archived somewhere on a computer.

Safety systems involve workplace strategic goals, planning and KPIs to ensure an organisation is making continuous improvement to update the system. A systems-based approach is far more effective in protecting workers.

WHSMS are simply an endorsed method for identifying safe systems at work, promoting a positive safety culture, consultation and following WHS legislation.

One of the many benefits of maintaining your WHSMS, is that you are offering further legal protection to the business and minimising the risk of injury and illness of your workers.

WHSMS help organisations to continually improve their work health and safety performance.

What is included in a WHSMS? 

  • Safety plans
  • Policies and procedures
  • Training Analysis
  • Health Monitoring
  • Supervision
  • Reporting
  • Injury Management & Rehabilitation
  • Emergency Management.

Why do businesses need a WHSMS?

Whether or not you view safety as the pinnacle in your organisation, whether you love or loathe safety systems, logically and evidently, safety systems will always serve the purpose for operational and financial strategic goals of a workplace.

A safety system not only enhances safety performance but improves worker wellbeing. For starters, it gives workers a sense of comfort that senior management care about their safety. Secondly, it demonstrates that an organisation wants everyone to go home at the end of the working day in the same safe manner they arrived.

What is the aim of a Work Health and Safety Management System?

Work Health and Safety Management Systems assist organisations to continually improve their safety performance and be compliant with Work Health and Safety legislation and standards. Doing this provides a framework for identifying lagging/leading indicators within an organisation to establish safer working environments. These safer environments protect workers by eliminating or better managing health and safety risks.

What is the Australian standard?

ISO 45001, Occupational health and safety management systems – Requirements with guidance for use, is a milestone as the world’s first International Standard dealing with health and safety at work.

ISO45001 provides a single, clear framework for all organisations seeking improvement with their OHS performance.

The international Safety standard is directed at the top management of an organisation, aiming to provide a safe and healthy workplace for workers, contractors and visitors

How can businesses develop a Work Health Safety Management System?

Learn more about Recovery Partner’s Work Health and Safety Management Systems approach and get in touch with on of our safety consultants.

Already have a safety system but unsure of Its effectiveness? Contact Recovery Partners for an ISO45001 Gap Analysis Safety Audit. We have helped many businesses achieve ISO accreditation, even during COVID-19.

Benefits of a Recovery Partners Work Health and Safety Management system

  • Safer working environments
  • Lower legal exposure
  • Reduced workers’ compensation insurance premiums
  • Enhanced organisation reputation
  • Increased job satisfaction
  • Effective Management of Return to Work
  • Reduce lost time and absenteeism
  • Be seen as an employer of choice.

Thank you to Brianna for drawing upon her safety experience and sharing her knowledge about Work Health and Safety Management Systems.

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Disclaimer – these articles are provided to supply general safety information to people responsible for OHS in their organisation. They are general in nature and do not substitute for legal and/or professional advice. We always suggest that organisations obtain information specific to their needs. Additional information can be found at https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/