– What are my obligations as a business under OHS legislation

OHS Consultants: Legislation & Legislative Requirements

In 2012 new WHS laws were introduced Australian-wide. However, this change was not enforced in the states of Victoria and Western Australia where OHS legislative requirements are still followed.

For information specific to your organisations’ requirements, speak to an experienced OHS consultant today. Contact us by calling 1300 132 745.

If you would like to find out more about WHS legislation, we have a dedicated webpage explaining your obligations as a business.

For your convenience, we have also provided access to an overview of the employer requirements and a summary of what the changes will mean for your business.

OHS Management System Frequently Asked Questions

In satisfying necessary OHS requirements, it is now mandatory for your Australian business to carry an OHS Health and Safety Management System that is in compliance with the Act and Regulations. It is essential that when introducing the appropriate system to your organisation, it becomes an operational component that is integrated into your workplace culture.

At ICS an experienced OHS consultant can help you with the technicalities of this process, ensuring that the system being introduced is accurately implemented and in compliance with expected standards. We can provide your business with professional knowledge on how to set up an OHS Management System that isn’t exceedingly costly, while still ensuring you meet legislative and WorkSafe requirements.

What’s the latest on WHS Harmonisation and what does it mean for my business?

The Australian state of Victoria enforces a particularly thorough approach to OHS legislation. With the Victorian Government concluding that the costs of adopting the National WHS laws would outweigh the benefits, the state made the decision not to adopt this new harmonised legislation.

As such, The Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 will continue to be enforced in Victoria and businesses operating in the state will need to be in compliance.

When trading interstate, it is therefore important that organisations adjust operations accordingly to meet the differing expectations of OHS and WHS legislation.

If your business is in this position, you may be required to establish an Occupational Health and Safety Management System that takes both Victorian and WHS legislation into account.

At ICS Consulting, we can assist you in achieving compliance when operating on a national level. Contact an OHS consultant or WHS consultant today to ensure that your business is functioning in accordance with OHS laws and the new harmonised WHS legislation.

For information on the OHS legislative aspects that require compliance from all businesses, access Worksafe Victoria Laws and Regulations.

You may also find it beneficial to understand the difference between WHS and OHS legislative requirements. If this is the case, we would recommend checking out the WHS/OHS Laws – Comparison Summary written by Australian Industry Group.

You can also contact us today to speak with an OHS consultant, cost-free. To ensure your business is complying with all relevant legislation, call one of our friendly professionals on 1300 132 745.

About SafeWork Australia:

Established in 2008, SafeWork Australia is a government body that works to ensure adequate policies are in place regarding workers’ compensation. As such, aiming to deliver on the strategic and operational objectives that are determined by SafeWork Australia.

SafeWork Australia occupies the following functions:

  • Create and integrate national policy and strategies;
  • Implement exemplary work health and safety legislation and actively make continual improvements to the current legislative framework;
  • Participate in research; and
  • Gather, examine and report data.

About WorkSafe:

WorkSafe is an independent organisation that acts as an OHS regulator in the state of Victoria.

WorkSafe Victoria:

  • Assists in avoiding the occurrence of workplace injuries;
  • Enforces occupational health and safety laws;
  • Provides workplace injury insurance for employers at a reasonable price;
  • Assists injured workers in getting back into the workforce; and
  • Manages the workers’ compensation scheme by making sure that the delivery of suitable services and adoption of prudent financial practices is done in a timely manner.

All of the Australian states have equivalent organisations, for instance, WorkSafe in ACT, NT and WA.

An OHS management system brings structure to managing health and safety risks, providing a safer work environment and ultimately decreasing the number of work-related injuries and illnesses.

Some health and safety risks are physical hazards that include machinery and equipment, ergonomic risks like an unsuitable workstation design causing poor posture, and psychosocial hazards such as stress and harassment.

With an effective OHS management system, you can better manage risks like these to ensure legal compliance, protect employee safety, reduce workplace incidents and associated costs, improve productivity, enhance reputation, and foster a culture of continuous safety improvement.

Provides a Clear Safety Plan

An OHS management system ensures there is a standardised, clear safety plan implemented across the organisation. This plan includes the required actions, people responsible, date of action, and review date.

With a safety plan in place, employees are aware of the required procedures and guidelines, understand prevention and mitigation strategies and know how to navigate safety incidents should they occur.

Detailed Policies 

Policies detailing safety expectations should be kept up-to-date and include sections for records and incident reporting. This ensures employees have the information they need to perform their roles safely and are fully aware of how to manage the risks they encounter at work. 

Training is a Priority

Training ensures employees understand their job responsibilities and how to respond to emergencies. Training is provided initially and regularly updated to keep employees informed about the latest safety information, promoting a culture of ongoing improvement and risk management.

Monitoring Your OHS Management System

Proactively monitoring your system is vital for identifying and managing evolving health and safety risks in the workplace. It also serves to track and analyse incidents that occur, enabling organisations to learn from these events and implement measures to prevent their recurrence.


Supervision in OHS systems involves regular communication about system updates and requirements to ensure all health and safety standards are met. It facilitates two-way communication, allowing employees to raise concerns and helping maintain a safe and compliant workplace.

Real-Time Reporting

Real-time reporting provides management with the information they need to understand events in the workplace, enabling swift responses to situations as they arise. It should also include regular reporting to monitor system performance and ensure the ongoing effectiveness of safety measures.

Understand The Requirements and Objectives

Before implementing an OHS management system, it’s essential to understand your organisation’s specific needs and safety objectives.

Identify the unique safety and health requirements of your workplace, considering factors such as industry regulations. In addition, define your objectives for safety, whether it’s reducing workplace accidents, improving employee well-being, or complying with legal standards.

By gaining a clear understanding of these factors, you can tailor your OHS system to address your organisation’s distinct challenges and goals, ensuring it is effective and relevant to your operations.

Analyse The Current Situation and Identify Risks

Risks differ from workplace to workplace, so it’s important to be aware of the specific risks relevant to you and your team. This involves assessing your organisation’s existing health and safety practices, identifying potential workplace hazards, and evaluating the associated risks.

Create an Action Plan

An action plan serves as a roadmap for organisations, ensuring a systematic and efficient approach to implementing the OHS system.

It involves developing a structured strategy that outlines the objectives, tasks, responsibilities, timelines, resources, budget, training requirements, and monitoring processes necessary to translate OHS goals into practical actions.

Employee Training and Education

To implement an OHS management system effectively, organisations should establish a structured training approach to address specific job requirements, safety protocols, and emergency procedures.

This program should be regularly updated to reflect changes in the workplace and evolving OHS standards. Employee involvement and feedback should also be encouraged to tailor training to their needs and to ensure ongoing compliance with OHS regulations.


Implementation involves putting the planned safety measures and procedures into practice within an organisation.

This phase includes training employees, documenting safety procedures, introducing safety measures, fostering open communication, and continuously improving the system to ensure a safe and healthy work environment.

Contact our OHS Management Consultants for More Information

For additional details or a complimentary consultation, reach out to our team on 1300 132 745 or contact us here. Rely on Integrated Compliance Solutions to lead your organisation towards a robust ISO 9001 Quality Management System and sustained compliance support with evolving quality standards.

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our OHS Consultants today.


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