Workplace Health and Safety [WHS] previously known as Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S), is one of the most challenging management issues facing churches today. With strict legislative requirements and increasing penalties where found negligent, compliance can be very onerous and costly.
In 2011, Safe Work Australia developed a single set of laws to be implemented across Australia. These are known as ‘model’ laws.
For these model WHS laws to become legally binding, the Commonwealth, states and territories must separately implement them as their own laws. WHS regulators in the Commonwealth and in each state and territory are responsible for regulating and enforcing these laws in their jurisdictions. The model WHS laws have been implemented in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, the Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and the Commonwealth. Western Australia has made minor variations to make sure the legislation is consistent with their relevant drafting protocols and other laws and processes.
For more information on WHS visit:
Red Book - the regulatory and inspection regime itemised in the Red Book is mainly focussed on the safety of the facility and equipment, whereas WHS is primarily focussed on safe work practices. However, there are a number of areas that overlap.
To assist your church manage its WHS responsibilities two solutions are listed.
1. CCCAust WHS Policy
A traditional hard copy policy with a number of schedules itemising matters to be managed on a periodical basis. A copy of the policy 'CCCAust WHS Policy' is listed below for download.
MONIT is an application that can be downloaded on a smart phone. Each month a schedule of questions is forwarded to the application for the church contact officer to act on. The service is FREE for churches in Victoria listed on CCCVaT's website and member churches in Tasmania. For more information on MONIT visit the church support segment on the home page of this website. It is to be used in conjunction with WHS Policy V3.
WHS Policy V3
This policy has been drafted from material available from Safe Work Australia and other regulatory bodies. It covers in detail the various aspects of WHS and is a great resource for those seeking a thorough understanding of risks and safety protocols.
Disclaimer: Whilst all care has been taken in drafting this policy/guideline, CCCVaT Ministries Ltd accepts no responsibility for spelling or grammatical errors, omissions and failures to address applicable laws, by-laws and regulations or pertinent matters.
CCCVaT advises all intending to take up this policy/guideline to seek advice from a lawyer or an appropriate expert, prior to adopting it.