Workplace safety and the law: 10 things every small business should know

Running a small business is hard work, but that doesn’t mean safety has to be. Here are 10 things you can do that will help your business comply with work health and safety regulations and keep your team safe.

  1. Make sure you have a workers compensation policy if you need one – ie if you employ workers on a full-time, part-time or casual basis and pay more than $7500 in annual wages.
  2. Make time to talk about safety and get input from your workers. For example, regular ‘toolbox talks’ are a great way to keep safety top of mind and drill down into health and safety concerns.
  3. Make sure everyone, especially new or young workers, is properly trained and understands how to do their work safely.
  4. Be aware of potential safety issues (for example manual handling, working from heights, missing guards on machinery) and put in place safe working procedures.
  5. Provide adequate workplace facilities such as appropriate lighting, flooring, toilets and access to water.
  6. Have necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) available and keep a few spares and different sizes on hand so everyone is covered.
  7. Record any workplace injuries in a register to get on top of recurring safety problems.
  8. If there is there is a serious safety incident at your workplace notify WorkCover.
  9. Have a recover at work program to help injured workers return to work.
  10. If in doubt ask for help – give WorkCover a call on 13 10 50 or speak with your industry or business chamber contact.

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