QRMC’s widely experienced Work Health and Safety Consultants provide professional advice and services in the area of WHS management, and works in compliance with the standard AS/NZS 4801 Occupational health and safety management systems, the harmonised Work Health and Safety legislation or the relevant safety legislation, audit tools, or codes of practice for your jurisdiction and industry
As experienced work health and safety consultants, we develop and deliver services tailored specifically to your organisation’s needs, not “off the shelf” products, so that you can be confident that the objectives of your WHS project will be achieved.
Our services include:
- Work Health and Safety Audits
- Development, review and implementation of WHS Management Systems and procedures (refer also to our Management Systems service page)
- Compliance with the harmonised Work Health and Safety legislation (refer below)
- Self Insurance compliance audits
- Electrical Safety Management System Audits
- External third party WHS audits as part of Enforceable Undertaking agreements
- Gap analysis of existing systems or processes against legislative requirements, best practice or other benchmarks, including development of recommendations for improvement
- Training of management and staff in relation to Health and Safety obligations and responsibilities
- Ergonomic and workplace assessments and manual handling controls
- WHS risk assessments
- Site safety assessments
- Livestock saleyard safety
- Plant Risk Assessments and Plant Sale Hazard Reports
Please also refer to our Compliance Auditing services page.
WHS Auditing by QRMC
As experienced work health and safety consultants, QRMC has a number of trained, accredited and experienced WHS auditors on staff.
QRMC’s WHS audits of systems or specific operations are intended to maximise the potential for improvement by incorporating formal gap analyses and recommendations. The findings in our audits are targeted for system improvement, recognising the related shortcomings or limitations that may exist within the WHS management system, not simply undertaking an exercise in the identification of unaddressed hazards.
While by no means overlooking operational hazards identified during an audit, QRMC’s WHS auditors consider identified non-compliances and workplace hazards as the symptom of deficiencies within the framework or application of the WHS management system. Therefore our audit reports provide our clients not only with the current compliance status against the audit criteria, but also with practical guidance on the strategic and operational improvements which can be made to the management of WHS across the organisation.
We also deliver gap analyses of existing systems or processes against legislative requirements, best practice or other benchmarks, and provide recommendations for improvement, for organisations wishing to prepare for third-party audits or check their compliance for other purposes.
While ensuring that specific detail is captured which will support the assessment of the relevant audit criteria, QRMC’s auditing style is facilitatory and conversational. This has several benefits, including:
- Non-confronting style towards personnel resulting in more open communication and goodwill, and usually more reliable information
- Non-prescriptive, organic style allowing for perceptive response to the context and to information being given
- Ability to follow through with issues particular to the organisation which may not be catered for by more restrictive approaches.
Development and Review of WHS Documentation
QRMC is highly experienced in the development, review and implementation of WHS Management Systems. We have developed complete systems, reviewed and updated systems, and developed components (specific procedures and/or forms) for clients in the public and private sectors across several jurisdictions in Australia.
QRMC’s WHS documentation is always developed to be compliant with the relevant legislation and codes of practice for the client’s operations. It is also designed to be user-friendly, efficient, and to integrate with other systems and processes already in place within the organisation.
Self Insurance Auditing
QRMC’s staff of WHS auditors also includes auditors accredited by the Queensland Government to undertake self insurance audits.
In all Australian States and Territories, organisations meeting specific criteria may apply to maintain a self insurance licence for workers’ compensation as an alternative to the state-based workers’ compensation premiums. QRMC provides a range of professional advice related to the management of these self insurance licences, including:
- Licence renewal audits of self insured entities in Queensland (these are conducted by the regulatory authority in most other states)
- Preliminary or gap analysis audits of existing work health and safety management systems against the relevant regulatory requirements for self insured entities, or those intending to apply for a licence
- Advice and implementation strategies for the improvement of work health and safety management systems to meet compliance requirements and best practice.
- Self-insurance compliance safety management system preparatory or mid-term audits in all States and Territories
To deliver our Self Insurance Audits, QRMC works in compliance with the National Self Insurer OHS Audit Tool and the harmonised Work Health and Safety legislation or relevant safety legislation for your jurisdiction and industry. We develop and deliver audits tailored specifically to your organisation’s needs, whether your goal is a self-insurer licence renewal, a mid-term compliance check, or to determine your organisation’s status in preparation for applying for a self-insurer licence.
QRMC’s experience with WHS audits also includes a range of electrical safety services.
QRMC has auditors on staff accredited by the Queensland Government to undertake Electrical Safety Management System audits for prescribed entities under the Queensland Electrical Safety Act 2002.
QRMC also undertakes a range of other electrical safety services, including electrical safety gap analyses against regulatory requirements and best practice, reviews of electrical safety systems/procedures, and safety inspections of electrical installations.
WHS Awareness and Training
QRMC undertakes the development and/or delivery of training for management and staff in relation to WHS obligations and responsibilities.
It is important for Officers and workers in all organisations to both understand their WHS duties within the context of their role.
In particular, in states which have adopted the WHS model laws, Officers and workers need to become familiar with ways in which the organisation’s WHS management systems have changed due to the Work Health and Safety legislation.
QRMC develops and delivers awareness sessions or training programs tailored to the target audience and the organisation’s needs and objectives.
Ergonomic and workplace assessments
QRMC undertakes workstation ergonomic assessments and workplace inspections focussed on legislative compliance for workers’ health and safety, ergonomic issues, and the suitable design of new equipment or workplaces.
QRMC’s ergonomic assessments focus closely on the needs and specific requirements of the individual worker(s) in using their workspace, in order to best manage existing medical conditions, or to prevent injury, pain or discomfort being caused.
QRMC also provides broader workplace inspections focussed on ensuring that the entire workplace reflects the requirements of WHS legislation, and to identify risks to health and safety in the work environment. Such inspections include consideration of the physical environment and the operational interfaces of the workplaces, to identify WHS risks.
A typical workplace inspection will involve:
- Review of relevant documentation (e.g. building plans, plant or workstation designs)
- Site inspection and WHS risk assessment with a focus on the interface with the end user
- Development of recommendations for any necessary corrective actions
A typical ergonomic assessment incorporates:
- Assessment of both the user’s history, and the total workstation configuration and interactions whilst in use
- Assessment of risks to the worker’s health & safety
- Development of recommendations for any necessary design corrections
- Coaching in adoption of control methods
WHS Risk Assessments
WHS risk assessments of other infrastructure, projects or specific operations are also conducted by QRMC, referencing the international standard ISO 31000 Risk Management and utilising QRMC’s safety risk assessment methodology which has been developed in compliance with ISO31000.
Our WHS risk assessments generally deliver site or project safety risk registers, identifying risks and hazards/causations, existing controls, risk ratings, responsibilities, and recommended new controls/risk treatments.
When undertaking hazard identification as part of these safety risk assessment exercises, QRMC’s auditors will always seek to consult with affected personnel to ensure no issues are missed.
Livestock Saleyard Safety
Livestock saleyards typically have a limited number of dedicated staff, with much ‘point-of-risk’ work undertaken by people not working directly for the saleyard owner, including agents, buyers, sellers, cooperatives, transporters and other contracting parties.
Without appropriate infrastructure and safety management systems in place to manage and coordinate the activities of such contractors, the saleyard owner risks accidents and injuries potentially resulting in fines or prosecutions for safety breaches.
A Livestock Saleyard Safety Audit, or a Livestock Saleyard Safety Risk Assessment can assist you to identify whether the safety management of the Saleyard is appropriate, compliant with regulatory requirements, or requiring work to keep the public, workers and contractors safe.
QRMC offers a range of Livestock Saleyard Safety services, including:
- Livestock Saleyard safety audits
- Livestock Saleyard Safety Risk Assessments
- A gap analysis to check on legislative compliance, identify unaddressed hazards, and determine whether any existing safety procedures are understood and used by all parties
- Livestock Saleyard staff safety awareness and training
- Review or Development of Livestock Saleyard Safety Systems, compliant with current safety legislation
- A review and update of an existing Safety Management System to achieve a system that is user-friendly and tailored to suit the specific needs and operational staffing of the Saleyard
- A risk assessment of any specific infrastructure or processes which have the potential to endanger the safety of workers or contractors at the saleyard
Plant and Equipment Safety
QRMC conducts Plant Risk Assessments and Plant Sale Hazard Inspections, and produces reports identifying safety risks pertaining to the plant. Organisations contracting to sell items of used plant as part of an insolvency or similar process are considered under most WHS laws to be “suppliers of plant”, and therefore have obligations to their buyers relating to the safety of the plant. QRMC’s reports can be provided to the buyer of second-hand plant as part of the required information to be provided by sellers of second-hand plant.
Getting Up To Date
Since the development of model Work Health and Safety legislation by Safe Work Australia, QRMC has provided a range of clients with assistance relating to compliance with the harmonised Work Health and Safety legislation now introduced in several states and territories. In some areas, the new legislation differs substantially from the previous Acts, and imposes increased obligations on ‘persons conducting a business or undertaking’ (PCBUs). QRMC can assist organisations to address the requirements of the harmonised legislation by providing any of the following range of services:
- Undertake a compliance review of the work your organisation has undertaken to date on updating your systems, to check that all new regulatory requirements have been met
- Undertake a gap analysis against the requirements of the new legislation, covering existing systems and/or contractual obligations which have not yet been reviewed
- Review and revise WHSMS procedures and documentation to incorporate the new requirements
- Develop and/or deliver training for ‘Officers’ of the organisation to ensure they are informed of, and familiar with, their significantly enhanced duties and responsibilities under the revised WHSMS
- Develop and/or deliver staff awareness sessions so that all workers are aware of their WHS duties and responsibilities
- Assist in implementing the revised work health and safety management system, and provide training for staff to embed the changes
- Revise the corporate governance processes for Boards and executive management.
Why WHS not OHS?
For most of the recent history of safety regulation in Australia, the term Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) has held sway.
However, since the formal process of national harmonisation for safety legislation began in 2008 under the auspices of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), the term has modulated to Work Health and Safety. The shift to this more inclusive terminology is about protecting all people who are involved in work and/or who make work happen, rather than focussing on the traditional employer-employee relationship.
Five of the seven jurisdictions across Australia have now adopted the model Work Health and Safety legislation developed by Safe Work Australia under the intergovernmental agreement set up by COAG in 2008.
Thus the most prevalent term is now Work Health and Safety (WHS) and this is reflected in QRMC’s work and marketing materials.
However, QRMC will use the terminology preferred by your organisation in the development of any documentation or reports commissioned by you.