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How to minimise the Risk of WorkCover Prosecutions

WorkCover prosecutions are a potent reminder of the need to do everything reasonably practicable to ensure health and safety in our workplace. The injury and suffering caused to others and the monetary losses inflicted on the company can be unforgettable (eg see our article Unhandled Risks Cost More Under the WHS Act)

Of course minimizing the risk of WorkCover prosecutions goes hand in glove with minimising WHS risks and creating a safe and healthy workplace. To minimize prosecution risks and move closer to a safe and healthy workplace you may like to take an exterior view of your workplace by considering each of the 12 items in the list below.

What score out of 10 would you give to each of these items? This will give you a rough guide to what areas you need to work on.

Which of these items require attention in your


1. Identify all the health and safety hazards in your workplace – find out what could cause injury or illness ____

2. Assess the risks involved in these hazards – understand the harm that could be caused by each hazard, how serious the harm could be and the likelihood of it happening ____

3. Eliminate or control the risks – implement the most effective control measures that are reasonably practicable ____

4. Review the control measures – ensure they are working as planned and revise as needed ____

5. Consult with workers about health and safety issues – see our article Reduce Injuries and Improve Safety Culture ____

6. Provide your workers with sufficient instruction, training, information and supervision to enable them to safely carry out their work ____

7. All duty holders know what they must do to satisfy their duty of care and do that ____

8. Comply with any safety standards, codes, guidelines and legislation that are specific to your industry ____

9. Have an effective health and safety management system in place that will ensure your workplace complies with the work health and safety laws and regulations that apply to your workplace ____

10. Ensure all employees are sufficiently aware and trained to implement and contribute to the actions needed to maintain an effective health and safety management system ____

11. Audit your health and safety management system regularly ____

12. Your officers have the capability, and there is a reporting structure that provides them with the knowledge, to ensure compliance with the health and safety management system ____

You are welcome to download and distribute the article in your workplace if you feel it may be useful

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