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How to Improve Business Through an Effective WHS Management System

Much of the success of an organization is reliant on the ongoing contributions of its staff.

As Sir Richard Branson (Virgin) says: "Success in business is all about people, people, people. Whatever industry a company is in, it's employees are its biggest competitive advantage."

W Marriot, the founder of the Marriot Corporation tells us: "If you take care of your employees they will take care of your customers and your business will take care of itself."

Management has to look after their staff and that includes ensuring their health and safety. And that means having an effective health and safety management system in your workplace.

WHS Management Systems

Many small to medium companies can get by with a basic health and safety management system. Other companies should consider a system like SafetyMap (WorkSafe Victoria) or improving their existing system so that it is capable of passing an audit under the Australian and New Zealand Standard - AS/NZS 4801:2001 OHS Management Systems.

What is: AS/NZ 4801:2001 OHS Management Systems?

It is the Australian and New Zealand Standard that sets out the audit requirements and elements that must be satisfied in order to certify that a workplace health and safety management system is effective to the level of this Standard.

AS/NZ 4804:2001 OHS Management Systems is the Australian & New Zealand Standard that provides guidance on how to set up an OHSMS and continually improve it. The two Standards, AS/NZ 4801:2001 and AS/NZ 4804:2001 complement each other.

The Advantages of Passing an AS/NZ 4801 Audit

The advantages of an independent body certifying that your company is compliant with the audit requirements in AS/NZ 4801:2001 include:

- Management can visibly demonstrate it has a serious commitment to the health and wellbeing of its staff and best practice, no matter the size of your company, and no matter what industry

- There is an increased ability to identify and control WHS risks with a reduction of workplace incidents, suffering and costs.

- In some industries, a visible demonstration of health and safety compliance is an essential requirement to do business with suppliers and customers.

- It sends a positive message that enhances your standing as a reliable and safe contractor or supplier

- It is essential to have when tendering for certain government contracts.

- AS 4801 also highlights whether or not your employees are competent for the task they are performing, which impacts on training and teamwork.

- Regular audits will help you continually monitor and improve your health & safety performance.

- With AS/NZ 4801 in place you will have the basic platform on which you can achieve a positive safety culture that leads to a positive and productive work environment.

How you can determine whether AS 4801 is for you

You could purchase AS/NZ 4801 from SAI Global and consider whether this is a road you want to travel down. Or you could phone Courtenell to discuss your situation and needs.


Courtenell has WHS management system consultants that can help you to improve your health & safety management system, provide the training requirements for it, and prepare your business for certification under AS/NZ 4801 and certify your system if required..

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