What is Workplace Health and Safety Law?
Workplace Health and Safety is the discipline focused on protecting the health and safety of employers and employees in the workplace against exposure to any kind of hazards and risks coming from work activities, colloquially known as Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) or Operational Health and Safety (OHS).
Australia has recognised the importance of having people know that when they attend work, they are going to be safe and secure. So there is a substantial body of legal requirements that all industries are subject to and a series of specific legal requirements which relate to each industry. Some, (but certainly not all) of these requirements are:
To have safe working systems in place.
To have appropriate workplace insurances.
To have a system for reporting unsafe business practices.
An appropriate training and induction system to introduce employees to best practice.
Given the wide breadth of legal and operational requirements necessary to understand WHS, we encourage and advise our clients to reach out to us to get some guidance. Our firm has professional solicitors in our law firm in Sydney should you have any concerns regarding this matter. Executive Legal has some of the best workplace lawyers in Sydney, our team of meticulous employment lawyers are more than capable of addressing your inquiries and workplace health and issues.
Requirements under the Workplace Health and Safety Act
Additionally, people should be aware of the requirements under the Workplace Health and Safety Act (2011) (Act).
The Act aims to provide a balanced and nationally consistent framework to secure the health and safety of workers and workplaces. Safe Work Australia and the Act itself oversee a wide range of subject, such as:
Protecting workers and other persons from harm by requiring duty holders to eliminate or minimise risks.
Providing for fair and effective representation, consultation and cooperation.
Encouraging unions and employer organisations to take a constructive role in promoting improvements in WHS practices.
Promoting the provision of advice, information, education and training for WHS.
Securing compliance with the Act through effective and appropriate compliance and enforcement measures.
Ensuring appropriate scrutiny and review of actions taken by persons with powers or functions under the Act.
Providing a framework for continuous improvement.
Maintaining and strengthening national harmonisation of WHS laws and facilitating a consistent national approach to WHS.
Workplace Health and Safety laws ensure that every company and employee has a safe and healthy environment. They implement a range of functions that make sure that employees are provided with a safety net of minimum conditions, including minimum wages in awards.
Workplace Health and Safety also covers the facilitation of good faith bargaining and making enterprise agreements so that both the company and the employees get a fair dealing with applications in relation to unfair dismissal.
It does not matter whether you are an employee or if you are an employer. If you are in need of professional health and safety advice, the best person to assist you is a workplace lawyer from a Sydney law firm.
There are some companies who offer an internal resolution process in relation to Workplace Health and Safety matters. If your workplace does not have anyone who has the right knowledge to provide guidance for your situation, then your next option is looking into one of the law firms in Sydney and hiring the best workplace lawyer for your circumstance.
What Are The Things You Need To Know Before Hiring A Workplace Safety Lawyer?
1. What services do the law firm and the lawyer offer?
There is more than just one service that Executive Legal and our law firm in Sydney can offer in relation to workplace safety law, as it is a law that covers an expansive range of areas. It is important that you know the specialisation of the law firm that you are considering to choose. The law firm should be a leading expert in the areas that you need legal advice on.
A quick tip is to check the website of the law firm that you are considering. A law firm’s website normally has a list that outlines the areas they specialise in. Make sure to read through the section of the website that is relevant to your issue—you have to make sure that the corporate lawyer you choose is the best for answering your needs.
For a good reference of what a workplace safety law firm in Sydney normally offers, here are some example of the services that you should look out for (and that we certainly can provide advice on):
Professional advice on minimising exposure to workplace safety risk and liability.
Development of workplace safety management systems, policies and procedures.
Workplace safety training.
Advice and representation in Workplace Health and Service-related investigations, disputes and prosecutions.
Due diligence of Workplace Health and Service issues in acquisitions of property and businesses.
Advice on self-insurance and insurance premium issues.
2. What experience does the law firm or lawyer have?
Once you have decided on the law firm that fits your needs, you would now have to choose the best workplace lawyer in Sydney to handle your concern. You would have to ensure that the corporate lawyer that you are hiring has the appropriate experience.
It is vital that you hire a lawyer that is an expert in employment law and has a good amount of experience in the specific area of your issue. You may find that a lawyer with a background in smaller to medium-sized companies would be relevant and helpful, as they are knowledgeable about different aspects of the safety law.
3. What will their legal services cost you?
In general, corporate lawyers in Sydney can get paid in two different ways: billable hours or a flat fee.
Billable hours means that your lawyer will charge you for every hour that they spend working on your issue. If your lawyer will be paid by the hour, it is a good idea to try and get an idea of how much time a lawyer expects to take when dealing with a case like yours.
A flat fee means that you are given a straightforward amount. This gives you a clearer picture of what you need to pay. However, flat fees may not cover all legal costs such as filing documents in court.
Our law firm in Sydney offers both fee structures to give you peace of mind.
4. How does a safety lawyer help in protecting your employees and your business?
Workplace Health and Safety laws require strict compliance and any form of breach could mean that you may be subject to sanctions and penalties as an employer. This why you must ensure that there is a good legal understanding of the processes and procedures for your employees’ health and safety.
Any injury taking place in the workplace due to failure to comply can lead to large penalties and even prosecution. A good workplace lawyer in Sydney can ensure that the right precautions are in place to prevent incidents from happening in the workplace, as well as aid you in defence against possible legal action as a result of a workplace incident.
At Executive Legal, we think of ourselves as one of the best law firms in Sydney. We can provide you with expert and experienced corporate lawyers and employment lawyers who are knowledgeable about your situation. Executive Legal will only offer you the best lawyers in Sydney to handle your case to ensure that your issue will be resolved and completed.
At Executive Legal, we are here to help.