achieving best practice

Health and safety duties require all holders to consider all risks within the workplace. Best practice is ensuring that everyone within the organisation is aware of potential hazards and risks, and that they have the knowledge and tools to manage or reduce those risks. This can be achieved by referring to WHS guidelines produced for the relevant state or territory, as well as carrying out regular risk assessments and updating WHS checklists.

A healthy workplace culture is all about behaviour and practices; it’s about demonstrating and reinforcing the right conduct while discouraging the wrong kind. While there is still a strong focus on the physical safety of workers in terms of environment and equipment, employers must also look at other aspects that can affect employees such as workloads and harassment.

creating a health and safety culture

Health and safety can be promoted through training, visual aids, online resources, morning meetings and leadership practices. A health and safety culture should complement everyday work roles and duties so that it becomes second nature to identify and rectify any workplace risks and hazards. 

Leadership should actively encourage employees’ feedback on current practices in order to improve their work environment. Consultation means a better buy-in when it comes to implementing changes. And while getting feedback is great, appropriate action should then be taken. This then motivates employees to become more aware of their surroundings and colleagues, as they know suggestions for improvement will be actioned. 

checklists for work health and safety 

Checklists are an easy way to monitor and record areas that need to be checked to ensure Workplace Health and Safety requirements are being met. Checklists can be tailored according to the needs of specific industries and business needs, and will include the following headings:

  • environment
  • equipment, machinery, and tools
  • manual handling
  • electricity
  • chemicals
  • confined spaces
  • work at heights
  • emergency procedures and first aid
  • incident reporting
  • return to work.

There are plenty of online resources that cover the different aspects required to achieve a safe working environment. Employers can refer to Safe Work Australia,, and other state or territory websites to find more information, resources, forms and action plans on how to implement effective health and safety in the workplace.

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