Safety laws in South Australia govern how employees and employers manage their safety together.
They are made up of Legislation, Regulations, Codes of Practice, Policies, Procedures and Documents.
Together they form a safety system.
The key principles of the laws, detailed in the WHS Act 2012 (SA) are consistent with long-established workplace safety standards in that they:
- Establish health and safety duties, including the primary duty to protect any person from exposure to hazards and risks that arise from work
- Provide for worker representation, consultation and participation including through Health & Safety Representatives and Health and Safety Committees
- Enable compliance and enforcement through SafeWorkSA, the regulator, and
- Provide for the creation of Regulations and Codes of Practice.
The Work Health and Safety Regulations 2012 (SA) identify the control measures that must be applied to specific work activities and hazards, for example, machine guarding and noise exposure.
Supporting Codes of Practice provide practical information on how to meet the requirements of the regulations. The Codes are not mandatory but provide information to help workplaces achieve safe systems of work.
A Policy is a guiding principle used to set direction in an organisation.
A Procedure is a set of steps to be followed as a consistent and repetitive approach to accomplish an end result.
Documents are used daily to collect information as part of the safety system. Examples of these are checklists, risk assessments and other forms that can be a very useful tool for ensuring that WHS processes are applied in a way that is consistent across an organisation.