Image of aged care workerWorkplace Health  and Safety Queensland (WHSQ) has been working with industry to reduce the legislative burden and red tape which work health and safety compliance sometimes seems to require.

As part of this work WHSQ has partnered with Meals on Wheels Queensland (MoWQ) to assist them  to improve their  capability to manage  their  work health  and safety (WHS).

MoWQ combines paid staff and a large network of volunteers who  service  approximately 10 500 clients  per day. A central MoWQ association assists the regional branches to implement policies and procedures, including WHS. Although the management team is committed to WHS compliance, a systematic approach was proving difficult because  some staff found the legislative requirements complicated. This was compounded by an overly detailed and complicated safety management system which an external party had developed for MoWQ.

WHSQ and MoWQ have been working together to identify and address  issues with the current WHS systems. The main issue discovered was that  although the organisation’s work is largely low risk, the system in place was extensive and highly detailed. WHSQ and MoWQ identified the need for simplified, low-cost targeted systems for workers and volunteers.

WHSQ supported MoWQ by sharing  their existing simplified materials and providing regional presenters, while  MoWQ led the activities within their organisation. A crucial  element in the process has been the consultation with regional workers to identify key health and safety issues from the ground up. As well as ensuring the new systems are targeted to the actual issues, this consultation helps maintain workers’ support for new developments.

It is anticipated that this partnership will:

  • enable MoWQ to refine  and implement a simple  and practical safety management system
  • increase  the capacity of the organisation, and
  • ensure the MoWQ can maintain systems effectively themselves.

Most importantly, the partnership has been critical in reducing MoWQ’s perceptions of legislative complexity and minimising associated red tape from over-engineered systems.

The partnership is ongoing, and WHSQ will continue to work with MoWQ to assist with state-wide implementation of simplified systems and information.

For more  information visit the Workplace Healthand Safety Queensland website or call them on 1300 369 915

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