The Workplace Safety and Health Act (WSHA) is an essential part of the new framework to cultivate good safety habits in all individuals so as to engender a strong safety culture in our workplace. It emphasised the importance of managing workplace safety and health proactively by requiring stakeholders to take reasonably practicable measures to ensure the safety and health of workers and other people that are affected by the work being carried out.
The Workplace Safety and Health Act had came into effect on 1 March 2006 and it covers all workplaces. A workplace is any premises where a person carries out work or is to work.
The 3 guiding principles that underpin the new WSH framework are:
- Reducing risks at source by requiring all stakeholders to eliminate or minimize the risks they create;
- Instilling greater ownership of safety and health outcomes by industry; and
- Preventing accidents through higher penalties for poor safety management
The WSHA stipulates that every person must take reasonably practicable steps to ensure the safety and health of every workplace and worker. It goes beyond the Factories Act's prescriptive nature to:
- Specify liabilities for a range of persons at the workplace;
- Focus more on workplace safety and health goals and systems; and
- Stipulate greater penalties for compromising safety and health.
Key Reforms under WSHA
The key reforms with the new WSHA;
- Assigns responsibilities to a range of stakeholders at the workplace along lines of control;
- Focuses on workplace safety and health systems and outcomes;
- Provides for more effective enforcement through issuance of “remedial orders”; and
- Provides for higher penalties for non-compliant and risk-taking behaviour to prevent accidents upfront.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
You can assess the FAQs related to the Workplace Safety and Health Act and the various subsidiary legislation here.