Codes of Practice (COP)
If you have had Safety In Industry assist you with the development of a Safe Work Method Statement or consulted us about how to control a hazard, you will have heard us rant on about “what does the Code say ?”
In short, as described by Safe Work Australia, Codes Of Practice are practical guides to achieving the standards of health, safety and welfare required under the Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act and the WHS Regulations in a jurisdiction.
In other words, COP provide practical advice on how to control certain hazards in the workplace. Like regulations, codes of practice deal with particular issues and do not cover all hazards or risks which may arise. The health and safety duties require duty holders to consider all risks associated with work, not only those for which regulations and codes of practice exist.
Please also be aware that under a WHS Act in a jurisdiction, approved codes of practice are admissible in court proceedings. Courts may regard an approved code of practice as evidence of what is known about a hazard, risk or control and may rely on the code in determining what is reasonably practicable in the circumstances to which the code relates. To explain that more precisely, should an incident or injury have occurred under your control, a COP can be used in a court proceeding to determine what you should have done as the minimum standard of controlling a hazard.
The importance and relevance of a COP to your work activities cannot be stressed highly enough. They are an excellent source of instruction and guidance on how to reduce the likelihood of harm to your workers and yourself. If your SWMS do not reference COP for controlling hazards, then it would be strongly advisable to have us look them over for you.
If you want the web site address of your local jurisdictions list of COP, just drop me an email and I will send you the URL for your state.
As always, Stay Safe.
Safety in Industry have helped countless contractors and builders across the country in meeting their obligations under the Safety Act with Safety documentation such as Safe Work Method Statements, Safety Management Plans and Manuals and implementation of 3rd party accredited management systems to FSC implementations.
They also provide a number of other specialist services such as capability statement writing, tender and bid writing, and construction and safety management training.
Craig Clancy (B.App Sc – Const Mng)
Director – Safety In Industry Pty Ltd
M: 0458 797 836