Ohs Act and Regulations That Are Applicable Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

OHS Act and Regulations that are applicable to the hospitality industry

The legal instruments


Approved codes of practice

Legal responsibility of employers to worker

Consequences of non-compliance by the employer

The hospitality industry has a responsibility of establishing safe as well as healthy environments for both the workers and patrons. This category includes food and beverage restaurants, clubs, hotels, commercial kitchens, accommodation as well as tourist enterprises. It is the shared responsibility of the employers and the employees to promote a very safe, healthy and secure work environment that effectively minimizes the risks of harm to all people within any given business establishment. The Australian Government, through the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000 (NSW) is proactive in the promotion of workplace safety (Foster,2010).

Sections of the OHS Act and Regulations that are applicable to the hospitality industry

According to WorkCover (2003), the sections of the OHS Act and Regulations that are applicable to the hospitality industry includes: The sections that are concerned with the duty of care under NSW OHS Act 2000 and include sections 7,8,9,10,11,20 and 21. The other sections includes section 22, Division2,section 23,regulation 2001,Part 4 and Section 28.

The legal instruments

A legal instrument is noted in the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (2009) as a legal term that is employed for any written document which is formally executed and can also be attributed, formally to its author. The Australian OHS Legislation and Regulations has several legal instruments that can be applied accordingly. There are mandatory as well as non-mandatory legal instruments.

Work Safe (2007) indicated that the mandatory legal instruments are the ones that relate to the mandatory standard of performance. These include the requirements that must be met by the duty holders for them to adequately meet their duties, responsibilities as well obligations.

The non-mandatory ones include compliance codes that are used in the provision of practical guidance to the various duty holders. Work Safe (2007) indicated that compliance codes are never mandatory and duty holders may resort to any suitable alternatives that may allow them to adequately achieve the requisite compliance standards.

The OHS Act is noted by Comcare (2012) to set out the core elements as well as object of the Commonwealth OHS regulatory framework which effectively imposes strict obligations on the duty holders to comply with the laid down general rules. The OHS Act clearly defines who the duty holders are as well as their obligations as regards general duty of care, arrangements in the workplace that includes safety management, health as well as safety issues.

The legal instruments

The legal instruments include regulations, approved codes of practice as well as guidance.


The regulations are a special form of mandatory legal instrument that imposes a mandatory requirement to be used for duty holders in order for them to comply with in the process of managing the occupational health as well as safety appropriately. The regulations are noted by Comcare (2012) to effectively supplement the existing OHS Act as well as provide rather detailed information on the duties that are applicable in regard to particular health and safety hazards, procedures as well as obligations that are closely associated with the OHS Act. The regulations cover the procedure to be followed when electing the HSR officers, investigators as well as statutory notices as well as acting as a guideline that contains the details on incident notification.

The regulations contain the general requirements to be used for hazard notification, assessment of risk as well as risk control for carious high risk areas like; the standards of competency to be followed by all users as well as operators of various industrial equipment,, manual handling of equipment, hazardous substances, plant, confined spaces, driver fatigue, electrical safety as well as various forms of construction works.

Approved codes of practice

The approved codes of practice as well as guidance materials are noted by Pearce et al. (2008) to be provided by the regulators with the help of the industry to be used in encouraging as well as facilitating the compliance as well as support of the best practices. The aim is to prevent any case of occupational disease or injury.

The OHS Code 2008 is noted by Noel Arnold & Associates (2012) to effectively acts as an advisory document for the duty holders in order for them to fulfill their numerous roles and obligations as stipulated in the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1991 (OHS Act) as well as the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 1994. The OHS Code 2008 details a clear process to be used in the management of risk in order to assist all duty holders to appropriately identify hazards, accurately assess the risks as well as implement the necessary risk measures.

The importance of following the codes of practice is that under the Australian litigation, they must be followed and they are also admissible as relevant evidence in any sort of legal proceedings as legitimate proof of breach of the OHS Act or the regulations. It is therefore necessary for the government agencies to use both the Approved codes of conduct as well as guidance materials strategically in the provision of advice, appropriate monitoring as well as enforcement of the required statutes. This includes their applications in cases like;

Inspectors appropriately alerting all the duty holders to certain specific codes as well as guidance, referencing the appropriate provisions in the audit tools in order for performance to be monitored while also alerting the duty holders to the appropriate codes a well as guidance that are available for various areas. For targeted interventions like industry sector workshops for the purpose of educating the duty holders and following up (checking) on the status of implementations as well as enforcement.

Therefore it is important to note that the OHS Code 2008 is important in the provision of guidance to the duty holders as stipulated by the OHS Act as well as its various associated regulations and must ne followed except when there are other means of realizing the same or even better standards of occupational health and safety. The code was therefore designed in order to ensure that there is compliance with all the accepted occupational health and safety standards while at the same time allowing the various duty holders the necessary flexibility of managing the innovations as well as technological improvements without compromising the health and safety standards.

The OHS Code 2008 should always be referred to as an additional document to the OHS Act and regulations when gauging compliance with the Commonwealth OHS requirement and it can also be admissible as evidence as noted earlier, in the proceedings to determine the breaches of the OHS Act as well as its associated regulations.

Legal responsibility of employers to worker

According to the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 2000, all employers are responsible for any worker in their firm as well as any other person who is present within the precincts of the company. Section 8(1) of this Act states that any employer must make sure that the health, safety as well as the welfare of the employees at work is taken care of. In tandem with this, the employer must make sure that risks that put the safety of the employees are eliminated or controlled. The works must also be provided with the necessary safety gear that is required for them to perform their tasks and responsibilities. Another responsibility of the employer to the employees is the provision of supervision, information and training opportunities that will facilitate them performing their duties and responsibilities. The employer must also ensure that the safety procedures for any equipment or substance used at the work place is developed to guide their respective usages.in addition to this; the employer should also make sure that the layout at the work place does not expose the employees to risks. This should include the noise levels, dust, lighting system, airspace ventilation, uneven and slippery surfaces, electrical installation, free traffic movement and general housekeeping. The other responsibility of the employer under this section facilitation of workers with facilities like kitchen, toilet, washing and areas for changing.

Division 2 of this Act makes a requirement for all employers to consult while making decisions that might have any effect on the health and safety of the employees. These consultations can be done either through Occupational Health Safety Committees, representatives or any other mechanisms that have been agreed upon by both the employers and the employees. The basis for these consultations should be pegged on the risks that works are prone at the work place being assessed and stringent measures put in place to ensure that these risks are controlled. This due to the fact that most workers who are aware of these risks may have ideas on how they can be minimized while working hence they understand the risks more than the employers. They can also consult while considering making changes at the workplace as well as while making new plans to…

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