Professional OHS Advice
Whether you work in the OHS professional community or you're an employer seeking professional health and safety advice, the following information will assist you.
Getting the right advice
It's the law to employ or engage a suitably qualified person to advise on issues impacting the health and safety of your employees.
If there is no one in the workplace with the right skills or knowledge to provide this advice, you should consider engaging an external consultant. It's similar to using a lawyer to handle legal affairs or an accountant to help with financial matters.
A consultant can give you advice on:
- establishing, maintaining or improving safe systems of work
- identifying, eliminating or controlling workplace hazards
- actions to eliminate or reduce the risk of a worker being injured
- taking samples or measurements of workplace environments (eg air samples, noise readings or ergonomic assessments).
The type and source of advice you need will depend on your workplace and its hazards. However it's important that the person you rely on to provide this advice has the right knowledge, skills and experience to help you meet your legal obligations.
WorkSafe has information to help you decide the best source of advice for your workplace, including information on selecting a consultant.
The following peak bodies can also assist you to engage an OHS professional:
- Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists
- Human Factors & Ergonomics Society of Australia Inc
- Safety Institute of Australia
Other ways of getting OHS advice include:
- contacting WorkSafe, your union and/or employer, trade and industry association
- developing the necessary OHS expertise and knowledge in-house
- employing a person suitably qualified to provide OHS advice
Delivering professional OHS services
There are hundreds of service providers across Victoria that offer OHS assistance, from general advice to specific services such as occupational hygiene and ergonomics.
While employers rely on these services to help manage workplace health and safety, the quality of service between providers often varies.
WorkSafe is working closely with the OHS professional community through the Health and Safety Professionals Alliance (HaSPA) to improve the quality and consistency of service, and help ensure Victorian workplaces get the best advice.
To stay up to date on industry news, subscribe to prOHnewS, our newsletter for OHS practitioners, or join a professional association.
We also have a range of information and resources for OHS professionals.