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Hello and welcome to the Health & Safety Handbook, your practical guide to Australian work health and safety.

This handbook will help you stay on top of work health and safety laws, no matter where you are in Australia. With the Health & Safety Handbook, you can rest assured that you have everything you need to achieve legal compliance – and keep your workers safe – right at your fingertips.

Breaking down the handbook components

In the Health & Safety Handbook, you receive:

Unlimited access to every chapter. Our handbook is comprised of chapters that focus on areas of work health and safety. These chapters break down everything you need to know about a topic – including the law, tips, case law and examples – to help you meet your obligations.

Access to case law. View a library of case analyses to see how the law has been applied.

Access to Q&As. Read common questions and answers from our expert team of lawyers at Holding Redlich.

Valuable resources. Download word document checklists, step-by-steps and templates to use in your workplace. Our suite of more than 250 resources includes a range of template contracts and policies that are essential to most businesses.

Automatic sign-up to our weekly Health & Safety Bulletin – work health and safety news sent straight to your inbox every week.

Access to the Health & Safety Helpdesk. Have a general question about work health and safety law? Send it through our Health & Safety Helpdesk and receive a response from our expert team of lawyers at Holding Redlich.

Understanding our chapter format

We know your time is valuable. That’s why we have designed the Health & Safety Handbook to help you quickly and easily find the answers you need when you need them.

One of the ways we do this is by breaking up chapter content into different segments. These segments each have a specific style, as shown below:

Case law: WorkSafe Victoria v New Sector Engineering Pty Ltd (2020)

In WorkSafe Victoria v New Sector Engineering Pty Ltd (2020), a company involved in repairing and maintaining steel machines for the food and industrial sector was fined a total of $300,000 following an explosion.

The company had directed an employee and a labour hire worker to use the company ute to obtain two gas cylinders of acetylene and oxygen from an offsite gas provider. The employee and labour hire worker rested both gas cylinders on their side in the full enclosed toolbox of the ute when transporting the gas cylinders to the worksite.

The gas bottles were dislodged and exploded shortly after the employee and labour hire worker loaded them into the ute, seriously injuring the employee and causing damage to cars, houses and overhead powerlines in the surrounding area.

The Court found that the company had failed to provide a safe work environment by failing to create a safe system of work for employees transporting gas canisters to the worksite. To discharge this duty, the Court found the company was required to ensure the gas cylinders were properly secured and able to be transported in the upright position in an adequately ventilated space.

In addition to this, the Court determined that the company did not provide its employees with the necessary information, instruction and training to enable them to perform their work safely. The Court found these failures created risks to the safety of workers and others.

Caution: The risk posed by friable asbestos is the highest as it is more likely to become airborne.
Definition: Asbestos Management Plan

An asbestos management plan is a written process for how your organisation will control the risk to health and safety created by the existence of asbestos in the workplace.

In the ACT and NSW, around 1,000 homes had ceiling insulation installed during the 1960s and 1970s by a Canberra-based company called Mr Fluffy. The loose fill insulation was made from raw amosite or crocidolite asbestos that was crushed into a fine state. Both the ACT and NSW governments implemented a program for the purchase of affected homes to demolish and remediate the sites.
Important: All asbestos removal work should be undertaken by a licensed asbestos removalist (LAR), except in exceptional cases where a very small area of non-friable asbestos is being removed.
Tip: An asbestos register is not required if the building was constructed after 31 December 2003, and asbestos has not been identified at the workplace and is not likely to be present at the workplace.

These segments help you to easily identify what you are searching for. For example, if you are seeking a case law on a specific topic, you can go to the chapter addressing the topic, and cast your eyes over the content to find the case law with ease.

Keeping on top of work health and safety law

Work health and safety laws and best practice advice evolve over time. We won’t let you get left behind! The Health & Safety Handbook receives regular updates to ensure it remains current and up-to-date with any changes to the law and advice from the regulators.

We also date our content so you know when it was last reviewed by our team of lawyers.

Joining those ‘in the know’

Australians have been turning to the Health & Safety Handbook for more than 15 years. Managed by a team of leading lawyers and industry experts led by Michael Selinger, Partner at Holding Redlich, the handbook is trusted by business owners, managers and human resources professionals across every industry.

Welcome aboard!