Small-to-medium employers and their workers will benefit from the launch of a new website offering up-to-date training and advice on workplace safety.
The new ‘Safety First’ website (www.safetyfirst.org.au) launched by the Group Training Association of Victoria today, will help businesses to know their legal obligations and create safe workplaces.
GTAV executive director Gary Workman said many Australian businesses are still unaware of their new obligations that the new Work Health and Safety (WHS) harmonisation laws are being brought into play.
“Group Training Organisations deal with apprentices and small businesses every day, and we are aware of the safety issues that affect them,” Mr Workman said.
“We know that many small businesses want to be safe workplaces but don’t have the time and expertise to take advantage of all the resources that are available.”
“Equally we know that apprentices and young workers are particularly vulnerable if they are in an unsafe workplace, and are often unable to speak out.”
“The Safety First site allows employers to access information and training on safety that suits the needs of employers and workers and will make practical improvements to safety in their workplace.
“Sadly, once an accident has occurred the money and time are always found to pay for safety improvements, so why not do this before the accident happens?”
“Workplace injuries and illnesses cost Australia over $60 billion per year and cause damage and heartache to countless lives,” Mr Workman said.
“Many businesses still have the mentality of ‘it will never happen to me’, and do not appreciate the consequences if they neglect safety.”
The Safety First website uses a modern range of learning techniques including audio, video, quizzes, interactive activities and real life scenarios, to get employers up to speed on WHS.
The new WHS laws broaden the duty of care owed to workers to include people conducting a business of undertaking, rather than just the direct employer of a worker.
New laws give employers a positive duty to ensure that they provide a safe work environment, with the threat of fines of up to $600,000 and/or five years imprisonment.
“The GTAV has a long history of working with our members to improve health and safety in workplaces. This new website provides a greater level of access to a range of workplace health and safety resources and services to support our members, apprentices and small business employers, and will help them ensure that safety comes first,” Mr Workman said.
*The Group Training Association of Victoria is the peak body representing not for profit group training organisations that employ over 8500 apprentices and trainees across all industry sectors annually within Victoria. Victorian GTO’s manage these training requirements through both TAFE and private training providers.
Further information: Ben Ruse (Essential Media) M: 0409 510 879