Health and safety are a priority

Workplace Safety Services (WSS) provides a Work Health and Safety Management System structure for the Synod of New South Wales and the ACT.

Our services can be adopted by individual entities. 

Health and safety is central to what we do

The health, safety and wellbeing of workers, volunteers, Ministers, contractors and visitors at our sites are high priorities for the Uniting Church. We want all of our workers to be able to come to do their job in a safe way and to be provided a protected work environment.  We also look after workers’ compensation claims for employing entities within the Synod.

Our WSS unit helps you, as a Presbytery, Congregation or any other Synod entity to provide a safe location and safe work processes to meet your requirements under the Work Health and Safety (WHS) legislation. Work time takes a significant part of everyone’s day and health and wellbeing is a valuable asset.  People and their organisation’s prospective futures depends on Health and Safety.

An extensive WHS Toolkit  is available to Congregations, Presbyteries and other entities.

According to the prevailing WHS legislation Persons Conducting Business or Undertaking (PCBU) has a primary duty of care to ensure workers and others are not exposed to a risk to their health and safety.

As a member of the Church Council you may be deemed to be an Officer (as defined in Section 4 of the WHS Act 2011) and the Officer is required to exercise due diligence to ensure that the PCBU fulfils their legally prescribed health and safety obligations. Due diligence requires an Officer to concentrate on managing WHS risks.

PCBUs, Officers, Workers, Volunteers, Visitors, Contractors and all other involved individuals are responsible for Work, Health and Safety.

As an employer, the Church is required to ensure the physical and psychological health and safety of our workers so far as reasonably practical. Reasonable refers to something at a particular time was reasonably able to be done to ensure health and safety, taking into account the relevant matters including:

  • The likelihood of the hazard or risk if the harm is more likely to occur, then it is reasonable to expect more actions taken to reduce or eliminate the hazard.
  • The degree of harm that might result from the hazard or risk.
  • If the resulting injury is severe rather than a minor injury, more would be expected to reduce or eliminate the hazard.
  • What the person concerned knows or to reasonably know about either the hazard or risk and the ways of either eliminating or reducing this.
  • This includes the knowledge about a risk, how to minimise or eliminate it as well as what a reasonable person would be expected to know.
  • The availability and suitability of ways to eliminate the risk. This includes a consideration of what is available and also what is suitable to either eliminate or reduce risk.
  • The cost associated with ways of eliminating the risk.

Further information on the legal definition of these terms Person Conducting Business or Undertaking, Due Diligence and Reasonably Practical is available.  Additional information and National Guidelines are available from the Safe Work Australia website.

Our custom-made WHS Toolkit is available.