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Simple steps to safety

Business owners (persons conducting a business or undertaking) are responsible for the health and safety of their workers, as far as is practicable, as well as the health and safety of visitors, the public and your customers.

Our Simple steps to safety guide, with useful templates and checklists, helps small businesses to include work health and safety as  part of their business planning. By following these simple steps you can create a positive work health and safety culture that contributes to the safety of your business.

Follow the Simple steps to set up a robust safety system for your workplace. Or check the safety of your business by completing our work health and safety checklist to identify hazards at your workplace and determine which areas you may want to start with for improvement.

Word version: Work health and safety checklist

Getting started

Successful safety cultures are led from the top, where your actions and attitudes send a message to your workers that you are serious about their health and safety.

Use our one-page template to create a PDF iconwork health and safety policy that shows your commitment.

Effective safety management in a workplace requires an involvement from everyone to make it safe. To do this successfully, people need to understand their responsibilities and how they can meet them.

Word version: FileWork health and safety policy

Talking with your team

If you are serious about work health and safety then you need to lead by example. You also need the support of your workers and you can do this by involving them in spotting and solving safety concerns, and talking about them as a team.

Effective consultation encourages greater awareness of issues and can lead to improved safety outcomes. This includes concerns about your workers' wellbeing, because mental health is as important as physical health.

Follow up on your workers' suggestions and make improvements with a PDF iconrecord of safety discussions.

Word version: FileRecord of safety discussions

Managing hazards

Part of managing health and safety in your workplace is controlling the risks. To do this you will need to accurately identify potential hazards.

Develop an PDF iconaction plan that's easy to use and relevant to your workplace and your workers. Your action plan will identify, based on the risk, in what order you should focus your hazard management priorities. Use this PDF iconhazard list and risk assessment to help work out how urgently you should make changes.

Word version: FileAction plan

Word version: FileHazard list and risk assessment

Informing, training and supervising your team

Training, including workplace inductions, is one of the best ways to ensure that the people in your business are safe while at work.

Use our PDF iconinduction checklist to ensure new and returning workers understand their work environment, their job expectations and employment conditions.

Your workers will also benefit from regular training. Use our PDF icontraining plan and PDF icontraining record to organise and keep track of this.

Word version: FileInduction checklist

Word version: FileTraining plan

Word version: FileTraining record

Maintaining a safe workplace

Maintaining a safe workplace it is everyone’s responsibility. Regular communication between management and workers is crucial to keeping health and safety top of mind in your workplace. Add it as an item to your regular team meetings so workers feel comfortable bringing up any issues as they arise.

Keeping records

Written accounts of your work health and safety activities, near misses and incidents are important records for your business. To make sure you haven’t missed anything, keep checklists and registers such as PDF iconhazardous substance register and PDF iconincident hazard report.

Word version: FileHazardous substance register

Word version: FileIncident hazard report

Monitoring and reviewing to improve

Managing and improving health and safety needs to be ongoing. Use our detailed PDF iconhealth and safety checklist to test how well you are travelling in managing the safety risks related to:

  • manual tasks
  • equipment, machinery and tools
  • moving around
  • chemicals and other hazardous substances
  • electricity
  • smoking
  • unhealthy food and drink habits
  • alcohol and drugs
  • physical inactivity and screen time
  • mental health.

Word version: FileHealth and safety checklist

Our free Workplace Advisory Service

For help with work health and safety in your business you can ask for a free visit from our Workplace Advisory Service. Our advisors will work with you to provide tailored face-to-face support and practical advice based on your workplace's industry, size, risk and complexity. They have no inspector powers, so you can be comfortable asking us to help you.

Further resources can be accessed from our Library catalogue.