Safety in Ministry

WHS Vision Colleges,  Internet bible college “BSBWHS401A

Safety in Ministry

Churches need to understand their responsibilites for WHS issues.  We are as legally responsible as any company in australia for what happens in our activities.  This particular unit, Safety in Ministsry  is taken from the Community Services Training packages units.  “BSBWHS401A Impliment and Monitor WHS Policies Procedures and Programs to meet legislative requirements

This subject can be undertaken on-line through our online training portal or it can be completed through the development of a detailed skills development portfolio.

The following information is taken from and adapted from Business.Gov.Au webpage

We are a church – why do we need WHS ?

The church, before the law is a business, many aspects of what we do publicly are viewed in the light of legislation as any other business, we are as accountable as any other business.  To protect our churches we need to understand our responsibilities in the light of WHS

What is Workplace health and safety (WHS)?

Workplace Health and Safety (WHS), often referred to as Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) involves the assessment and migration of risks that may impact the health, safety or welfare of those in your workplace. This may include the health and safety of your customers, employees, visitors, contractors, volunteers and suppliers. As a business owner there are legal requirements that you must comply with to ensure your workplace meets WHS obligations.

WHS or OH&S – What’s the difference?

Before 2012, workplace health and safety (WHS) laws were known as Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) laws. These laws differed across Australian states and territories. To make the laws more consistent across Australia, in 2012 the state and territory governments agreed to develop model laws (WHS Act and Regulations), on which they could base their health and safety laws. Find out more about the model work health and safety laws on the Safe Work Australia website.

Benefits of WHS in your church

Creating a safe work environment is a legal requirement and critical to the long term success of your business. It can:

  • help you retain staff
  • maximise employee productivity
  • minimise injury and illness in the workplace
  • reduce the costs of injury and workers’ compensation
  • ensure you meet your legal obligations and employee responsibilities.
  • Ensures the safety of the members of your church
  • Ensures the safety of the visitors to your church

WHS obligations for business and churches

As the Pastor of a church or a business owner or you have legal responsibilities to implement health and safety practices in your workplace as soon as you start your business. You need to ensure that your business doesn't create health and safety problems for your employees, contractors, volunteers, visitors, customers or the public.

Knowing and understanding WHS laws and how they apply to business will help you avoid unnecessary costs and damage to your business caused by workplace injury and illness.

Under Australian WHS/OH&S legislation businesses are legally obliged to:

  • provide safe work premises
  • assess risks and implement appropriate measures for controlling them
  • ensure safe use and handling of goods and substances
  • provide and maintain safe machinery and materials
  • assess workplace layout and provide safe systems of work
  • provide a suitable working environment and facilities
  • have insurance and workers compensation workers’ compensation insurance for your employees.

Though it may cost to implement safe practices and install safety equipment, the effect of not taking action can be severe and costly. Complying with WHS requirements can prevent you from being prosecuted and fined, and help you to retain skilled staff. Your legal obligations may vary according to circumstances and industry. You may wish to seek independent legal advice on what is applicable to your situation.

WHS obligations for workers

People working in your business have work health and safety obligations to themselves and their workmates.  They must:

  • comply with instructions given for work health and safety
  • use any provided personal protective equipment (PPE) and be properly trained in how to use it
  • not wilfully or recklessly interfere with or misuse anything provided for work health and safety at the workplace
  • not wilfully place others at risk not wilfully injure themselves.

These learning materials consist of five topics. At the end of each section, there are activities that you will need to complete as a part of your assessment. There are also a number of activities that will need to be submitted to your supervisor for assessment. However, much of your achievement in this training will come from experience at work as you are provided with opportunities to use your knowledge, observe your workplace's safety systems in action and put your skills into practice.

As Christians, as ministers of the Gospel it is it is even more incumbent upon us to ensure that the places where we work are safe, we are responsible not only to the law but also to God himself to ensure that the places to which we invite others to come to know the saving grace of God and to grow and mature in Him are safe.

Order Subject