Protect Your Practice

Work Health and Safety


Work Health and Safety overview

Managing work health and safety risks in your practice is an integral part of any practice manager’s role and will ensure your practice is a healthy place in which to work. As a practice manager, you should also be aware that Work Health and Safety (WHS) is the new term for Occupational Health and Safety. WHS is about ensuring the wellbeing of workers, contractors and patients in your practice through the regular review of safety and health issues.

WHS overview

Work health and safety legislation exists in each state of Australia to promote improved standards of workplace health and safety and reduce work-related accidents and diseases.

In medical and other healthcare practices practice there are further risks related to infection control and chemicals, and these topics are addressed separately in this section.

Improve your practice

Under the legislation, employers are obliged to:

  • provide a safe and healthy working environment for workers, sub-contractors and members of the public
  • maintain adequate workers’ compensation insurance
  • record and report any injuries and/or claims
  • assist and support an employee injured at work to return to work.

Better practice is more than what is covered by legislation. It is a genuine concern displayed for the health and well being of staff and patients when they visit the practice. It is important to include the Work Health and Safety (WHS) guidelines as well as the commitment to WHS in your staff induction program.


Next page

Infection control and waste management
  • Minimising the risk
  • Improve your practice
  • Ensure the following are in place and reviewed regularly:
  • Contacts

This publication is proudly brought to you by Avant Mutual Group. The content was authored by Brett McPherson, reviewed by Colleen Sullivan and Avant Mutual Group.

This publication is not comprehensive and does not constitute legal or medical advice. You should seek legal or other professional advice before relying on any content, and practice proper clinical decision making with regard to the individual circumstances. Persons implementing any recommendations contained in this publication must exercise their own independent skill or judgment or seek appropriate professional advice relevant to their own particular practice. Compliance with any recommendations will not in any way guarantee discharge of the duty of care owed to patients and others coming into contact with the health professional or practice. Avant is not responsible to you or anyone else for any loss suffered in connection with the use of this information. Information is only current at the date initially published. © Avant Mutual Group Limited 2014.

IMPORTANT: Professional indemnity insurance products and Avant’s Practice Medical Indemnity Policy are issued by Avant Insurance Limited, ABN 82 003 707 471, AFSL 238 765. The information provided here is general advice only. You should consider the appropriateness of the advice having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs before deciding to purchase or continuing to hold a policy with us. For full details including the terms, conditions, and exclusions that apply, please read and consider the policy wording and PDS, which is available at or by contacting us on 1800 128 268. Practices need to consider other forms of insurance including directors’ and officers’ liability, public and products liability, property and business interruption insurance, and workers compensation and you should contact your insurance broker for more information. Cover is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy. Any advice here does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider whether the product is appropriate for you before deciding to purchase or continuing to hold a policy with us.