The last several months have seen rapid changes in the employment and workplace health and safety space. With such dynamic movement, and then lots of commentary on each of these changes, it’s easy to view all these changes as one big jumble of puzzle pieces. And it can be hard to know what the whole jigsaw looks like.

As Chris Gardner and I mentioned last year in our blog post, HR and safety working together on the new positive duty, one of the corner pieces that keeps the picture in place, is having HR and WHS teams working together. What that looks like is different for each organisation: sharing physical locations, integrating these teams, formal meetings or processes, as needed communication between departments or specific individuals, or maybe an individual solution specific to your organisation. The fundamental point is sharing the crossover information, working together when multidisciplinary issues arise and doing so early. Regardless of how your team does it, it is clear that your workplace health and safety and human resources teams will be grappling with these changes together.

With the ever-increasing focus on psychosocial risks, employment and industrial relations decisions now need to be cognisant of workplace health and safety considerations.

The key takeaway is that it doesn’t matter how many jigsaw pieces there are, the jigsaw is showing an ever-increasing focus and attention on the workplace. In our view, this is going to see a consequential increase in regulatory attention, and possibly enforcement. Agree with them or disagree with them, the changes are coming.

Are you assembling the puzzle or lost amongst the pieces?


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