Future Directions in occupational health and safety

An interview with Tony Goode, Workforce Strategy Executive at the Local Government Association of Queensland

To help the transition of Queensland's councils to the new harmonised Workplace Health and Safety laws, the Local Government Association of Queensland has undertaken an expansion of its current LGAQ Human Resources Advance database to encompass more than 75 new WH&S policies, procedures, correspondence and guidelines.

LGAQ HR Advance is currently a web-based system containing a wealth of draft HR policies, correspondence, guidelines, templates and associated commentary that assists councils perform their HR activities in the knowledge that they are fully compliant with all relevant legislation and legal precedent.

The system allows users to produce any necessary electronic or hard-copy documentation for their council by merely responding to a series of questions pertinent to whatever issue they are working on at the time.

LGAQ's Workforce Strategy Executive, Tony Goode, said the aim was to help councils adjust to the new harmonised laws with minimal disruption to their operations.

"By including WH&S within the range of material contained in LGAQ HR Advance it not only minimises costs for councils in this area of workforce management but also increases the level of access to this very useful asset across council.'' he said,

"Apart from the operational benefits this system provides, the underlying real benefit of this system is that councils can be assured that their documentation is always contemporary and legally compliant.''

He said the system maintained numerous levels of quality assurance and was centrally managed, allowing it to be automatically updated immediately after any legislative changes or legal findings which might impact upon a relevant area of Council operations.

"While the system was initially designed as a tool for HR, it has proven so useful that we began to expand its coverage with other inclusions such as a Public Interest Disclosure (PID) Policy and Management plan (following new legislation requiring all councils to have a PID policy) and the draft Code of Conduct following new Local Government Act requirements. Now with the introduction of the WH&S documents, the system has proven its potential to be used as a platform for all forms of Council documentation.'' he said.

""We will probably now need to rebadge its title given its expansion. "