Code of Practice on Working Hours proves to be successful so far

03 November, 2006

WA’s Code of Practice on Working Hours –launched in July – is generating widespread discussion across the State.

WorkSafe WA Commissioner Nina Lyhne said a recent visit to regional areas had resulted in positive feedback on the usefulness of the code.

“I have visited several regional areas over the past couple of weeks with the MineSafe Roadshow, as well as conducting a number of information sessions in Perth, and have had many discussions with employers and employees about the code,” Lyhne said.

“The feedback I have received so far confirms that the code is seen as a highly practical document, and the risk management guidelines are seen as an excellent aid to structuring working hours in workplaces to improve safety and health.

“Workplaces are realising that they can make changes to their working hours arrangements to improve safety and health – just because certain arrangements have been in place for some time, it doesn’t mean they cannot change.

“The latest figures on working hours across the country confirmed that WA still has the highest average hours worked per week by full-time employees, and the code is intended to be used to design working hours arrangements that are as safe and healthy as possible.

“With the help of the code, working hours arrangements can be tailored to any industry or workplace, and it seems that many workplaces will be benefiting from the guidelines contained in the code.”

The Code of Practice on Working Hours is Australia’s first comprehensive code for addressing the occupational safety and health risks associated with a range of working hours issues across all industries.

It promotes a holistic approach to identifying the hazards and assessing the risks of extended working hours, and provides guidelines that allow workplaces to gauge the level of risk in their specific workplace so control measures can be put into place.

“I’m very pleased with the good reaction to the code and the positive feedback I have received, particularly in regional areas,” Lyhne said.

“I strongly urge all employers to retain a copy of the code and to use the guidelines to assess the unique risks of long working hours in their own workplaces.”