When a serious incident occurs in the workplace – on a
scale big enough to strike a blow to the critical internal
resources of a company – the true measure of business
resilience will be the effectiveness of that company's work
health and safety management system (WHSMS)
working in conjunction with strong Business Continuity Management
BCM is an approach that is distinct but complementary to the
WHSMS of a business, because it focuses on critical and
catastrophic risks to the business and to people. It is a focused
risk management approach for the whole of a business to ensure that
when a large incident (either internal or external) occurs that
significantly impacts an organisation internally, critical business
functions can be restored and/or maintained in a timely
How do BCM and a WHSMS interact?
Both WHSMSs and BCMs are information intensive and use similar
data, particularly in the areas of risk analysis and infectious
diseases. To collect this information, management systems require
input from all levels of business. As a result an organisation
should consider consolidating its efforts in these overlapping
areas in order to improve the efficiency of the information
In joining these two systems, an WHSMS can be used to support
BCM to advise an organisation on appropriate recovery strategies
including advising on safe minimum staff numbers and on the
suitability of facilities at proposed recovery sites.
The dual use of these management systems identifies potential
threats to a business or undertaking and seeks to use this
information to better protect workers or people who may be affected
by the work of an organisation.
Do your due diligence; What should organisations be doing?
In integrating BCM into a larger WHSMS, companies should be
looking towards legislative frameworks and Australian Standards for
guidance as it is important that these systems meet legislative and
regulatory requirements to ensure that the business or undertaking
does not fall foul of its legal obligations. At the minimum,
legislation that a person conducting a business or undertaking must
consider include the:
WHS Act 2011;
Protective Security Framework – June 2010;
APRA standards CPS231, 232.
Norton Rose Fulbright offers a comprehensive suite of BCM
consulting services – from a health check through to a full
BCM programme for your business or undertaking. Please contact
Michael Tooma if you would like further information on implementing
BCM processes in your business.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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Long experience representing many of Australia's leading employers has taught us that in employment litigation the identity of an employee's representative is a major factor in how employee litigation runs.
Australian employees receive certain entitlements (such as annual leave and superannuation) where contractors do not.
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