Learn about the Work Health and Safety (WHS) legislations in Australia and help companies protect their employees.
If you’re interested in working in an industry that offers an attractive salary, employment stability and opportunities for upward mobility in the most lucrative sectors, working in the WHS (Work Health and Safety) domain is a career path to consider.
Why should I study WHS?
WHS officers and personnel have the important responsibility of making sure that workplaces are safe for everyone on the premises. Every business has to adhere to set of regulations and standards concerning the work environment, from the building’s structural integrity to whether or not the employees are working in a safe environment.
Laws and codes in the WHS domain are subject to frequent amendments. Part of a WHS officer’s job is to stay abreast of modifications, as well as which businesses in his or her charge need to make the relevant changes. Essentially, the job is about ensuring that both business owners and their employees operate in a legally and structurally sound work environment.
Along with the commitment to ensure safety in the workplace, becoming a WHS officer also means taking personal responsibility for when a company fails to ensure the safety of its employees. New WHS legislation now makes it compulsory that WHS officers, managers and WHS representatives within the company be properly trained and educated on the legal requirements.
See our latest December 2018 deals for WHS online courses below:
What are the courses for WHS?
Becoming a WHS worker requires an intimate knowledge of the laws that govern safety in the workplace, as well as how to address issues that pose a potential risk. There are several courses available (mostly online) to place you on the path to a career in WHS.
- Diploma of Work Health and Safety provided by Open Training and Education Network. This nationally recognised qualification teaches students how best to make sure that companies comply with WHS law, putting together WHS processes and manage risk in the workplace.
- Diploma of Work Health and Safety Pathway provided by Open Colleges. This course combines the Statement of Attainment in Work Health and Safety, and the Diploma of Work Health and Safety. This means that people without previous experience in the industry can start work immediately.
- Diploma of Work Health and Safety provided by Chrisholm Online. This course focuses on how to keep companies compliant with the prevailing WHS regulation, implementing management systems and conducting WHS audits.
- Master of Occupational Health and Safety provided by Curtin University. For students from the undergraduate programme or experienced professionals interested in a high-level tertiary qualification, this high-level degree helps strengthen research and problem-solving skills, and prepares for top-tier placement in the WHS industry.
- Master of Occupational Health and Safety Science provided by the University of Queensland. This course takes a theoretical approach to risk in the workplace by highlighting WHS’s core disciplines including ergonomics, safety science and risk management.
- Master of Occupational and Environmental Health provided by Monash University. Ideal for practicing WHS professionals and angled towards medical personnel and scientists, this course covers safety and risk management, but also epidemiology, the psychology of the work environment, and chemical and biological hazards.
Short courses and professional development
- Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety provided by Open Training Institute. This course builds on acquired experience in the field. It helps practicing professionals brush up on new WHS laws and teaches how to better identify, assess and control risk in the workplace. (This accreditation is the minimum requirement for becoming a WHS officer.)
- Work Health and Safety Consultation in the Workplace (course) offered by Worksafe Training. This course teaches a company’s WHS representative (compulsory according to new WHS Harmonisation Laws) how to ensure that colleagues and management enforce proper WHS practices in the workplace.
What are the tuition fees and other expenses to study WHS?
Most WHS tuition can be completed via online courses, so extracurricular expenses would be minimal. Of course fees differ depending to the scope of your studies and where you decide to pursue them.
Whereas online courses with colleges or WHS-specific institutes are reasonably priced, university postgraduate degrees incur the kinds of fees usually associated with high-level tertiary qualifications. The Master degree offered by the University of Queensland costs $20,300 per year, compared to $1,800 for Worksafe Australia’s Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety qualification.Back to top
What are the best institutes in Australia to study WHS?
Studying WHS is more a technical and practical learning experience than a theoretical one. While some universities offer postgraduate degrees for seasoned professionals and undergraduate students wishing to further their studies, the courses taught from colleges and through online learning institutions are better tailored to equip students for immediate placement. They’re also linked to WHS organisations that recognise their qualifications and can help students find work in the sector.
Some of these include:
- Worksafe Australia
- Open Colleges Australia
- Careers Australia
Universities offers courses in WHS include:
- Curtin University
- University of Queensland
- Monash University
What are the career opportunities for WHS?
Depending on which course you decide to pursue, you could work in the one the following areas:
- WHS officer
- WHS manager
- Human resources practitioner
- Occupational medical practitioner
- WHS professional in independent or government organisations
A health safety advisor earns an average salary of $82,550 per annum.
Qualified, competent WHS professionals are always in high demands since companies are legally obligated to adhere to WHS rules and standards. You could find work in a variety of interesting industries, like construction, oil, mining and even government departments and independent corporations specialising in WHS enforcement.Back to top