ThinkSafe Small Business Program
Providing free OSH consultations to small business
What can the program do for you?
If you are a small business owner and want to make your workplace safe, the ThinkSafe Small Business Assistance Program can help you. Download brochure
The ThinkSafe program has been developed using the best small business workplace safety programs across the world as a guide and has helped over 3000 small businesses around Western Australia improve safety in their workplace. The program won the 2007 Premier's Award category for Better Services.
The good news is that the program:
is easy to obtain;
provides up to 3 hours consultation time;
can provide group consultations of up to 5 hours:
is a simple process with clear and immediate outcomes;
provides quick response time for metro and regional applications; and
awards a certificate of participation after completion.
We arrange for an independent OSH consultant to visit workplaces in metropolitan or regional Western Australia.
The consultants won't talk a lot of jargon or blind you with science or statistics. Working together you will be able to develop a simple, easy-to-implement plan (safety plan) that is unique to your business and relevant to your industry.
This is a confidential service and the consultant will not report back to WorkSafe on any aspect of your business.
employs less than 20 full-time equivalent workers;
is independently owned; and
is involved in one of the following:
- agriculture, forestry or fishing;
- health or community services;
- retail or wholesale;
- transport or storage;
- not for profit.
To apply fill in the application form and return it to WorkSafe.
If your business has previously assessed the program you may be entitled to a follow-up visit
Group consultations are free and available for eligible businesses owners who:
own more than one business in the same industry;
would like to have managers from different branches participate; or
wish to participate with one or more other business in the same industry.
A group consultation is held at the host applicant’s workplace by an experienced and qualified independent consultant. A session will provide up to 5 hours of consultation time and deliver a safety plan specific to the host’s workplace. Group size is a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 5 participants from separate premises or businesses.
Please note: Host applicant will be required to arrange for other attendees.
To apply fill in the group application form and return it to WorkSafe
3. Follow-up Visit Program
After one year from the date of the first ThinkSafe visit, small businesses are eligible to apply for the follow-up visits.
The main objective of the follow-up visit is for the independent consultants to assist the client with the safety plan received from the first visit. The consultants will also discuss barriers and challenges with implementation of the safety plan (if any) .They may also review your workplace safety or any issues in occupational safety & health that you would like to discuss and provide alternative practical and affordable solutions.
The program applies the same principles as the ThinkSafe program which are:
free to client;
easy to obtain;
clients are entitled to up to 3 hours of consultation time; and
- provided by a qualified and experienced occupational safety and health consultant.
The Follow-up visit program was established in 2007 as an extension of the ThinkSafe Program. Evaluation of the ThinkSafe Program shows that the program can be improved by providing small businesses with follow up advice.
To apply for a follow-up visit, download and complete the follow-up visit application form and fax the form to 9321 2148 or call 9327 8850 to check whether you are eligible.
If you are an agriculture small business owner and want to make your workplace safe, the free Agriculture Safety Advisory Service could help you.
Agricultural businesses visited by this program include:
plantation timber properties;
In accessing this program you may wish to:
have a 3 hour onsite visit to your property or farm by an independent consultant to develop a safety plan; or
participate in a group consultation of up to 5 hours with neighbouring farmers or friends.
Please note the host farmer is provided with a safety plan. Farmers attending this session will be provided with information and checklists to assist them in completing a safety plan for their businesses.
Download application form here.
An existing client is eligible to re-access the advisory service after one year to obtain feedback following the suggestions provided by the consultant from the first visit.
Download and complete the follow-up visit application form here.
This is a confidential service and the consultant will not report back to WorkSafe on any aspect of your business.
The ThinkSafe Commercial Fishing Project is a trial initiative aiming to provide an education on occupational safety and health to fishing operators, seafarers and small seafood businesses.
The trial initiative has two main objectives:
to provide a preliminary hazard identification and assessment on fishing vessels and workplaces within the commercial fishing industry and to develop an initial safety management plan; and
to create an awareness of the Commission for Occupational Safety and Health Code of Practice: Man overboard prevention and response.
The project offers a three hour session of safety assessment on fishing vessels or seafood business workplaces conducted by an independent and qualified consultant in marine and aquaculture businesses.
Our consultant will visit fishing vessels and aquaculture business workplaces in metro and regional areas. The service is confidential and free of charge to participants.
If you are a fishing vessel owner/ manager or small seafood business operator and would like to have your vessel or workplace accessed, please download and complete the Commercial Fishing Industry Project application form and fax the form to 9321 2148 or call 9327 8850 to check whether you are eligible.
The pilot project also offers an awareness session of the Code of Practice: Man overboard prevention and response to members of commercial fishing industry associations in metropolitan and regional areas. To organise an awareness session for your members, please download and complete the seminar application form or call 9327 8850 for more information.
6. ThinkSafe Indigenous Project
The ThinkSafe Indigenous Project is aimed at providing culturally appropriate safety and health support to small businesses and not-for-profit organisations within indigenous communities.
The indigenous project has two main objectives:
to delivery safety awareness training to key stakeholders such as corporation members, in their capacity as employers, community development employment projects participants and other employed people within indigenous communities in Western Australia; and
to assist employers in identifying risks and promoting health and safety in workplaces within the indigenous communities.
The project provides a session of safety awareness training, workplace risk assessment, and training on specific OSH issues as requested by participants. Our consultants will visit workplaces in regional, remote and highly remote locations in Western Australia. The service is conducted by culturally trained and independent consultants and provided free of charge to participants.
If you are a small business owner, community development employment project manager or work for a not-for-profit organisation and would like to request assistance, please register your interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject heading: ThinkSafe Indigenous Project or call 9327 8769 to discuss the opportunity for participation.
The ThinkSafe Program objective is to provide an OSH consultation service to small businesses across WA. ThinkSafe consultants are based in Perth, Mandurah, Bunbury, Busselton, Dunsborough, Albany, Kalgoorlie, Geraldton and surrounding areas. Consultants also regularly visit other regional areas.
We will be able to provide a more efficient services to applicants in regional areas where no consultants are based, if we have received at least four applications from the same area. Invite other small businesses in your areas to access the program by filling in the application form and returning to WorkSafe now.
Occupational safety and health seminars for small businesses
ThinkSafe offers free occupational health and safety sessions to a group of small businesses or small business members of industry associations in metropolitan and regional areas. The session will be provided by an independent and experienced consultant covering information related to technical and practical knowledge on occupational safety and health tailored to suit the targeted industry. The session can be requested as a half-day or full-day seminar provided at a location arranged by participants.
If you would like to arrange an OSH seminar for your small business members, please contact ThinkSafe Small Business Manager on email email@example.com with the subject heading: ThinkSafe OSH Seminars or by telephone 9327 8769.
Community education officers
WorkSafe Community Education Officers are available to come to your workplace to explain the obligations of employers and workers under the Act, give talks on the role of WorkSafe and specific workplace hazards relevant to your business.
Contact Community Education Officers on email firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 93278777.
Keep up-to-date with WorkSafe's mailing lists
WorkSafe has several free mailing lists available for subscription including one for small business and OSH updates for general information. These lists are used by WorkSafe to distribute the latest issues and updates. All that is required to subscribe is an email address.
Useful publications and checklists
The following list of publications are helpful for small business owners.
Managing health and safety in food retail - A handbook for the franchise industry
Manual tasks code of practice (revised)
The following publications may be useful for small businesses on Christmas and Cocos Islands
- How will I be advised if my application is successful or unsuccessful?
- How long do I need to wait for the consultant’s visit?
- Am I eligible to access the program if I run small business in the industry listed in eligibility criteria but my business is not independently owned?
- Will the consultant help me with a specific issue or query?
The ThinkSafe Small Business Assistance Program is an initiative funded by WorkSafe WA and WorkCover WA to provide free, independent and confidential occupational safety and health advice and training to small business. Services are carried out by occupational safety and health consultants contracted by WorkSafe (ThinkSafe consultants). The program aims to introduce small businesses to hazard identification, risk reduction, safety and health policies, safe work systems and improve the capacity of small business owners to manage safety and health effectively. Outcomes of the program include a simple and achievable safety plan for each small business and advice on where to find more information on safety and health and injury management issues.
Yes. Information obtained by the ThinkSafe consultant is treated as strictly confidential. After the safety assessment at your workplace, you will receive a written report with the simple safety plan compiled by the consultant. Those reports contain confidential information between you and the consultant and will not be passed on to WorkSafe.
You will be assessed on your suitability according to the eligibility criteria. A notification of successful or unsuccessful application will be sent to you with the successful application being referred to the consultant who is specialised in your area. If your application is successful, the consultant will contact you to arrange an appointment within 14 days of receiving the referral from ThinkSafe. If your application is unsuccessful, we will still help you by providing useful and related information on how to make your workplace safer enclosed with our response.
You will receive the notification via your contact details listed on the application form. Our preferred method of sending written notifications is via email. However, we will send a fax or telephone the applicants who did not add their email address on their application forms.
We aim to provide the visit to your workplace within 6 weeks from the date you have been contacted by the consultant. However, the date of the visit can be longer than 6 weeks and is negotiable between you and the consultant to suit your preferred time. Please let us know if you feel that your business is unsafe and requires urgent attention. We will endeavour to shorten the application process to accommodate your need.
The waiting time should be similar for applications received from regional areas such as Mandurah, Bunbury, Albany, Kalgoorlie and Geraldton where we have our local consultants based in the areas. A slightly longer waiting period applies to applications received from other regional areas where the visits need to be grouped to achieve cost-effectiveness. If your business is based in regional areas not listed above, please check Regional visits for our planned visits in regional areas to shorter the waiting time.
6. Am I eligible to access the program if I run small business in the industry listed in eligibility criteria but my business is not independently owned?
You may be eligible to receive the assistance if your business belongs to a larger corporation but does not have a health and safety support system in place. However, your application will be assessed on a case by case basis.
For a small business owner that operates a franchise outlet may also be eligible to access the program if the business belongs to a small Australian franchise organisation and has no health and safety support system in place. We offer a group consultation for two or more franchise outlets requesting to access the program. We apologises for not being able to provide an one-on-one consultation to each franchise outlet due to our funding limitation.
Yes. The onsite visit by the consultant is not only about conducting safety and health assessment but also providing you with an opportunity to seek expert opinion in dealing with specific OSH issues or query at your workplace. Feel free to discuss this with the consultant before the appointment time so that the consultant can prepare and arrange appropriate and effective response to your query.
An eligible small business is entitled to receive one initial visit and one follow-up visit which will be applied after 12 months of the first visit.
An individual eligible small business will only be entitled to receive one onsite visit. If you own or operate more than one business that requires assistance, it will be more appropriate to access the group consultation where the visit is conducted on one of your business premises and all of the persons responsible for other branches attend. We believe that the knowledge can be transferred to a similar environment. The session can be arranged and tailored to suit your business and industry.
There is no cost involved in accessing the ThinkSafe program. However, the program will only cover the costs specified in the arrangement. Any expenses incurred outside the arrangement will be borne by the participants.