5 priority steps to a safe workplace in 2018
With significantly increased fines and penalties for breaching health and safety legislation during last year, employers should take a fresh look at their risk management and take action to minimise the risk of workplace injuries.
Safety Management is a demanding obligation and with a plethora of guidance material available from both authorities and other organisations, it is often difficult to work out where to start.
Below are my top 5 tips for reviewing your WHS procedures, helping you to ensure a safe work environment and dramatically reducing the risk of adverse actions, such as fines and prosecution.
Focus on hazards that are likely to result in injuries
Hazards are everywhere. Spend time with your team and review hazards that may exist in your workplace. If you haven’t already, list them and ensure that the risk of each hazard is eliminated or at least minimised, using the hierarchy of controls set out in the Work Health and Safety Regulation. Have a critical look at the residue risk after applying your controls and ask yourself and the team, are we doing what’s reasonably to be done to ensure the health and safety of workers and others?
Lead from the top
Workplace safety cannot exist on policies and procedures alone. If management can demonstrate commitment and genuinely promote that health and safety is critical to the daily operation of the business, your workers will too. In a safety conscious work-environment, employees will identify unsafe behaviours and opportunities for improvement while making well-informed safety decisions during daily routine tasks. If you are having issues with your safety culture, start from the top. Make sure your safety policy is credible and let your actions demonstrate that safety is a priority.
Conduct safety audits
Audits are another essential component of safety management. Best practice is to conduct frequent internal inspections and supplement this with occasional external audits. Internal inspections do not have to be complex. If you haven’t already, create a check list for your workplace and conduct frequent walk-arounds. This simple process will give you the opportunity to identify and rectify safety issues before it’s too late. Combined with less frequent external audits, this will dramatically minimise your exposure to liability and ensure that your business is continually improving.
Maintain all Equipment in Safe Working Order
Develop and implement a routine maintenance program for the plant and equipment in your workplace. Ensure machines are working properly and that the correct signage and safe work procedures are clearly shown. Check that machine guards and other precautionary measures are functioning and used properly. Keep a record of servicing, maintenance and inspections of your plant and equipment in accordance with Australian Standards and manufacturer directions.
Review your induction training
As a leader in your organisation, you’re probably already aware of the benefits a thorough induction process can bring. But the reality is that one incident or claim could ruin your business if you do not take the appropriate steps to educate, train and engage your staff about safe work practises and behaviour at work. Keeping records of this training is absolutely vital as it could be your last line of defence if challenged in a court of law. Safety legislation is constantly changing so you should review your training on a regular basis to ensure compliance.
We strongly recommend that you review your induction training. New cloud-based technology is now available to help streamline your inductions, fulfil your legal obligations and keep records – Effortless! This is great news for small and medium businesses that often do not have the resources larger corporations have.
To find out how TANDI can help reduce risk in your organisation hit the contact us link now.