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Work Health and Safety Blog

There's so much happening in the world of health & safety. Changes in legislation and requirements, changes in best practice, changes in ... you name it. Here's my take on making it simple. Simply Genius WHS - stop guessing... manage with confidence.

The 7 steps to manage work health and safety

Maralyn Kastel - Friday, October 11, 2013

Work health & safety (WHS) legislation is designed to protect workers from unsafe working conditions and to make sure that the workplace is a healthy & safe environment.  As with any legislation it takes some time to understand and implement all of the requirements of the WHS Act and WHS regulations, and of course the codes of practice and Australian Standards.

The following tips will help get you started:

  1. It is important to stay up to date in changes to the WHS Regulations and Codes of Practice and to communicate these to your workers.
  2. Determine the hazard and risks in your workplace.  Obviously, different types of industries will have different hazards. Document the hazards you have found.  Discuss these with your workers.
  3. Identify what you need to do to implement risk controls and put those risk controls in place.  Take action on unsafe practices and review accidents and incidents.
  4. Get your workers involved in identifying the hazards.  Make sure they know how to report hazards and the procedures required.
  5. Make sure you allocate resources, (time, budget, people) to work health & safety management
  6. Make sure that your work health and safety management systems are effective by regularly monitoring, reviewing and evaluating the system.
  7. Keep appropriate records.  This includes:
    • policies, procedures and processes
    • inspections, reviews and audits
    • risk assessments and controls
    • training and inductions
    • repair and maintenance (particularly relating to machinery)
    • emergency plans
    • company and workers licences and permits
    • hazardous substances register and safety data sheets (SDS)
    • notes of meetings and committee minutes
    • health surveillance reports (as appropriate)

Remember that work health & safety is everyone’s responsibility.  That’s the law.

If there are no procedure in place, or if you are lacking in resources to deal with issues, it’s now time to tackle those head on so that workers can be confident that there are procedures in place to manage the hazards in your workplace.

Besides complying in a practical sense to eliminate or at least reduce the hazards and risks, there are many common sense things that you can do to foster a safety-friendly work environment.

  1. Encourage workers to identify hazards.  Make sure you let your workers know that this is what must be a normal practice.
  2. Recognise the efforts of workers who demonstrate initiative in reducing the hazards and improving safety for themselves or for others.
  3. Post your success on a WHS bulletin board where workers can see what is happening.  

If you want more resources to assist you in navigating the tricky maze of WHS management, contact us today!  Our experts are equipped to help answer your questions and provide you with the tools that you need to do your job well.

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