How to Make the Workplace Safe for Employees

Source: Pixabay.com

If you’re responsible for a business, you will need to create a safe working environment and maintain it. This is a crucial part of management because protecting the health and welfare of workers by providing a safe working environment and system of work is part of workplace health and safety requirements. It will also ensure the business runs smoothly and efficiently.

Employers also need to ensure that workers are aware of the health and safety procedures in place. Employees have a responsibility to abide by the rules and safety measures set out and work in a way that does not put themselves or others at risk.

So what should Management do?

A recent post on BusinessComputingWorld.co.uk offered a few tips. While Australian health and safety regulations may differ from the UK’s, we can also put these into practice,

1.Develop a safety plan established upon health and safety regulations. 

A manager needs to know the risks present in the workplace in order to minimise their harm or eliminate them.Once the hazards are known, a plan can be developed to make the workplace safer.

Once the safety plan has been drawn up, it needs to be shared with employees. They also need to have the tools in place to execute this plan, including having first aid kits on hand in case something goes wrong.

2. Examine the Workplace

Have a team in place to look at the workplace and identify hazards and risks. They also need to review these measures regularly,

You do not have to inspect the work site by yourself, you should have a team of specialists who know what the equipment and tools state should be. It is important to have regular checks, because even an out of date computer can lead to an accident, and can hurt the person who is using it. Or it can cause a fire, and in this case multiple persons could be hurt. Regular inspections will show if there are any risks posed by the equipment you and your employees use. Safety specialists can also examine the areas where people have access in case your clients come on site and they can inspect the work procedures.

Source: http://www.businesscomputingworld.co.uk/guidelines-for-organising-a-safe-working-environment/

3. Focus on Investigating Health Accidents Related to Work

The writer suggests investigating past accidents, incidents and health issues experienced by the people in the workplace. Determine whether health issues are related to the workplace and investigate near misses, to determine if there are any areas that need to be addressed.

4. Ensure Employees Are Properly Trained

Ensure employees have been properly trained. In the construction industry this includes general construction induction training, site specific training and any high risk training that may be needed.

General construction induction training is mandatory in Australia, to teach workers how to work safely in the construction industry. This training can be completed quickly and conveniently online from wherever you are. Once complete, the White Card accreditation gained is nationally recognised, so you can work anywhere in Australia without having to repeat the training.

5. Help Employees Manage Their Rehabilitation

No matter how committed to safety you are, sometimes an accident can still happen. In this case its crucial that you help employees manage their rehabilitation.

This step should be part of any safety plan, because it shows your employees that you support them in case they suffer an injury or accident when working. You will have to work with the employee who faces health issues happened at their workplace, because it is in your interest they to come back at work. Even if the employees experience a health issue because of an outside the work factor, you should still support them, because it will help them recover faster. When an employee experiences work related health issues you should have a plan on how their duties will be relocated.

Read more http://www.businesscomputingworld.co.uk/guidelines-for-organising-a-safe-working-environment/

Worker Burned after Scissor Lift Makes Contact with Powerlines

Source: Pixabay.com

A worker was seriously burned when the scissor lift he was operating made contact with power-lines in Sydney’s west.

The man, in his twenties, was treated on the scene and then airlifted to Royal North Shore Hospital in a serious condition.

The man was inside the scissor lift when it struck power-lines.

The incident is being investigated by SafeWork NSW but it highlights the importance of being particularly cautious and prepared when working near power-lines.

Find out more http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/05/man-suffers-serious-burns-lift-strikes-powerlines-sydneys-west/#.Wx47MyAlE1k

Company Gets $45,000 Fine over Workplace Injury

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A Melbourne demolition company was recently fined $45,000 for an incident that left one worker with an amputated leg.

The worker’s leg was crushed when the worker was helping load a piece of concrete into the bucket of a machine when the bucket tipped, crushing the man’s leg which he then had to have amputated.

WorkSafe said all employers should prioritise the safety of their workers, especially on high risk work sites such as demolition sites.

Workers need to be trained adequately, beginning with white card training and site specific training. Young and inexperienced workers should also be supervised.

Find out more at: https://sourceable.net/demolition-company-fined-over-workplace-injury/

Company fined for Workplace Incident involving Hydraulic Ram

A horrific accident has taken place on a construction site in Ballarat during which a worker’s face was crushed by a hydraulic arm.

Although the incident happened at a brick company and not on a building site, it could easily have occurred within the construction industry because there are many similar hazards shared between the 2 industries.

The accident happened when the worker in question dropped some bricks. A machine ram came down on the worker’s shoulders. This caused his face to be forced into the fallen bricks that he was trying to recover.

The man suffered a broken scapula, broken jaw as well as multiple fractures to his right elbow and face.

This was the second serious incident for the employer who was fined $55,000 six years earlier but had still failed to implement the necessary safety precautions to ensure workers were safe by providing safe operating plant and procedures, let’s hope they have finally learnt their lesson.

This excerpt from an article on SafetyCUlture.com.au explains what happened:

worksafe-vic-logoA brick company has been given a fine of $90,000 for a workplace incident where the face of a worker was crushed by a hydraulic ram.

The ram came down on the shoulders of the worker and forced his face into the fallen bricks that he was attempting to recover.

He was transported to hospital with a broken right scapula, broken jaw, and multiple fractures to his right elbow and face and needed surgery.

The employer’s lawyers pleaded guilty in the Ballarat Magistrates’ Court to one charge under sections of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004.

The court heard that the same company was fined $55,000 and convicted in 2007 for a similar accident where a worker received significant injuries; it was found that they had failed to provide and maintain a safe operating plant.

The WorkSafe prosecutor said that the worker had been working alone in the packaging area when he had turned off the “strapping machine” the clear bricks that had fallen underneath the hydraulic ram.

Another worker turned it back on not realising that he was retrieving the bricks.

Read more at: http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/09/brick-company-fined-for-workplace-injury/

This incident is a reminder to employers that they have a duty to provide a safe work environment and safe system of work to employees.

Employers also have a responsibility to ensure that all operating plant and procedures are safe. They need to do this by first identifying the hazards associated with these plant and procedures and attempting to eliminate them.

Employers need to assess all the risks involved. If the hazards cannot be removed, the risk involved must be minimised as much as possible. Employers need to plan and develop safety control measures to handle plant and machinery hazards and implement these on site.

Workers should be adequately trained on safety procedures and on general construction safety in order to remain safe while working on the hazardous construction site.