5 Steps To a Safer Workplace
October is National Safe Work Month. This is a time for businesses to commit to building a safe and healthy workplace for their staff, free from physical and psychological danger. Safe Work Australia started National Safe Work month as an incentive to get businesses to focus on work health and safety. Every year there are still thousands of people getting injured or sick in the workplace, all across Australia.
Safe Work Australia is trying to combat this by spreading awareness and starting conversations about work health and safety in the month of October.
Let’s look at five steps you can take to make a safer workplace.
The first and most crucial step to creating a safer workplace is to implement training and a chain of command for workplace health and safety. Depending on the size of your workplace and the industry, you might need to elect and train a WHS Representative.
The Workplace Health and Safety Representative is elected by staff and represents the staff group and they act as the conduit between the company and its staff for all things work health and safety. They will liaise with individual staff members and department heads to identify health and safety risks and hazards and report these issues to management.
Queensland Health and Safety Representatives or HSRs are entitled to attend a five-day training course. The company must accommodate the HSR’s request for this training within three months of the request being made.
The Health and Safety Representative course must be completed by HSR’s before tehy are able to issue Provisional Improvement Notices (PINs).
Proper signage and equipment are a must for a safe workplace and not just because it’s a legal requirement. Having clear and easy to read signage and accompanying safety equipment is paramount to maintaining a safe work environment. In consultation with your health and safety representative and the work health and safety staff, you can establish what safety equipment requirements and signage you’ll have to meet in line with the Work Health Safety Act 2011.
You’ll also need all relevant staff to be trained on how to safely operate any required safety equipment. Proper training and functioning safety equipment saves lives and the workplace from unnecessary damage.
Policies and Procedures
Working with your health and safety staff, and in line with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, you should have clear policies and procedures in place to address any work health and safety issues that could arise.
Working on these procedures and policies and regularly reviewing them will enable you to ensure that health and safety risks are identified and minimised quickly. It will also help to reassure staff that work health and safety is a priority in the workplace and there are plans and systems in place to keep them safe.
Showing leadership in workplace health and safety helps to foster trust between the employees and employer. Being a leader in work health and safety means taking the extra steps to make sure everyone, whether they are employees, contractors, customers or visitors to the business is safe and feels their feedback is heard and taken into consideration.
Taking the initiative to offer additional training and keeping on top of new risks and changes in work health and safety is better for the company and for the staff.
It’s important everyone working within the business feels they are able to bring up any concerns they have about workplace health and safety. Creating an environment that fosters open dialogue looks just like having clear signage for workplace health and safety. People know who their HSR is and how to contact them regarding potential risks and issues and having an active HR manager who checks in with staff regarding mental health and workloads.
Taking these steps to create a workplace where everyone can engage in open dialouge about work, health and safety concerns makes for a safer workplace.
Workplace health and safety is paramount to a business’s success, safety and productivity. Showing your employees you’re working towards a safer workplace builds trust in the company and a better company culture.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your company’s workplace health and safety plans, you can learn more about training for your staff here, or get in touch with us. We’d be happy to help you find the right course for your staff.