The workplace health and safety obligations for employers vary widely depending on the type of work conducted by the business. For example, the safety issues faced by a construction company are very different to those faced by an accounting firm, which are again different to those faced by a beauty salon.
Despite the differences, there are four fundamental elements of workplace health and safety that apply to every workplace regardless of industry. Please download the infographic here.
Step 1: Establish Workplace Safety
Identify hazards in the workplace that may harm workers
Create and implement a written policy with clear guidelines about what is expected from all parties This policy should be signed and dated by the employer, and be easily available to employees at all times. For example, display it around the workplace on noticeboards
Include staff in consultation about safety in the workplace to increase awareness of safety issues and improve the safety culture in the workplace
Step 2: Manage Hazards
Complete a risk assessment that assesses any possible situation that could happen in the workplace. Things like employees using a ladder to access objects from a height, or electrical cords running down a hallway should be considered a risk and minimised as much as possible
When looking to manage hazards, it is important to focus on likelihood of an injury and its severity to determine the best way to minimise its risk
Step 3: Train and Supervise Staff in Workplace Health and Safety
Training of employees can be as a collective, such as via mass emails or at toolbox talks on company wide updates which are relevant to all staff
A more specific and focused effort can be paid to individual jobs or tasks, with training aimed at employees that are directly involved in these tasks and not the whole company
Step 4: Review and Revise
Regularly review the practices aimed at increasing safety and determine what is working well, as well as what is not working and needs to be addressed
Ultimately, are the practices working to eliminate risk?
The steps outlined above are key elements of workplace health and safety and should be implemented in every workplace. For help with employment relations or workplace health and safety, contact Employsure on 1300 651 415.
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