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8 steps to improving Work Health and Safety

Work Health and Safety obligations are for everyone. All Australian businesses are required to have a WHS Program (made up of a WHS Policy, WHS Plan and WHS Procedures) which is designed to manage the prevention of workplace injuries. As a business owner, employer, manager or employee, you have the responsibility to ensure your own safety and the safety of others at your workplace. Yes, that’s right. We are all in this together.

1. Survey

You need to survey your workplace and identify the hazards and potential risks to safety and health. Some examples of hazards to look out for are: Lifting, slip or trip, substances, noise, machinery – moving parts, sunburn, heat, tools and equipment, sharp objects, fatigue etc

2. Develop a Safety Plan

Once you have done that, map out a plan to either eliminate each hazard or minimize it as much as possible.

3. Regularly check

Once you have conducted the initial survey, you need to schedule in regular reviews to ensure the hazards are kept under control or if any new hazards have emerged.

4. Train your staff

Make sure your staff are well versed in all of your safety documentation and keep them in the loop with all updates and new developments. Arrange training for staff who lack necessary WHS skills and knowledge.

5. Communicate

Meet up and talk openly and regularly with your staff about Work Health and Safety. Encourage their feedback and ideas on any safety improvements that can be made.

6. Investigate close calls and incidents

Incidents are not the only time where an investigation needs to be carried out. A close call is a serious warning sign that cannot be ignored.

7. Keep a record of all Safety matters

Keep a record of everything, including documents, meetings, staff training, inspections, investigations, first aid etc. This information and statistics will help you to continually improve your workplace safety.

8. Create a ‘Safety Culture’

Employers and Managers are in the box seat in regards to creating any culture within an organisation. Be committed to creating and maintaining a safe work place and watch that culture filter right through your organisation.

If you are a small business owner, there is plenty of online assistance to streamline this process and make it much easier.

http://www.workcover.nsw.gov.au/media/publications/health-and-safety/small-business-and-workcover-making-it-easier

http://www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/about-vwa/small-business/i-have-a-new-small-business

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