Like many other countries, regulations on workplace safety in Australia tend to be classified by the type of industry and the state where the business is operating from. However, despite the differences that may exist between a school or a factory, for example, there can be some similarities regarding what considerations need to be thought out to ensure that workplace safety standards are upheld.
With that in mind, the following considerations should help you in figuring out what to pay attention to when you’re in the process of establishing your workplace safety standards:
The first thing you need to tackle is to assess the risk of an incident happening in your workplace due to hazardous materials, improper work environment, and other circumstances depending on your work industry. A team should be assembled from multiple functions so that they can both provide a set of fresh eyes for work conditions outside their primary job function as well as insight based on their experience working in their role in your company.
Remember, after a report has been released, actions need to be taken based on these results. For example, if an assessment on stair safety in a hospital found that the floorings make it a high risk for slips, then improvements to the stairs should be made to increase slip resistance. Work conditions that have a high risk of causing an accident should be immediately improved until zero accidents could occur.
Assessment should also be done periodically to check whether the improvements decreased the occurrence of such incidents and to see if a new high-risk work condition arises from these changes.
Even as well-prepared as one can be when it comes to maintaining workplace safety, there are still factors that are difficult to control – and thus, it’s best to have a first-aid treatment plan in place for when such incidents do transpire.
Depending on your industry, a first-aid treatment plan could be as simple as having a first-aid box and employees who have attended first-aid training, or it might necessitate having a highly competent medical team on site.
Determining which plan is best suited to your workplace conditions rely a lot on the results of your hazard risk assessment, making it imperative for you to do this first before deciding what first-aid treatment plan should be in place.
Besides preparing for an excellent first-aid treatment plan, another way to decrease the risk of incidents happening is through consistently running safety drills. This is an especially appropriate line of action if your workplace is at high risk for situations where emergency evacuation is a response to an incident. For most workplaces, this means fire drills, although depending on your location and industry, it may also include safety drills for earthquakes.
The most important thing about safety drills is that you need to make sure that you conduct it consistently – not on a predictable schedule, of course, but you should aim to do it a certain number of times a year. Otherwise, people who would be experiencing the emergency situation would forget about the protocols in such cases.
Good waste management practice is an integral part of workplace health, but it can also affect workplace safety, especially if your company operates a factory. However, even a restaurant would end up having a high risk of an incident happening if it doesn’t properly manage its waste.
How you store and dispose of your waste matters a lot since improperly stored liquid waste could end up becoming a slip hazard, while toxic and corrosive materials could end up causing severe injuries or affecting your employees’ health. Of course, if you’re dealing with waste that could endanger your employees, it is even more crucial for you to make sure that you set up a good waste management system for your workplace.
Workplace safety considerations can differ from one industry to another. But there are several circumstances that would always occur regardless of what business you are operating. The above four considerations should be your starting point when you’re trying to create a safety-first culture in your workplace.