Monthly Archives: July 2015

What Nobody Told Me – Site Safety Inspections

site inspection OHS Inspection  safety walks,

Step 1 – Find the Hazards

Start by talking. It’s a legal requirement that safety is discussed in workplaces, and you gain great insights into safety issues and solutions from your workers.

Regularly scheduled meetings, such as tool box talks, production meetings, team meetings are a great way of identifying safety issues.

Make a list of the possible hazards workers are exposed to on site.

Not all injuries are immediately obvious. Some are only discovered over time, such as illnesses caused by long-term exposure to certain chemicals so consider whether these are a hazard in your workplace.

Go through any injury records you have (if you don’t currently have a register of injuries start one now – it’s legally required that you keep one). You’ll be able to see if any problem areas exist, or if any patterns are emerging.

Step 2 – Assess the Risks

After you’ve made your list of possible hazards you need to make a judgment about the seriousness of each hazard, and decide which hazard requires the most urgent attention.

Take a close look at each item on your list. What is the possible outcome if things go wrong?

Are we talking about scratches and bruises, or is there potential for someone to be seriously injured or even killed?

Is it an everyday thing, or something that only comes up now and then, giving you more time to find a solution? Are there things you can do right now, as a short term fix, while you work out a permanent solution?

Once you’ve worked out which hazards have the greatest potential to cause injury or disease, or are a risk to public safety, mark them as your high priority hazards. After that, rank them in priority order from highest to lowest.

Step 3 – Fix the Problems

When you’ve prioritised the hazards on your list, you need to start immediately on the most important step of all – fixing the problems.

Your first aim should be to totally remove the risk. For example, if the risk involves a hazardous chemical, try to find a safe alternative to the chemical. If there is a slipping or tripping hazard in your workplace, see if it can be removed.

If it’s not possible to totally remove a risk, you need to find ways to control it. You might have to alter the way certain jobs are done, change work procedures, or as a last resort provide protective equipment.

You’ll often find there are simple solutions to many of the hazards in your workplace. Most of them will be inexpensive, and some will cost nothing at all. Of course, sometimes there are no straightforward solutions.

There are a number of options you can take in that event:

Check Worksafe publications, alerts and guidance for your industry topics and see if there is a documented solution to the problem.

Talk to other businesses in your industry to see how they handled similar problems.

Seek assistance from the principal contractor on site on how to go about solving the issue (if applicable)

Seek professional advice from consultants or industry associations.

This article was taken in part from the Worksafe Victoria ‘Do Your Own Inspection’ webpage

Posted by Cathal Uniacke – cathal@custodiansafety.com.au

swms, writing swms, ohs, ohs melbourne, whs, occupational health and safety, health and safety, ohs

How to write a SWMS

 

swms, writing swms, ohsHere’s 6 steps we use when writing Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS).

1. Title Page

When preparing the title page of a SWMS it is important the following information is available to the reader.

  • Work Activity
  • Project Name
  • Project Address
  • Client
  • Persons involved in the development & Approval of the SWMS
  • Company Name
  • Company Address
  • Company ABN
  • Equipment Used
  • Training/Licensing
  • Hazardous Substances
  • Permits to Work
  • High Risk Work
  • PPE Required
  • Legislation/Standards Referenced when preparing document

2. Risk Matrix

A SWMS should contain a risk matrix that outlines how the hazards will be assessed and rated in terms of consequence and likelihood and what each rating corresponds to in a matric table.

  • Step 1. – Identify the credible consequence for each unwanted event
  • Step 2. – Determine the likelihood of the event occurring and it resulting in the consequence
  • Step 3. – Utilise the risk matrix to identify the risk and risk rating.

3. SWMS Body

The body of the SWMS should be tabular in form and contain the following headings

  • Activity Step – 1,2,3,4 etc.
  • Activity Process – Job Planning/Induction, Initial Site R.A, Delivery of Materials
  • Possible Activity Hazards – Crush injury from plant collisions, Impact injury from falling loads, Electrocution via Overhead Lines etc.
  • Initial Risk Score – The corresponding risk score for the hazard, before controls, from the matrix as calculated by the person preparing the SWMS
  • Control Measures – What measures are being taken to reduce both the consequence and likelihood of the risk. Control measures should be identified in line with the hierarchy of control. Elimination – Substitution – Engineering – Admin – PPE
  • Residual Risk Score – The corresponding risk score for the hazard, after controls, from the matrix as calculated by the person preparing the SWMS
  • Control Responsibility – Who has the responsibility of implementing the controls

4. SWMS Work Team Sign On

All employees involved in the works activities must sign onto the SWMS document to acknowledge:

  • They have been given the opportunity of SWMS input
  • Read and agree with the contents
  • Agree to use and work kin accordance with the SWMS
  • Will stop immediately if the SWMS cannot be followed

This section is usually tabular in form and with the following headings:

  • Employee Name
  • Employee Signature
  • Date

5. SWMS Amendments Page

A blank SWMS body page with the same headings as the SWMS body above should be available in the rear of the SWMS or at the end of the SWMS initial body to allow for additional/variation work activity SWMS input.

6. SWMS Amendments Work Team Sign On Page

All employees involved in the additional/variation works must review the amended SWMS section and sign on to the SWMS amendment sign on page.

Posted By: Cathal Uniacke – cathal@custodiansafety.com.au