Tag Archives: OHS Consulting

OHS Blogs & Briefs E-Booklet

OHS Consultant, OHS Consultant Melbourne,

This e-booklet has OHS management tips I’ve handpicked from blogs and articles I have written.

Why read this e-booklet?

I’ve carefully selected these blogs and briefs because:

  • The individual blogs and briefs can be read in less than 5 minutes
  • The actionable blogs & briefs can solve OHS management issues your business may be having in a day or at least in the same week. You don’t have to wait.
  • I’ve proven the actionable blogs and briefs work with my existing clients and unfortunately many of them my clients and past employers have learned the hard way.

Who is this e-booklet for?

This e-booklet is for businesses whose employees are at an increased risk of injury due to the nature of the work tasks they must undertake as part of their employment.

Our clients currently work in commercial and civil construction, manufacturing, waste management, rail, retail, facilities management and heavy engineering.

Solving OHS issues can be a mind boggling labyrinth of out of date and non-compliant information. This e-booklet contains a few briefs that may help you out!

Download here, feel free to share and I trust you will benefit. Enjoy!

Blogs & Briefs e-booklet 2020

How OHS Consultants Help Companies in High Risk Industries

  • Contractors working for government/large organisations must submit OHS documents for pre-approval
  • Level of detail required by government/large organisations can be high
  • Contractors can find preparing the documents, frustrating, difficult & time consuming
  • The client can also find the process frustrating & time consuming
  • Contract pre-start difficulties can mean a bad start to a working relationship
  • Custodian Safety Services have the capabilities to prepare documents to what’s required of a fee for service basis
  • Custodian Safety Services have helped a number of contractors, often by referral via the large contractor, achieve document compliance and start the client off with a healthy working relationship.
  • This is a win/win scenario for all parties and we will continue to learn and develop this service offering in the future based on our experiences and strive to maintain our high level of success rate in the future.

What Nobody Told Me – Hiring an OHS Consultant

5 things to Consider

Placing your company’s OHS management into the wrong hands can lead to accident’s resulting in injury and/or property damage, inconvenient and avoidable work stoppages and contract delays where clients expect a high level of compliance from contractors. It pays to do your due diligence when choosing an OHS consultancy. Within this article we discuss 4 critical components in choosing the right OHS consultant for your business.

1.      Reputation & Quality of Work

Outsourcing your OHS management may have a lot of benefits, but it can also be a significant risk if not put into the right hands. You want an OHS consultancy whom can deliver what’s required with a high level of quality and whom you can trust and establish a long term relationship with. The types of questions you may want to ask include:

  • Do they have any solid client references from other similar sized clients like you?
  • What success stories can they share?
  • What industries do they get majority of their business from?
  • What areas do they specialise in?

2.      Customer Service & Support

Customer service during the purchase phase is paramount and all good professional service providers will assist in the planning, development, training, trouble shooting, maintenance and upgrading of a service. You should expect to receive a detailed proposal in writing for large jobs or a quotation in writing for smaller jobs. The types of questions that should be answered in the proposal/quotation prior to project completion include:

  • Job Delivery Time frame
  • Fixed Fee Guarantee
  • Professional Indemnity & Insurance
  • Confidentiality
  • Conflicts of Interest
  • Exclusions
  • Availability

 3.      Pricing & Fee Structures

In the OHS consulting services industry it is common place for OHS service providers to charge ‘day rates’ without giving an accurate assessment of how long (or short) a job might be. This ‘open cheque book’ type of fee structure has turned many businesses away from using OHS consultants in the past as they experienced job over runs and often pay far in excess that what was originally forecast. The types of questions you may want to ask include:

  • Do you provide a fixed all inclusive job proposal/quotation?
  • Can you set and guarantee a job completion date?
  • Do you take on jobs under $500 in value?

4.      Responsiveness & Dependability

Business moves fast. With that you need to have professional service providers such as accountants, IT and finance brokers to be both responsive and dependable. OHS consulting is no different and you need a provider that can solve your issue or assist your efforts when the time arises in the quality expected from a professional service provider.

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

Dogman Required?

ohs, dogman, rigging, ohs melbourne

The debate over whether a dogman is required to sling and lift loads in Australian workplaces has raged on and on countrywide for quite some time now.

Every week you can rest assured that a workplace manager and a client/contractor or employees are at odds about the requirement of a dogman to sling and lift loads.

Unfortunately if we are to consider the issue of dogman requirements across all Australian workplaces and in all Australian states there is no definite yes/no answer to the issue.

If a dogman is needed in ‘every instance of lifting a load’ then every nurse in every hospital and aged care facility should have dogman training which is currently not the case. However, in many construction sites and steel foundry’s dogman training is a pre requisite prior to performing any load slinging/lifting.

Is a bundle of steel being lifted and the persons below any more critical that a patient and a nearby nurse?

rigging, dogman, ohs melbourne, ohs

To help with this commonly encountered workplace dilemma here are a few notes on Dogman requirements we always use to provide direction:

  • If there needs to be an assessment made as to the weight of the load, a dogman is required.
  • If there is a need to make a selection of the lifting equipment (sling/chain) needed to lift the object a dogman is required.
  • If there is a need to work out where and how the lifting chain/sling is to be attached to the load a dogman is required.
  • If the load leaves the sight of the person operating the crane/hoist and whistles or radio signals are used a dogman is required.

The exact requirements on whether a dogman is required or not will continue to vary from state to state based on legislation and industry to industry based on expectations but hopefully you might find these short notes useful.

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

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

4 Reasons Businesses Invest in OHS

images

Ethics

It may come as warm and welcome information that in the current Australian business world of high insurance premiums, active and aggressive workplace safety watchdogs and militant and uncompromising worker unions the number one reason our OHS consulting services have been utilised by businesses is the business owners and managers desire to keep their employees and persons under their control safe when at work and ensure they return home to their families and loved ones in the same condition as they left.

Pro-Active Workplace Safety Enforcement Body

Australia and in particular Victoria where we conduct majority of our consulting is home to a very proactive workplace safety enforcement body, Worksafe. In times of high employment, job creation and job growth an efficient and effective workplace watchdog is paramount.

However, as an employer the outcomes of OHS related enforcement notices, fines and court action against businesses can be extremely detrimental to ongoing business, growth and development and can leave a lasting black mark against any business.

Injury Claims Resulting in Increased Insurance Premiums

In business protecting the downside is of key importance. Insurance cover against potential financial losses due to property damage, theft, legal proceedings or worker injury claims is essential.

However lodging insurance claims and in particular worker injury claims which are known to spiral upwards in costs and continue for long periods can have knock on effects with regards to future insurance premiums paid by businesses.

This is due to algorithms being created by the insurance companies for each claim and tagged to the claimant (business). As a business grows so too do the algorithms/s meaning the businesses insurance premium also increases.

Threat of Industrial Action by Unions

Australia and in particular Victoria where we conduct most of our consulting is home to some of the most militant and uncompromising unions. Unions can at times when they are not being heard look to pick holes and find gaps in businesses operating procedures and service equipment with regards to OHS and use these instances of ‘non-compliance’ as political leverage in an attempt to be better heard.

It is important that businesses commence works and maintain works while keeping up with all OHS procedures during operations and maintaining all plant and equipment required during services so to reduce the likelihood of unions focusing on OHS related holes or gaps in their business operations and causing what are sometimes unnecessary delays.

For smart businesses it’s not about the costs of effective OHS management systems and procedures, it’s about the costs of not having effective OHS management and procedures.

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

Importance of Trust in OHS Consulting

Trust

As Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Management continues to diversify and evolve it is difficult for OHS consultants/consultancies to constantly remain up to date and current across all industries. I believe it is vitally important for the image of OHS consulting as a whole that when a consultant/consultancy is presented with consulting opportunities that do not fall within their current capabilities that the consultant/consultancy refers the client to a more suited service provider.

This referral has a number of benefits; firstly the client receives a better service with regards to their initial issue, secondly the consultant/consultancy that made the initial contact does not risk damaging their image by working outside of their capabilities and delivering poor service and finally a positive image of consultants/consultancy is maintained or even improved.

Our consultancy recently faced a scenario where a client approached us about the provision of a service outside of our current capabilities. We referred another consultancy within our network whose capabilities matched the client’s needs. This referral resulted in the three benefits listed above. The direct benefit we received was that the OHS consultancy we referred repeated the process and directed a client to us whose needs were within our capabilities. The aforementioned scenario was a win for both clients and consultancy.

Referring clients to other OHS consultancies may not appear too appealing to the consultancy at first, however, with the underlying benefits of doing so apparent, I believe it is important to trust that the referred consultant/consultancy will do the same and create an ongoing win for client and consultancy and reinforce the value of having OHS consultants across all industries.

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

OHS Management Plan

Mnagement System

What is an OHS management Plan and what should it include?

An OHS management Plan is a combination of commitments from company management in the form of policies, organisation arrangement, assigning of responsibilities to internal company management and specific details and methods in the form of procedures and administrative documentation on how these commitments will be realised.

A typical contents page from an OHS Safety Management Plan can be seen below:

·         Document Control

·         Organisational Structure

·         Project Details and Introduction

·         Sub-Contractor Management

·         Company Policies

Health & Safety Policy

Environmental Policy

Industrial Relations Policy

Harassment Policy

Anti-Discrimination Policy

Rehabilitation Policy

Alcohol & Drugs Policy

·                                Roles & Responsibilities

            Managing Director

            Works Supervisor

·                                Risk Management

            Risk Rating

            Safe Work Method Statements

                         Hazard Reporting

·                               Safe Work Procedures

            Company Induction

            Incident & Accident

            First Aid

            Emergency Procedure

            Hazardous Substances

            Electrical Equipment

            Manual Handling

            Permits to Work

            Personal Protective Equipment

            Environmental Impacts

            Worker Health Issues

            Pre-Existing Medical Conditions

            Young Workers

·                               OHS Training

           Training & Toolbox Talks

           Employee Consultation

           Health and Safety Representatives

·                               Performance Monitoring

           Statistics

                        Performance Evaluation     

·                              Corrective & Preventive Actions

           Corrective action

                        Preventive Action

·                              Forms & Registers

           SWMS01 Template

           FOR-01 Worksite Accident/Incident Report Form

           REG-01 Incident/Accident Register of Injuries

           REG-02 Chemicals Register

           REG-03 Plant Register

           REG-04 Electrical Test & Tag Register

           REG-05 PPE Register

                       FOR-02 Toolbox Talk

 

An effectively implemented OHS management Plan will:

·         Identify and minimize hazards associated with your organisation’s business

·         Reducing incidents, accidents and injuries in the workplace

·         Reducing risks of legal action for worker’s compensation and liability claims

·         Providing due diligence evidence should an incident or accident occur

·         Boost Staff Morale

·         Allow staff to concentrate on basic business activities

·         Improve performance and productivity

We hope you found this blog enlightening. If so, please don’t be afraid to comment below. Thanks for reading.

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

Aged Care – Australia’s Riskiest Industry?

Aged Care

It may come as a surprise but the Victorian Aged care Industry has the highest percentage of workplace injury claims in Victorian according to the major insurers.

However, unlike many of the cases in other industries such as construction and manufacturing the Injuries claimed for in the Aged Care industry are of a chronic nature and are often carried into the most recent workplace from previous employment.

Unfortunately for Aged Care Facilities due to the current WorkCover system in Australia, the most recent employer of the injured employee will have to take on the burden of administering & managing any claims made by employees on their pay roll at the time of the claim.

With this in mind Aged Care facilities need to be fully aware of their OHS obligations towards their employees and ensure every workplace risk management control is considered and put in place where practicable.

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

A Lesson from Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction?

Vince Vegas

Ineffective insurance claim management in businesses and insurance companies can result in the handling costs of any adverse event experienced by a business to far exceed what was initially anticipated.

The one thing nobody can do is stop the clock and rewind. With this in mind the only option is adverse event containment in the form of quickly assessed, managed and closed out cases.

There is a movie scene that always comes to my mind when I think of this process. The scene is part of Quentin Tarantino’s hugely successful Pulp Fiction from 1994. The particular scene involves Vince Vega, played by John Travolta, who accidentally shoots informant Marvin in the face (adverse event). His partner that day, Jules Winnfield, played by Samuel L Jackson, knew that stopping the clock and rewinding was not an option so he called in The Wolf, played by Harvey Keitel (Claims Manager). The Wolf, an experienced and knowledgeable claims manager contained the situation.

This scene, if a little grotesque, is an example of effective adverse event management. All businesses and insurance companies should have access to their very own ‘Wolf’ to act quickly in assessing, managing and effectively close out unforeseen adverse events.

If businesses and insurance companies follow Jules Winnfield’s example and bring in the right guy at the right time, the consequences and handling costs of adverse events can certainly be contained.

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