Don’t conduct high risk tasks without written work methods
Australian OHS/WHS law identifies area of work that is classified as High Risk. Where work carried out by companies comes under the category of high risk, written work methods with sequential task identification, associated hazards, initial risk ratings, controls, residual risk rating and a responsible person must be prepared and in place. The document is commonly referred to as a Safe Work Method Statement.
Don’t ignore accidents resulting in injury no matter how minor they may appear
Minor accidents resulting in injury if left untreated can escalate. If insurers are not notified of injuries they may not accept the claim meaning the company may have to cover the costs themselves. Employers also have a duty to report accidents that are classified as ‘serious’ under Worksafe guidelines to Worksafe for further investigation and follow up action consideration. Failure to report accidents is an offense and can result in considerable fines and penalties.
Don’t presume materials or equipment has adequate safe working load capacities
Materials and equipment safe work load capacities can vary depending on the manufacturer and the place of manufacture. Although materials and equipment from different manufacturers may look the same the safe working load capacities can vary so the specific specifications should always be checked prior to use.
Don’t skip plant or equipment servicing, maintenance or inspection intervals
Australian OHS/WHS law outlines that all plant & equipment must be maintained. It is important that companies with the responsibility of maintaining plant and equipment develop maintenance schedules and conduct maintenance as per the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Don’t develop detailed OHS procedures, plans & written work methods and not inspect and maintain them throughout the job
Companies place a lot of focus on OHS management in the preliminary or pre-start stage of projects and this focus can often times ware off as the works progress. It is important that project teams keep their focus on OHS management as works progress and not just at the start when the OHS management documents are being developed.
Posted by: Cathal Uniacke – firstname.lastname@example.org