Managing Safety in Your Business
A good Health and Safety system begins with a manual or policy document that:
Contains a Declaration of Purpose. The Health & Safety at Work Act 2015 seeks to change attitudes regarding workplace health & safety. You need to state your intentions for health & safety in your workplace and ensure that it is distributed to your staff.
Sets specific Health and Safety Objectives and includes a process for regular review and evaluation.
Details the Duties of the People Involved. The Act seeks a co-operative effort from the employer and all workers. It revolves around the words “Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking” ( PCBU). For PCBUs it means ensuring people are safe at work and for workers it means that nothing they do should endanger themselves or others while at work. The best way to achieve this is to appoint a designated Safety Officer to co-ordinate safety in your workplace – a middle man/women between you and your staff who will ensure that your safety system is working efficiently.
Specifies a Reporting Process. That identifies, monitors and controls workplace hazards. This includes accident/incident investigation and a rehabilitation plan. It also includes staff training and involvement. Staff involvement in the process is essential. This is best achieved through the formation of a Health and Safety committee.
Defines your Emergency Evacuation and Disaster Management Procedures. These must be clearly displayed in the workplace and staff must be aware of them.
Defines the location of First Aid kits, Fire Extinguishers and Exits. Again these must be clearly displayed in the workplace and staff must be aware of them.
Defines your Health and Safety policy regarding Contractors and Visitors to your workplace.
In addition it should contain a plan for Injury Management that outlines staff entitlements in the event of injury, the process involved and makes provision for dispute resolution.
REMEMBER – HEALTH AND SAFETY IS NOT A LUXURY IN TODAY’S WORKPLACE, IT IS A NECESSITY.