Work Health and Safety Policy & Procedure

Work Health and Safety Policy & Procedure

Work Health and Safety Policy & Procedure

Revision Date: 10/04/2015 by Charter Australia

Policy

Charter Australia is committed to the proper management of Work health and safety. We will provide a safe and healthy workplace for our staff, students, contractors and visitors by having a planned and systematic approach to the management of work health and safety. We will provide the necessary resources for the successful implementation of this policy and its supportive procedures. Work health and safety will be managed through the Charter Australia management committee and in close consultation with staff, students, contractors and visitors.

This work health and safety policy has been developed using the Australian/New Zealand Standard 4801:2001 Work Health and Safety Management Systems as a guide. The policy is not intended to cover the entire scope of situations which may arise in a workplace that relate to safety or hazards. Charter Australia recognises this and we are committed to applying a continuous improvement approach to robust policy development.

The objectives of this policy are to ensure that:

  • Hazards and risks to health and safety are systematically identified, assessed and, where they cannot be eliminated, are effectively controlled;
  • Measures to control hazards and risks to health and safety are monitored and evaluated regularly;
  • Staff are engaged and sought to contribute to work health and safety matters affecting their health and safety at work;
  • Staff, students, contractors and visitors receive appropriate information, training and supervision to understand and carry out their responsibilities safely.

Responsibilities

The CEO is responsible for:

  • Providing a healthy and safe workplace for staff, students, contractors and visitors;
  • Ensuring that adequate resources are provided to meet the health and safety objectives and procedures of Charter Australia;
  • Ensuring that Charter Australia complies with all relevant work health, safety legislation and standards;
  • Providing appropriate health and safety policies and procedures to enable the effective management of health and safety and control of risks to health and safety;
  • Providing mechanisms which enable staff to be consulted on work practices, policies or procedures which may affect the work health and safety of staff;
  • Providing mechanisms to monitor and report regularly on the organisation’s health and safety performance.

The management committee is responsible for:

  • Assisting in the development, implementation and monitoring of health and safety policies and procedures;
  • Considering proposals for, or changes to, the workplace, policies, work practices or procedures which may affect the health and safety of staff;
  • Promoting awareness of health and safety across Charter Australia;
  • Ensuring that hazards in work or study areas are identified, risk assessed and controlled and that these risk control measures are monitored regularly and maintained;
  • Ensuring that staff and students under supervision are provided with the required information and training to carry out their work or study safely and effectively;
  • Providing leadership and setting a good example for staff and students in work health and safety matters.

Staff and students are responsible for:

  • Complying with relevant Charter Australia health and safety policies and procedures;
  • Obeying any reasonable instruction aimed at protecting their health and safety in the workplace;
  • Using any equipment provided to protect their health and safety in the workplace;
  • Assisting in the identification and assessment of hazards and implementation of hazard control measures;
  • Reporting any incident or hazard in the workplace to their manager;
  • Considering and providing feedback on any matters which may affect their health and safety;
  • Not being affected by alcohol or non-prescribed (illicit) drugs whilst at work or study.

Contractors are responsible for:

  • Following all Charter Australia policies and procedures;
  • Complying with all relevant work health and safety legislation, standards and codes of practice;
  • Ensuring that they do not, through their acts or omissions, do anything that could put at risk their own health or safety or that of Charter Australia staff, students, other contractors or visitors.

Procedures

Charter Australia will achieve its work health and safety objectives by applying procedures which assist managers, staff, students, contractors and visitors to carry out their responsibilities.

Hazard management procedures

The aim of this procedure is to provide a practical guide to the identification, assessment, control and monitoring of workplace safety hazards. A hazard is defined as a source or a situation with a potential for harm in terms of human injury or ill-health, damage to property, damage to the environment, or a combination of these[1]. Hazards may arise from a variety of sources within a workplace. Sources of hazards may include equipment, the work environment, work systems and work procedures.

Workplace hazards can be categorised as follows:

  • Physical e.g. noise, radiation, light, vibration;
  • Chemical e.g. poisons, dusts;
  • Biological e.g. viruses, plants, parasites;
  • Mechanical/electrical e.g. slips, trips and falls, tools, electrical equipment;
  • Psychological e.g. fatigue, violence, bullying.

In order to manage the workplace safety hazards at Charter Australia, the following steps are to be applied:

Step 1 – Identify hazards[2]

Select a method to identify hazards. This may include:

  • Asking the question, ‘Does this task / training activity / situation / event have the potential to harm a person?’ or ‘What if?’ For example, “What if a person were to attempt to lift this heavy object from the top shelf?”
  • Conduct a review of records of past accidents and near misses.
  • Conduct regular walk-through visual inspections of the workplace. Look at each task the workers do to see if any hazards are present, such as handling loads, using chemicals or equipment.
  • Observe workers performing their tasks and the activities involved, such as training activities, cleaning, maintenance and inspection, as more hazards may become apparent. This also provides an opportunity to see whether the workplace procedures for performing particular tasks are being followed by workers, or whether workers are taking short cuts.
  • Consult workers about any near misses or events that have not been reported, unreported minor injuries or health complaints.
  • Research the hazards associated with the relevant industry to identify the common potential hazards.
  • Conduct (or arrange for) basic testing, measuring and samples of the workplace environment.

When collecting information to identify hazards, consider the following:

  • Competency and level of training of workers and whether it is adequate;
  • How people actually use, clean, service or repair equipment and materials;
  • How equipment is used to complete tasks and where it is located;
  • How people could be hurt directly and indirectly by the various workplace aspects;
  • How waste materials are or should be disposed of;
  • The serviceability of substances, equipment, materials and premises, which may affect their safety; and
  • The long-term health effects rather than an immediate injury, for example, exposure to loud noise over a period of time.

Step 2 – Assess and prioritise the risks[3]

Assess the likelihood of an event occurring by asking questions such as:

  • How would circumstances arise that would make the event likely?
  • Where would the event be likely to occur?
  • When are people exposed to the hazard?
  • How does exposure vary over time or by location and personnel involvement?

When considering the likelihood of an event occurring, align it to the likelihood that most applies using the Likelihood Assessment Table in the Work Health and Safety Tools section.

Assess the potential consequence resulting from an incident by asking questions such as:

  • How much harm the hazard could do?
  • How many people it could affect?
  • Will the effects be short or long term?

When considering a potential consequence resulting from an incident, align it to the consequence that most applies using the Consequence Assessment Table in the Occupational Health and Safety Tools section.

Assess the level of risk, represented by a ‘risk rating’ by consideration of the relationship between the likelihood and consequence of an event or incident. To determine the level of risk, plot the assessed likelihood and consequence on the Risk Evaluation Matrix in the Work Health and Safety Tools section to identify the appropriate risk rating. The risk ratings are coloured to provide a visual prompt regarding the level of response required in determining control measures. The following risk ratings are provided:

L – Low Risk (Green)                        Flag at next management meeting and implement control measures through normal business processes.

M – Moderate Risk (Blue)                 Monitor and implement control measures as soon as possible.

H – High Risk (Yellow)                     Monitor closely and implement control measures as a matter of high priority.

E – Extreme Risk (Red)                    Stop the activity immediately and implement control measures before recommencing.

Step 3 – Determine control measures[4]

The best way to control a hazard is to eliminate it. This concept has led to the development of a hierarchy of control that starts with the elimination of the hazard as the preferred solution and ends with using personal protective equipment to protect the person in the event of a hazard being realised. Ideally, hazards should be controlled by addressing their root cause or the source of the hazard.

The following list describes the hierarchy of control in order of most effective to least effective as means of reducing the risk:

  • Eliminating the hazard from the workplace entirely is the best way to control it. An example of elimination is to remove a noisy machine from a quiet area or to sub-contract a function out to others who are better trained and equipped to undertake a particular task.
  • Substituting or modifying the hazard by replacing it with something less dangerous, for example, by using a paint which does not contain asthma-encouraging agents.
  • Isolating the hazard by physically removing it from the workplace or by cordoning off the area in which a hazard is used.
  • Engineering methods can be introduced to control the hazard at its source; tools and equipment can be redesigned, or enclosures, guards or local exhaust ventilation systems can be used.
  • Administrative controls are the management strategies that can be introduced to ensure the health and safety of employees. Administrative procedures can reduce exposure to hazardous equipment and procedures by limiting the time of exposure (eg. by job rotation) or varying the time when a particular procedure is carried out.
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) may also be used to reduce exposure to a hazard. PPE should not, where possible, be utilised as a primary control measure as its use neither reduces nor removes the hazard. In conjunction with other treatment strategies, PPE provides additional redundancy should primary control measures fail.

One or a number of controls may be used to address a particular hazard. In most cases, it is desirable that multiple strategies are used to allow for human error or oversight. In matters of technical speciality, it may be necessary to seek expert advice in the application of hazard controls. The hazard controls should be well documented in the Hazard Control Register located within the Work Health and Safety Tools section.

Step 4 – Implement control measures[5]

Once hazards are appropriately identified and assessed, the implementation of the determined controls is the next critical step. This requires planning and consultation with those who will carry implementation responsibility. It may also require the allocation of resources to ensure the planned implementation is not hindered or restricted.

The following considerations should be taken when planning hazard control implementation:

  • The implementation process should be appropriately documented;
  • The effect on work procedures should be considered to ensure controls are integrated into work routines;
  • Persons who will be effected by implementation should be identified and consulted in order to build acceptance and understanding of the control measures;
  • The review and adjustment to emergency plans and procedures to recognise the new hazard in the workplace and the associated control measures;
  • The competence and training requirement for personnel to implement the control measures;
  • The monitoring and supervision of the hazard controls to ensure measures are being implemented as planned; and
  • Staff are informed and inappropriate application of control measures is identified and corrected.

The implementation of control measures usually requires the development of an implementation plan. The implementation plan should:

  • Clearly state the hazard controls to be implemented;
  • Identify what actions need to be taken to implement the control measures;
  • Specify the resources required to implement the control measures;
  • Identify responsibilities for implementation of control measures;
  • Layout the timetable for implementation and completion; and
  • Specify a date for reviewing the control measures.

A Hazard Control Implementation Plan is located in the Work Health and Safety Tools section. This document should be completed as part of the implementation and planning process. This document should be retained to provide a source of information for review.

Step 5 – Monitor control measures[6]

The effectiveness of the hazard control measures to minimise the risk to personnel must be monitored in order to allow the opportunity to improve control measures which do not adequately address the hazard. Factors that may affect the likelihood and consequence of a risk may change over time, as may the factors that affect the suitability of the control measures. It is for this reason that monitoring must not be overlooked.

To monitor control measures, the following strategies can be applied:

  • Conduct a review of records including incident or near miss register;
  • Conduct walk-through and visual inspections of the workplace;
  • Consult workers about their experience with the implemented control measures and how effective they believe them to be; and
  • Conduct (or arrange for) basic testing, measuring and samples of the workplace environment to compare the results with those obtained prior to the implementation of the control measures.

Whilst monitoring hazard controls, the following question needs to be addressed:

  • Have the control measures been implemented as planned and are they being applied in the workplace?
  • Have the control measures been accepted by personnel and what is their opinion on their effectiveness?
  • Have there been any occurrences involving the hazards since the implementation of the controls?
  • Have the implemented control measures produced any unintended effects, such as changes to work routines or new hazards?

Step 6 – Review the hazard management process[7]

The review of the hazard management process is essential to ensure that the management of hazards universally remains relevant and in the right context over time. The review of the hazard management process is to be conducted not less than every two years. The essential elements of a review are:

  • The hazard management process for must be valid in the context of the operating environment of Charter Australia;
  • Improvements in the operating processes of Charter Australia must be reflected in the hazard management process;
  • The process should reflect best practice from an industry perspective in the identification, assessment and control of hazards; and
  • Stakeholders should be given the opportunity to contribute to the review in order to build capacity within Charter Australia to manage workplace safety hazards.

Further guidance on the review of risk management and hazard management processes can be found in AS/NZS 4360:2004 Risk Management. Tools to support the implementation of this hazard management process are provided in the Work Health and Safety Tools section. The following tools are available:

  • Likelihood Assessment Table
  • Consequence Assessment Table
  • Risk Evaluation Matrix
  • Hazard Control Register
  • Hazard Control Implementation Plan

[1] AS/NZS 4801:2001 Occupational Health And Safety Management Systems

[2] This procedure has been drawn and adapted from the Workplace Health and Safety Queensland Publication – Risk Management Code of Practice 2007, Supplement One – Control, Implement, Monitor and Review, Department of Employment and Industrial Relations, Queensland Government.

[3] This procedure has been drawn and adapted from the Workplace Health and Safety Queensland Publication – Risk Management Code of Practice 2007, Supplement Two – Control, Implement, Monitor and Review, Department of Employment and Industrial Relations, Queensland Government.

[4] This procedure has been drawn and adapted from the Workplace Health and Safety Queensland Publication – Risk Management Code of Practice 2007, Supplement Three – Control, Implement, Monitor and Review, Department of Employment and Industrial Relations, Queensland Government.

[5] This procedure has been drawn and adapted from the Workplace Health and Safety Queensland Publication – Risk Management Code of Practice 2007, Supplement Three – Control, Implement, Monitor and Review, Department of Employment and Industrial Relations, Queensland Government.

[6] This procedure has been drawn and adapted from the Workplace Health and Safety Queensland Publication – Risk Management Code of Practice 2007, Supplement Three – Control, Implement, Monitor and Review, Department of Employment and Industrial Relations, Queensland Government.

[7] This procedure has been drawn and adapted from the Workplace Health and Safety Queensland Publication – Risk Management Code of Practice 2007, Supplement Three – Control, Implement, Monitor and Review, Department of Employment and Industrial Relations, Queensland Government.

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