Safety in Your Workplace | Louise Hughes

shutterstock_134872523

May 15th, 2015

Just this morning I had a call from a person who was concerned about some of the unsafe things he had observed around his workplace. These included a leaking roof, unsafe work practices, poor staff moral and poor electrical wiring. He felt that he needed to do before something really dangerous occurred. The advice he wanted was simple – how could he prevent something from really going wrong.

We talked in general terms about what could be done to improve the situation but agreed that things couldn’t stay as they were. He decided to start by talking to the staff, listing the obvious issues and to get together as much information as he could from their existing systems to see what they already had in place. We agreed to meet in the coming weeks to undertake a formal WHS audit of what they have as the second step.

His call reinforced to me that so many small businesses are unsure of what they need to do to comply with the WHS laws and prompted me to put together a few dot points for this edition of our newsletter.

General advice

Ensuring that you provide your workers’ with a safe place to work is important for the success of your business. Why? Because safe, happy and health staff stay with you longer, they work better and are more productive.

Knowing about and having an understanding your state or territory’s WHS legislation will help you to avoid unnecessary costs and damage to your business caused by workplace injury and illness. If you want to reduce health and safety hazards in your workplace but don’t know where to begin, there are simple steps that will allow you to concentrate your efforts as well as help your business to be prepared in all situations.

  • Having the right attitude towards the safety of your workers, contractors and visitors is a really important
  • Talk to your staff to find out what they think the WHS risks are in your workplace – they will see things that you don’t. Awareness is the first step to prevention
  • WHS shouldn’t be seen as an additional cost – it is better to think of it as one of the factors in running a good business
  • It is much better to deal with health and safety issues before they escalate
  • If you have a staff meeting, make sure that you have WHS as a standing item on your agenda.
  • Remember that initially it can cost you more to implement safe practices and install safety equipment but the effect of ignoring safety in your workplace can be potentially expensive and fatal.

    So can I get help?

    Do you know where you can find out more about what your WHS obligations really are?
    There are some really good free resources available to you whether you are public or private sector employers here in the ACT. Alternatively call our office and we can work with you to tailor services to help you.