Ensuring that workplace safety is at the core of your workplace culture is an effective way to help reduce injuries. By making everyone responsible for safety at work, you can shift the ownership of hazards and risk identification to everyone in your business.
We recommend regularly communicating the importance of hazard identification and reporting to all staff to ensure that it remains top of mind for everyone. Posters and clever messaging can also help. If everyone in your business is constantly aware of potential risks or hazards, then your workplace will be much safer.
Hazard identification is a key function of work health and safety practitioners. We have put together a few tips to help increase your ability to identify hazards.
How to identify hazards:
1. Get everyone involved and ensure that staff are working together to eliminate hazards. Regular training will keep your employees alert and help them to understand that hazards can take a variety of forms.
2. Ensure that you understand the hazards that contributed to recent injuries and be diligent with their removal and on-going management.
3. There are some common injuries that have an impact on many workplaces. Be sure to understand the following hazards associated with high-risk activities:
- manual handling
4. Conduct regular training for employees and management. Organisations with good safety leadership have a lower incidence of injury.
5. Monitor your organisation’s processes and systems and be aware of any that may cause fatigue.
6. Ensure that hazardous substances are stored, handled and transported correctly.
7. Have sound levels monitored regularly.
8. Regular workplace inspections will aid in hazard identification.
9. A clean and tidy work area will reduce the risk of injury.
10. Review physical working conditions to ensure optimal lighting and ergonomics.
11. Any employee who is in a remote, isolated or confined environment, or any employee who is performing high-risk work, should be monitored regularly.
12. Use a workplace inspection template to aid hazard identification.
13. Near-miss reporting can be useful to highlight hazards and reduce injuries.
If you are able to build a culture of safety within your organisation, everyone will realise they are responsible for the safety of themselves and their workmates. This understanding will aid hazard identification. Make it a priority in your organisation this month.
Disclaimer – these articles are provided to supply general safety information to people responsible for OHS in their organisation. They are general in nature and do not substitute for legal and/or professional advice. We always suggest that organisations obtain information specific to their needs. Additional information can be found at www.workcover.nsw.au
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