How to deal with common work, health and safety issues

Workplace Safety Services have developed a WHS Toolkit to help you on this journey. The WHS Act outlines that an organisation, who has employees, need to ensure the health and safety, so far as reasonably practical, of their workers. This includes employees, volunteers, contractors and other people on the site. The Act focuses on organisations taking a risk management approach. The Toolkit will take you through a number of steps to help you identify risks in the workplace and reduce the risk by putting some simple control measures in place.

We suggest that before an incident happens you consider possible circumstances for when this might happen. By assessing the risk and thinking of possible ways to reduce it then you may be able to make changes to your site or activities before something happens, to reduce the likelihood of injury, illness or damage to property. Things you may want to consider include the physical set-up of any meeting spaces and if there are easy exits from the room, do staff and volunteers understand warning signs of aggression, are there always other staff available on site when meeting with people who are potentially violent or aggressive and are the any likely triggers at your site to cause someone to become violent or aggressive.

When you consider these points you will be able to begin putting in some ‘control measures’ to reduce the likelihood or consequence of something happening. This process should be documented and communicated to all staff.

Yes it does. The WHS Act 2011 defines the term ‘workers’. In the context of the legislation Workers includes many types of roles including paid staff, volunteers, contractors, sub-contractors, labour hire staff and work experience students. This means that the organisation has a responsibility to ensure their health and safety so far as reasonably practical. It also means that volunteers need to also have a responsibility to take reasonable care of their own health and safety. 

Firstly, you need to make sure that the person is okay and ensure that First Aid is administered. All sites should have a First Aid Kit and direction for access to medical care, if there is not a trained first-aider on site at the time. All injuries should be reported immediately to Priority Care for assistance with medical treatment if needed. Following this and within 48 hours, the injury should be reported to Allianz if Workers Compensation may be payable. Allianz have an online reporting facility or you can call them on 1300 360 595 or email firstreport@allianz.com.au

The WHS Act 2001 outlines that we need to consult with workers when considering a range of factors about their safety. The key is that we are talking with employees, volunteers, contractors and any other workers on our site about their safety. These discussions should be around thing such as hazards in the workplace and what controls we should be putting in place to reduce the risk. Consultation can be done performed in 3 different ways and it is important that workers are involved in the decision on how you consult and also around what works for your site. The WHS Toolkit can assist you to identify ways that you may already be doing this and how to formalise this process.