Safety Basics Program

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SAFETY
BASICS
NSCA Safety Basics Program helps
you reach safety compliance with:
 Customised review of your safety needs
 Dedicated support from expert safety advisors
 Helping you reach safety compliance
 Available FREE to NSCA Corporate members
Get started today!
FREE for corporate members
nsca.org.au | 1800 655 510
What is the Safety Basics Program?
The Safety Basics program has been developed to help NSCA members build a basic safety
management system for their business or organisation.
The Safety Basics program is available free to NSCA corporate members and
includes:
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This guide to the safety basics program
Safety assessment checklist
Up to 3 hours telephone time with a WHS/OHS Advisor to review the results of the
checklist and work through the Safety Basics program
Safety action plan based on key issues identified in the assessment checklist and/or
advisory session
Safety templates to assist with the action plan
Start your Safety Basics program with three easy steps
Step 1 Read this program guide.
Step 2 Download and complete the safety assessment checklist.
This may help to identify areas where you need the most assistance.
Step 3 Email or fax the safety assessment checklist to NSCA and advise 3 options for date
and time to hold your phone-based advisory session (maximum 3 hours).
In the email/fax, please include any specific industry based or technical questions
(which may require research) you may also wish to discuss at the advisory session.
Email [email protected]
Fax
02 9213 6220
Phone 1800 119 123 (toll free)
NSCA Safety Basics Program V1.2: 1 May 2014
NSCA disclaim all and any liability and responsibility of any kind, including without limitation any liability, to any
person, for all or any losses, costs, expenses or damages or disappointment whatsoever or howsoever arising or
suffered as a consequence of, or in connection with, or arising out of anything done, or anything omitted to be
done, relating to the use of this document, any error or omission in this document, or any combination of these.
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What is a safety management system?
A safety management system is a planned set of activities designed to make your workplace
and work activities safe for everyone who works, visits or volunteers at the workplace.
It is a planned approach to identify and eliminate or control any hazards that have a risk of
harming someone at the workplace – a system to plan proactively rather than reacting after
something has gone wrong.
A safety management system is a good way to make sure you are meeting your legal
responsibilities and can also lend support when applying for contracts or tenders.
Complying with work health and safety laws
As an employer, you have a legal responsibility called a ‘duty of care’ to protect the health,
safety and welfare of people in your workplace. This includes people who work for you
casually, part-time, full-time, as volunteers or as outworkers. You must also ensure that no
one else, like your customers, visitors, neighbours or passers-by are put at risk because of
your work activities.
Anyone who manufactures, imports or supplies any plant or substance to a workplace must
make sure their products do not present a risk to health or safety. If you modify an existing
piece of equipment you also take on the responsibilities of a manufacturer.
Workers also have a duty of care. They should follow instructions relating to work health
and safety, and avoid putting themselves or other people at risk.
While the WHS/OHS legislation varies between states/territories, all employers have the
following legal obligations:
 provide a safe workplace and safe systems of work
 maintain equipment, tools and machinery in a safe condition
 provide safe and hygienic facilities, including toilets and eating areas
 provide information, instruction, training and supervision to all workers
 provide access to appropriate medical and first aid services
 establish an agreed system to consult with workers
 monitor and record work-related injuries and illnesses
 notify your state/territory regulator of any workplace death or serious injury, or any
incident that could have caused death or serious injury (dangerous incident) – as
specified under the health and safety legislation for that state/territory.
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WHS/OHS legislation
Each state or territory has appointed a regulator with the power and authority to manage
and enforce WHS/OHS under that state/territory’s Act and Regulations. Most states are
currently using, or in the process of implementing, harmonised legislation (except VIC). That
means that regardless of where you work, or if you work across multiple states, the work
health and safety requirements will be very similar – although there are still some
differences between the states / territories.
 Visit the NSCA website www.nsca.org.au (Knowledge Centre) to find links to the safety
regulator and legislation in your state/territory.
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Safety Basics Management System
NSCA’s Safety Basics Program can help your business improve the way you manage health
and safety in your workplace. If you incorporate each stage into the day-to-day operations
of your business, then safety becomes ‘business as usual’ and a vital stepping stone to
building a healthy safety culture.
Stage 1
Everyone has safety responsibilities
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Understand the work health and safety responsibilities that apply to your business.
Put together a work health and safety policy to show your commitment to providing a
safe workplace.
Stage 2
Consultation – talking about safety
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Talk with your workers – set up ways to discuss safety information and for them to be
involved in, and contribute to, decisions that may affect health and safety at work.
Keep a record of safety talks. Ensure any safety issues are identified and the responsible
person allocated to take appropriate action within agreed reasonable time frames is
recorded.
Stage 3
Managing risk
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Find all the hazards that could cause harm to people at or near your workplace,
determine how serious the harm could be and how likely it is that it could occur.
Take steps to get rid of the hazards. If the risk of harm cannot be eliminated then
determine ways to control the risks to keep people safe.
Stage 4
Inform, train and supervise
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Inform workers about hazards in their work activities and workplace as well as the
requirements for health and safety in your business. Verify workers have the skills and
any licences needed to do their job.
Ensure new and/or inexperienced workers are trained and appropriately supervised.
Stage 5
Manage injuries and incidents
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Put in place a process to respond effectively to emergencies and reduce the impact of
injuries and incidents if they occur.
Keep records of injuries, incidents or near misses and ensure the regulator is notified of
any fatality, serious injury or incident, as required in your state or territory.
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Stage 6
Keeping records
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Keep records of your safety activities so you can monitor and review the health and
safety performance of your business. The tools provided in this Safety Basics program
are a good start to your record keeping system.
Some records are required under health and safety legislation to be kept for at least 5
years, particularly records relating to injuries, workers compensation claims, injury
management and return to work. Contact your safety regulator for record keeping
information relevant to your state or territory.
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Stage 1
Everyone has safety responsibilities
Safety at work is everyone’s responsibility – while the primary legal obligation rests with the
employer, the person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) or person in control of a
workplace, making and keeping a workplace safe is a team effort, both legally and morally.
To demonstrate your commitment to work health and safety, develop and display a safety
policy through consultation with your workers. To help you write a work health and safety
policy, consider the following:
Goals
Consult with workers to develop a work health and safety policy with the following goals to:
 Eliminate or control risks to the health and safety of all workers (including contractors
and volunteers), visitors and anyone else who may be affected by business activities.
 Ensure all work activities are done as safely as reasonably practicable.
 Promote management’s and workers’ commitment to safe and sustainable business,
internally and to clients and other business partners.
Responsibilities
The owner/management are responsible for providing and maintaining:
 A safe working environment.
 Safe systems of work.
 Safe use, handling and storage of plant, structures and substances.
 Facilities for the welfare of all workers.
 Information, training and appropriate supervision to make sure workers are safe from
injury and risks to their health and safety.
 Are there any other management health and safety duties specific to your business?
Workers (including contractors and volunteers) also have responsibilities to:
 Ensure their own personal health and safety, and that of others in the workplace.
 Cooperate and comply with all reasonable policies, procedures and directions given by
management for health and safety purposes (eg follow safe work procedures, use
personal protective equipment, etc).
 Report all work related injuries, incidents and near misses immediately.
 Are there any other worker health and safety duties specific to your business?
We expect visitors to:
 Take reasonable care of their own health and safety, and that of others in the workplace.
 Comply and cooperate with any reasonable directions for health and safety purposes (eg
not entering areas marked for workers only, using caution near ‘wet floor’ signs).
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Report any injury to themselves or others, or hazards noticed (such as spills and
breakages).
Are there any other ways specific to your business to ensure visitors remain safe and
cause no harm to others in the workplace?
What to do next
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Develop and display a safety policy to demonstrate your commitment to keeping your
workers and others safe at work.
 A policy template is included with the Safety Basics program.
Dispute resolution
Disputes can arise at any workplace. A dispute exists when one or more people disagree
about something and matters remain unresolved. A fair and balanced dispute resolution
process is important for the effective operation of any business.
A dispute resolution process further demonstrates management’s commitment to safe and
sustainable business and provides for outcomes that should be:
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Quick – the issues should be resolved quickly rather than allowing them to escalate
through inaction. Reasonable time frames should be defined in the process or agreed
with all parties.
Fair – all relevant parties should be consulted so all sides of the story are taken into
account.
Handled sensitively – disputes should, where possible and appropriate, be resolved in a
confidential context in order to minimise impact on employees not affected by the
dispute, and
Transparent – the resolution should be made known to every employee.
A sample dispute resolution flowchart is provided to help you develop a policy and/or
procedure relevant to your business. This policy / procedure should be developed in
consultation with your workers and should be provided to all new workers at induction.
 A dispute resolution flowchart is included with the Safety Basics program.
 Enhance your knowledge and skills with NSCA training
- WHS harmonisation and due diligence
- OHS awareness for managers and supervisors (VIC)
- WHS for managers and supervisors
- WHS principles of compliance
- Safety culture in your organisation (2 hour workshop)
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Stage 2
Consultation – talking about safety
Communicating and consulting with your workers is critical to demonstrate your
commitment to providing a safe and healthy workplace. When considering all of the tasks
undertaken in your business, it is important to involve workers in any decisions that may
affect their health and safety. Often the people doing the job are best placed to offer advice
on the hazards they face and ways to work safely.
Clear and open communication channels at all levels in the workplace will encourage
everyone’s support for, and participation in health and safety activities. Workers will be
more likely to follow safety procedures if they have been involved in developing them.
Talking about safety is important – remember safety behaviour starts at the top and workers
are more likely to model the safety behaviour they see every day.
To communicate effectively with your workforce, you need to be aware of differing skills in
language, literacy and culture. Adapt your communication style where necessary.
Keep communication simple. Consultation between employers and workers can be achieved
in many ways and you should choose the style that best suits your business. This may simply
mean having regular direct discussions, which could involve:
 Gathering workers at the start of work or at hand-over on shift changes.
 Encouraging workers to raise any safety concerns they may have.
 Reporting on action taken to address any identified hazards.
 Informing workers about any planned changes that may have implications for their
health and safety.
 Discussing any new hazards and possible safety measures.
 Conducting a ‘walk around’ safety inspection.
Methods to consult with workers can differ between states and territories. Legislation sets
out arrangements including OHS committees and OHS safety representatives, or work
groups with elected health and safety representatives and WHS committees, or other agreed
arrangements that may be a better fit for the business size, activities or location, such as
regular toolbox talks or pre-start safety meetings.
Workers must be involved in the decision about how safety consultation will take place and
elections must be held where appropriate, eg committees, work groups, health and safety
representatives.
What to do next
In consultation with workers, establish effective consultation arrangements.
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Display, in a prominent position in your workplace, your consultation arrangements,
including the names, roles and contact details of elected committee members or health
and safety representatives.
Check with your state or territory regulator if you are required to provide them with
names of health and safety representatives.
Provide an agenda before meetings to afford workers the opportunity to include other
topics and consider possible suggestions and solutions.
Keep records of safety decisions and actions.
 A safety talk template is included with the Safety Basics program.
 Enhance your knowledge and skills with NSCA training
- Health and safety committee
- Health and safety representatives – initial and refresher
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Stage 3
Managing risk
The best way to prevent injuries or illness in your workplace is to find the hazards that could
injure your workers, and fix them. This is known as risk management.
You can do this by following 5 simple steps. These steps can be easily remembered by the
word SAFER, which stands for:
S pot the hazard
A ssess the risk
F ix the problem
E valuate results
R eview to ensure it still works
Spot the hazard
A hazard is anything that has the potential to cause injury, illness or harm. Some examples
include noisy machinery, a moving forklift, a chemical solvent, a repetitive job, a badly
designed workplace. There are a number of ways to find hazards in the workplace.
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Take a safety walk with workers, safety representatives or new or inexperienced workers
to see how work is done.
Talk to your workers to find out what they consider unsafe. The people who do the job
regularly are the best people to tell you about any hazards associated with their work.
Ask workers which tasks cause them concern or where they have developed a ‘workaround’ or shortcut instead of following the procedure. Why was a ‘work around’
developed, maintained and passed on to new workers?
Review any information you may have on a particular piece of equipment
(manufacturer’s manual), chemicals (safety data sheet) and information available from
designers, manufacturers and product labels to find out about safety precautions.
Check injury records and incident reports. By looking at your injury records, near misses
and workers compensation records you’ll be able to get a good idea of what is causing
your workers’ injuries.
Talk to your industry association or others in a similar industry to find out what sort of
injuries and near misses they have had.
A safety checklist is included with the Safety Basics program. Reviewing different
sections of the checklist on safety walks and in training could help you identify some of
the more common hazards.
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When looking for hazards you should consider:
 Your working environment – whether it is a building, office, yard, laboratory, trench,
tank, roof, vehicle etc.
 How suitable the things you use are for the task and how well they are located.
 How people might be hurt directly by equipment, machinery and tools.
 How people might be hurt indirectly through noise, fumes, radiation, etc.
 How people might be hurt by using chemicals and other materials (paints, solvents,
petrol, toner, oils, plastics, acids, pesticides, gases, biological samples, waste, etc).
 Whether people are using equipment and materials correctly.
Also think about hazards you might bring into your workplace as new, hired or used goods:
 Will they require new or revised work procedures and training?
 Are they fit for the purpose for which you intend to use them?
 Do you have all the information and instruction required to operate and maintain them
safely?
What to do next
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Use a checklist to help you identify common workplace hazards.
List all of the work tasks in your business on the risk assessment sheet.
List each hazard associated with each step of the work tasks.
 Safety checklist and risk assessment templates are included with the Safety Basics
program.
Step 2
Assess the risk
Now you’ve identified the hazards in your workplace, you need to judge or assess how
dangerous they are. This allows you to make decisions as to what hazards need to be
addressed first and to set priorities for introducing controls.
Your list of hazards may be surprisingly long, with some hazards posing more safety risks
than others. That’s why you need to work out which hazards are more serious than others,
so you can start dealing with them first.
Three basic questions to ask
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What could go wrong?
Hazard
How bad could it be?
Consequence
How likely is it to happen? Likelihood
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Include a risk rating score
1 = for highest or most serious risk, down to
6 = least significant risk
Prioritising the risks will help you to plan
Consequence
How severely could it hurt
someone?
!!!! Could kill or cause
permanent disability
or ill health
!!! Could cause long
term illness or serious
injury
Very likely
(could
happen
anytime)
Likely
(could
happen
sometime)
Unlikely
(could
happen but
very rarely)
Very unlikely
(could happen
but probably
never will)
1
1
2
3
1
2
3
4
!!
Could require medical
attention & several
days off work
2
3
4
5
!
Could require first
aid
3
4
5
6
What to do next
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Determine the risk rating for each hazard identified on your list of work tasks.
Record the risk level in the “Assess the risk” column of the risk assessment sheet
 A risk assessment template is included with the Safety Basics program.
 Enhance your knowledge and skills with NSCA training
- WHS risk management
- Organisational risk for senior managers (2 hour workshop)
- Risk management and preparing a safe work method statement (2 hour workshop)
Step 3
Fix the problem
Now that you have spotted the hazards and assessed their risks, you need to decide what
needs to be done to control them, starting with the high risks first.
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In the process of identifying hazards and assessing risks, you may see simple or common
industry solutions to controlling many of them quite quickly – always try to use the most
effective solution possible.
First try to eliminate the hazard
The most effective strategy is to remove the hazard completely from your workplace. This
could mean removing trip hazards on the floor of a corridor, disposing of unwanted
chemicals etc.
Where elimination is not practical, the next step is to minimise and control the risks as far as
possible, working through the other alternatives systematically, in order of effectiveness,
using the hierarchy of control:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Substitute the hazard for a lesser risk
Isolate the hazard from people at work
Engineering controls
Administrative controls
PPE - Personal protective equipment
1. Substitute with something that is safer
For example: Use smaller packages to reduce the weight of items that have to be manually
handled, use a less toxic chemical, use scaffolding instead of ladders to reduce the risk of
falls.
2. Isolate the hazard
For example: Use sound proof barriers to reduce noise levels, use an enclosed spray booth
for spray painting, use remote control systems to operate machinery, store chemicals in a
fire rated fume cabinet.
3. Engineering control – modify tools, equipment or systems of work
For example: Use trolleys or hoists to move heavy loads, place guards around moving parts
of machinery or fit cut-out switches, install residual current devices (electrical safety
switches).
4. Use administrative control measures
For example: Use permit-to-work systems for hazardous work, provide training and
supervision, regular maintenance of machinery and equipment, and limit exposure time by
introducing job rotation.
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5. Use personal protective equipment (PPE)
PPE protects the worker’s body from hazards, eg gloves, hard hats, hearing and eye
protection, safety harnesses, high visibility clothing. PPE is the least reliable form of
protection. In most cases, it should only be used in the short term until you have got a
better method of control, or in combination with other controls. If you are providing PPE,
ensure:
 The right type of PPE is selected for the job.
 PPE fits properly and is comfortable under working conditions.
 Workers are trained in the need for PPE, its use and maintenance.
 PPE is stored in a clean and fully operational condition.
In many cases more than one control measure should be used to adequately reduce the
level of risk.
Remember …
Wearing PPE does not remove the risk!
Safe Work Procedures
Safe work procedures are a means of briefly documenting the risks associated with a work
task and incorporating the appropriate risk control measures into a series of steps to do the
task safely. Safe work procedures ensure your workers are aware of the risks in their work
tasks and provide a useful tool for training and supervising your workers, and responding to
incident reports and changes in the workplace.
Developing a safe work procedure
Develop safe work procedures for tasks that present the greatest risk to your workers and
pose the most serious consequences. Procedures should clearly and succinctly communicate
to workers what they need to know to do their job safely.
Who will use the safe work procedure?
It is important to clearly identify who will use the safe work procedure before you start
writing. Talk with workers about the task so you can develop clear and concise details in a
step by step process.
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As the procedure writer, you want a clear understanding of what’s going on in as much
detail as possible. So you need to gather relevant information from employees who are
working on the task involved. Workers are more likely to follow safety procedures if they
have been involved in developing them.
Step by step
Once you have all the information you need to document your safe work procedures, make
sure it is easy to understand and follows a step by step process to work through the task.
Don’t complicate your chart with too many symbols or too much text. It should flow
naturally from start to finish and be structured in a logical way.
Make it clear, concise and easy to understand
Consider the language, cultural and literacy needs of workers and adapt your
communication style where necessary. You may find using words alone is not the best
option within a procedure. Consider including photographs or simple diagrams where
appropriate – do check your image or diagram is giving the right message to your workers.
Some simple rules of writing
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Use plain everyday English words or local language. The use of uncommon, long or
complex words or sentences should be avoided where possible.
Keep to short paragraphs and avoid using more words than you need. Be specific
enough to communicate clearly.
Write for the workers who will use the safe work procedure.
Try to keep the procedure itself to a reasonable size that is easy to display and read.
Well-written procedures will help improve the quality of work within your organisation,
reduce the number of mistakes, and help people perform complex tasks safely.
Proper implementation of safe work procedures involves training and supervision. Simply
reading the documented procedure is not enough. Your workers must be trained to do their
work tasks safely and demonstrate the ability to follow the safe work procedures.
Step 4
Evaluate results
Congratulations on taking action to fix the safety problems you’ve found in your workplace.
Remember though that risk management is not a one-off event — it’s an ongoing process.
Once you’ve identified the hazards, assessed their risk and fixed them, you need to follow up
with the next step of the risk management process — evaluate the results.
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How to evaluate?
Evaluation is an important step in the risk management process. After you think you’ve fixed
the problem, find out whether the changes have been effective. It is useful to think through
the risk management steps again to ensure no new risks have arisen.
Talk with your workers
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Are the changes making a difference to work?
What do your workers think?
Will the solutions reduce risks and prevent injury or illness in your workplace?
Do they create new hazards or increase the risk of existing ones?
Are the workers following the safe work procedures or are there problems? If there are
problems, what are they?
Perhaps you and your workers can even see ways to make further improvements.
What to do next
Set a date to review the task, choosing a timeframe appropriate to the task and the level of
risk involved.
Step 5
Review to ensure it still works
The last step in the risk management process is to review the control measures you have put
in place to ensure they’re still relevant to the tasks, hazards and risks.
They should be reviewed regularly, particularly if:
 There have been injuries or incidents.
 Work processes have changed.
 New equipment has been introduced to the task.
 Work environment has changed (eg relocation, work area alterations or renovations).
In reviewing, consider the following questions:
 How effective are the control measures?
 In solving one problem, have other hazards been created?
 Are workers following safe work procedures and the control measures?
 Have shortcuts or ‘work-arounds’ been introduced to over-ride the control measures or
safe work procedures?
 Have new hazards been identified?
 Do you consult with your workers?
 Has technology or work process changed? Are there new work methods, new
equipment or chemicals available to make the job safer?
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Are safety procedures followed by staff?
Has the training provided to staff been successful?
Has there been a reduction in injuries, incidents and near misses?
What to do next
If you identify new hazards, or control measures that aren’t working well, go through the risk
management steps to eliminate, or minimise and control, the risk of harm to workers and
others at the workplace.
Risk management is about ongoing and continuous improvement – safety should evolve
along with your business operations for a safe and sustainable future.
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Stage 4
Inform, train and supervise
Induction
You need to ensure your workers are informed about health and safety and trained to safely
undertake their work tasks by following the steps of safe work procedures where required.
Introducing new workers to the workplace
When you introduce new workers, you probably already start their induction by showing
them around and telling them what they need to know about the facilities, their fellow
workers, work times, meal breaks, pay day etc. The induction should also incorporate
workplace safety so your workers know how to work safely, how to report a problem,
incident or injury and what to do in an emergency.
It’s a good idea to keep records of your inductions to make sure they consistently cover all
the information you need to supply and verify new workers participated in and understood
the induction information.
New worker inductions
These suggestions will help you decide on the best form an induction program should take in
your workplace.
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Involve key people in the induction, for example the new worker’s supervisor, health and
safety representatives and co-workers.
Pace the induction so you don’t overwhelm the new worker with too much information.
Provide clear instructions and ensure they are understood.
Show (don’t just tell) the new worker how to perform the tasks – emphasise the main
points.
Encourage the new worker to ask questions.
Don’t assume any prior knowledge, training or experience.
Your workplace, equipment, tools and work practices may be different. Include things
that may seem ‘common sense’ despite the new worker’s background.
Consider the language, cultural and literacy needs of the new worker.
Ensure the new worker is supervised while they perform the tasks until they
demonstrate they are competent. Review and correct any mistakes immediately.
Check the new worker has understood what they have been told or shown.
Follow-up with frequent visits, talks and training sessions as required through the new
worker’s first year.
 An induction template is included with the Safety Basics program.
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Training
Find out what skills and experience your workers already have, and how you can build on
these. You need to make sure your workers maintain the skills and knowledge they need to
work safely. If the work tasks change, consider what additional training will be required.
Workers who are elected as health and safety representatives are entitled to specific
training to perform this role.
A training register helps you record what training your workers have done and what
additional training they need. A training register also allows you to keep track of the skills
your workers have in specific areas.
Information and training can be provided using:
 Procedure manuals
 Equipment operating/maintenance manuals
 Safety Data Sheets for chemicals
 Written work instructions / safe work procedures
 Safety noticeboard
 Training videos
Managers or supervisors can provide on-the-job training in such things as:
 Induction of new workers
 Specific hazards and risks associated with the job
 Safe work procedures
 Emergency procedures
 Use and maintenance of personal protective clothing and equipment
Expert and/or external courses may be required for training in such things as:
 Safe use of new or specialised equipment
 Manual handling
 First aid
 Health and safety representative training
 Certification for plant users and operators
 A training register template is included with the Safety Basics program.
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Supervision
The level of supervision required depends on the worker’s KASH, by assessing how
competently the worker does the work tasks. KASH stands for:
Knowledge
Attitude
Skill
Habit
Do they know how to do the work?
Do they work safely and follow the safe work procedures?
Are they appropriately trained and qualified to do the work?
Do they have the experience required to do the work safely and well?
You need to assess if workers have all the information and training they need to do the
work, to do it safely and to the standard you require. Assessing their KASH means you can
also assess what level of supervision they will need.
For example, workers who are new to a task and have little or no experience will clearly
need a much higher level of supervision than one who has years of experience and
demonstrated they have the skill to do the work safely and well.
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Stage 5
Manage injuries and incidents
Three key steps to managing injuries and incidents are:
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Develop and implement procedures for reporting safety issues, injuries, incidents and
near-misses
Take appropriate action when safety issues, injuries, incidents and near-misses are
reported, including notifications required by law
Review safe work procedures and training after incidents, injuries and near-misses are
reported, change if required and consult with workers as part of the review.
Encourage and support workers to report safety issues, injuries, incidents and
near-misses
Employers (or PCBUs) have a responsibility to consult with workers. One of the primary
reasons for this is in order to identify and mange risks to health and safety in the workplace.
As part of your commitment to safety, encourage workers to report any safety or health
problems as soon as they notice them. A record or procedure for reporting safety issues
should be kept to identify:
 the problem
 the date it was found
 how it will be fixed
 who will fix it
 when it is fixed (signed off by you that the problem is fixed).
Make sure others in your workplace (including your health and safety committee and
elected work health and safety representatives) are aware of these issues.
Encourage workers to report potential safety issues (near-misses) in the same way they are
encouraged to report hazards. Reporting and reviewing near-misses gives you a proactive
opportunity to stop a severe incident or injury before it occurs.
Identifying what went wrong and why, and taking action to ensure that the same situation is
not repeated, is an essential part of managing safety in your workplace and may help
prevent another or more severe injury or incident occurring in the future. Managing workrelated incidents and injuries is a legal obligation and is an important part of minimising loss
and disruption in your business.
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What to do next
Make sure workers understand the importance of reporting safety issues and can access and
use the hazard reporting procedure.
 A hazard reporting template is included with the Safety Basics program.
Planning for emergencies and evacuation
Consider the type of emergency situations your business could be exposed to: Fire,
explosion, chemical spill, flood, medical emergency, machinery or motor vehicle accident,
robbery or violence. As part of your responsibility to ensure the safety of people in your
workplace, you must make arrangements for a safe and rapid evacuation in case of an
emergency.
Develop plans and procedures on how to respond quickly and safely in such emergencies.
Involve your workers in developing procedures. If you share your workplace or worksite
with other businesses, you may need to co-ordinate your emergency response with them.
What to do next
Develop and implement emergency and evacuation plans and procedures. Involve workers
in the planning and review process. Once you have developed your plan, practice your
evacuation procedures regularly (eg fire drills) to ensure everyone knows how it works.
Include emergency and evacuation procedures in the induction of new staff and contractors.
To help develop emergency and evacuation plans and procedures:
 An emergency procedures checklist is included with the Safety Basics program
 An emergency management plan checklist is included with the Safety Basics program
Investigating and reporting incidents and injuries
Incidents and injuries are not just bad luck or unpredictable – in most cases they occur as a
result of a chain of events and a failure of one or more links in that chain. Investigating
incidents and injuries helps you find out what went wrong, why it happened, if a control
measure was in place, and why it failed.
It is important to know the safety regulators in each state or territory require
employers/PCBUs to notify them of any workplace death, serious injury or illness, or any
incident that could have caused death or serious injury or illness (dangerous incident). You
must notify your safety regulator by the quickest means possible – usually this is by
contacting your safety regulator direct by phone (including after hours).
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Your safety regulator will advise if you also need to complete a Notifiable Incident report
form (and keep a copy of any form that you send).
 An Incident/injury investigation report template is included with the Safety Basics
program.
Workers compensation, rehabilitation and return to work
Key steps to managing workers compensation, rehabilitation and return to work include:

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Workers compensation insurance policy that accurately reflects business details
All injuries reported to workers compensation insurer within required timelines
Workers informed of the return to work program, including procedures in the event of
an injury or illness
Return to work plans implemented for injured workers when required
Any person who operates a trade or business and employs workers must maintain a current
workers compensation policy as required in your state or territory or under a
Commonwealth arrangement.
If you engage contractors/sub-contractors on a regular and systematic basis, you should
contact your safety and/or workers compensation regulator to discuss the employment
arrangement, as these people may also be deemed ‘workers’ under the workers
compensation legislation.
Note: Workers compensation legislation is separate from WHS/OHS legislation, with
separate conditions between each state and territory, or under a Commonwealth
arrangement (eg timeframes, claims, benefit payments etc).
Early intervention, rehabilitation and safe return to work
Workers compensation, injury management and rehabilitation legislation and guidelines
place emphasis upon ‘early intervention’ to facilitate an early and safe return to work for
workers who sustained a workplace injury. The process involves early notification of injuries
to the employer, and by the employer to their workers compensation insurer. Workplace
rehabilitation for injured workers is also required and helps injured workers achieve an early
and safe return to the workplace.
What to do next


Have a current workers compensation insurance policy that covers all your workers
Display a summary which includes insurance policy details and requirements for making
workers compensation claims
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Develop a Return to Work Program in consultation with your workers, an approved
rehabilitation provider, and any industrial union representing the workers (as required)
Display the Program and any other required information (refer to your workers
compensation regulator)
Inform workers of the need to notify in writing, or verbally, of any work-related injury or
illness as soon as possible after an injury has happened
Provide written confirmation to the injured worker of notification of the injury or illness
Keep a Register of Injuries that is readily accessible to the workers, and which records
every injury regardless of whether or not a claim is made
Advise your workers compensation insurer within 48 hours after becoming aware a
worker has received a workplace injury. Check methods and timeframes with your
workers compensation insurer as these differ in each state / territory or Commonwealth
arrangement
The insurer must take action within a reasonable timeframe after receiving the notice of
injury by contacting you, the injured worker and (if appropriate and practicable) the
nominated treating doctor
Provide compensation claim forms (or access) on request from the injured worker
Lodge the completed claim form with your workers compensation insurer within 7 days
of receiving the form from the worker – the workers compensation insurer has 28 days
to either accept or deny the claim
Take all reasonable steps to provide suitable duties to a worker returning from injury or
illness
 Visit the NSCA website www.nsca.org.au (Knowledge Centre) to find links to the workers
compensation regulator and legislation in your state/territory.
 A return to work program template is included with the Safety Basics program.
 Enhance your knowledge and skills with NSCA training
- WHS Incident investigation
- Return to work coordination
- WHS incident reporting in the workplace (2 hour workshop)
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Stage 6
Keeping records
Keeping records of safety activities makes managing health and safety at your workplace
easier. The tools provided in this Safety Basics program are a good start to your record
keeping system.
It is important to document your health and safety activities and keep these records to:
 Meet legal requirements
 Provide information to workers, and
 Monitor the health and safety performance of your business
What records do you need to keep?
Hazard identification, risk assessment and control process
 These records include checklists, risk assessment information and risk control plans.
They provide evidence of your health and safety activities and help you review and
improve the health and safety performance of your business.
Maintenance of plant and equipment
 These records enable you to schedule regular inspections and provide evidence of
maintenance carried out. Keep them with manufacturers’ specifications and operators
manuals. Maintenance records also improve the resale value by providing a complete
history.
Incidents and injuries
 These records enable you to identify hazards, monitor trends and take the appropriate
action to prevent them happening again. Near misses or dangerous incidents should also
be recorded, since these are often a warning signal of future, preventable incidents and
injuries. WHS/OHS and workers compensation legislation require employers/PCBUs to
maintain records of incidents and injuries.
Hazardous chemicals register
 This is a list of all hazardous chemicals stored and used at the workplace including a
collection of Safety Data Sheets (SDS), which can be obtained free from the chemical
supplier/manufacturer. The register should be kept as an accessible source of
information for workers using the chemicals.
Training records
 It is essential you have a record of the training provided to every worker, which should
include details of the training content, who conducted it and when it was provided.
Staff records
 These include a workers relevant experience, qualifications, personal details and
emergency contacts.
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All records need to be kept up to date to be of the greatest benefit.
Some records are required under health and safety legislation to be kept for at least 5 years,
particularly records relating to injuries, workers compensation claims, injury management
and return to work. Contact your safety regulator for record keeping information relevant to
your state or territory.
 A hazardous chemicals register template is included with the Safety Basics program.
Where to from here?
Review regularly
Managing health and safety is an ongoing process that should form part of the way you do
business.
Your processes, operations and workers may change over time and so may the risks. Make
sure you continually review your safety management system to find out how well it is
working by regularly checking and evaluating each step.
A review of your safety management system could be conducted anywhere between a week
and a few years. The timeframe needs to be appropriate to the task/hazard and risks
involved.
Consider the following questions:
 Are the control measures still effective?
 Are they working as intended? Ensure the control measures have not created new
hazards.
 Have new hazards been introduced? Have they been risk assessed?
 How accurate is the risk assessment process?
 Are workers actively involved in your health and safety program?
 Are workers openly raising health and safety concerns and reporting problems as soon as
possible?
 Have new work methods, new equipment or chemicals made the job safer?
 Are safety procedures being followed?
 Is personal protective equipment being worn as instructed?
 Has instruction and training provided to workers on how to work safely been successful?
 Has there been a reduction over time in the frequency and severity of incidents that
cause injury?
 Are safety records accurate and up to date?
 Does the safety management system address any workplace or legislative changes?
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Planning for safety
Reviewing your safety management systems may identify areas requiring improvement. An
action plan can help to prioritise which improvements can be done the fastest and simplest
way, and which carry the most risk of causing serious harm and should be dealt with as soon
as possible.
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Make a list of things to improve
Specify clearly what you want to achieve
Identify who is responsible to make it happen
Allocate appropriate resources
Set a completion date
 A safety action plan template is included with the Safety Basics program.
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