BSBWHS311 Assist with maintaining workplace safety
In this unit you will learn how to;
Assist with incorporating WHS policies and procedures into work team processes
Contribute to consultative arrangements for managing WHS
Contribute to organisational procedures for providing WHS training
Participate in identifying hazards, and assessing and controlling risks for the work are
Ensuring the health, safety and security of all people who come in to, or work in, work premises is one of the most important aspects of any business. It is not only a question of duty of care; ensuring that no harm is done to anyone, but also a matter of legal obligation. The state and federal governments have very strict regulations regarding workplace health and safety (WHS) and impose stiff penalties for any breaches.
It may well be part of your role to make those you work with, or those who are under your supervision, aware of their obligations, under WHS regulations, and to assist in implementing policies and procedures.
In doing this, there are a number of situations that you may need to assist with. These might include;
the evacuation of staff and customers in case of emergencies
ensuring the secure management of cash, documents, equipment, keys or people
the correct handling of chemicals and hazardous substances
ensuring any hygiene procedures required by your organisation and/or its industry are met
the identification and reporting of any workplace hazards
reporting on any incidents or accidents in the workplace
undertaking and reporting on risk assessment
In order to undertake these tasks confidently, and in line with organisational and legal obligations, you will need to be aware of the primary components of relevant state or territory WHS legislation; any and all actions that must be taken for legal compliance as well as employer responsibilities to provide a safe workplace. This involves the requirement of employers (or managers) to consult, and have acceptable consultation mechanisms such as the installation of WHS representatives and committees who must fulfil specific roles and responsibilities.
The primary components of legislation will also include requirements for hazard identification, risk assessment, risk control and record keeping. Then, too, employers are obliged to provide adequate information and training so that staff members understand their roles and responsibility, in WHS terms, and can do their work to the required standards. All staff must also have an understanding of the ramifications of failure to observe WHS or WHS legislation and organisational policies and procedures.
We will look at all these aspects as we move through this unit of study
Assisting with incorporating WHS policies and procedures into work team processes
WHS policies and procedures are put in place to make sure that everyone within the business premises, whether staff, customers, suppliers or contractors, are safe from harm. It follows, then, that everyone working in the business has roles and responsibilities in ensuring that workplace is safe and secure. For example;
While in the workplace, the employer is responsible for:
establishing policies and procedures, in line with government legislation, that detail how the organisation will handle the health, safety and security of their worker
ensuring the workplace is safe. All due care must be taken to ensure that hazards are minimised and/or controlled.
chemical storage facilities – ensuring that they are adequate
providing safe work areas, machinery and equipment. Work areas, machinery and equipment must be maintained at all times. Regular checks should be done to ensure safety standards are met.
providing information, instruction, training and supervision.
providing personal protective equipment
providing adequate welfare facilities such as washrooms, lockers and dining areas
maintaining information and records relating to the health and safety of employee
nominating a person with the appropriate level of seniority to act as the employer’ representative in WHS matters
consultation with staff in developing, reviewing and improving WHS policies and procedures
providing Workers’ Rehabilitation and Compensation Insurance. When injured in the workplace this insurance covers the worker’s loss of income, associated medical costs and perhaps retraining the employee if necessary.
While in the workplace the employee is responsible for:
following safety instructions. These are given for a reason and should be followed at all times. Failure to do so couldresult in injury not only to yourself but to others as well. It could also result in any claim for workers’ compensation being denied.
using equipment carefully, and according to manufacturer’s instructions. No matter how competent you are at handling machinery and equipment, you should never take for granted that “it can’t happen to you”. Careless use of machinery and work equipment can result in serious injury.
reporting any hazards and/or injury. Good workplace health and safety depend on all staff making sure everything is operating at its very best. This can only happen if you let management or the relevant staff know of any hazards or potential hazards. If they are not aware of them – they can’t fix them.
not interfering with or misusing WHS items provided such as safety signs or first aid equipment
attending all relevant training sessions. Once again these are not only for your benefit, but also for the benefit of your fellow workers. If you are fully informed about new procedures and equipment you are less likely to make a serious mistake.
not deliberately putting the health and safety of others at risk. Recklessness and/or misuse of equipment can result in serious injury to you or your fellow worker
working in accordance with any relevant government regulations – for example checking a person’s I.D before serving alcohol to young people
using PPE as required and/or instructed by supervisors
Characteristics and composition of the work team.
Incorporating WHS processes into daily work can be a complex matter; information on policies and procedures needs to be distributed to all relevant personnel; training may be required; an understanding of individual roles and responsibilities on WHS matters might need to be explained and so on.
Depending on the size of the organisation, doing this can be a job too large for any one person, so tasks might need to be allocated to individual members of the work team and you should be able to trust and rely on them. But who exactly is the work team and why is it important to understand their characteristics?
Whether you’re putting together a team for short, intense project or developing and implementing procedures for ongoing work, getting the right composition for a team is essential for best performance. It is important to make sure that they will work well together, that there is a diverse range of outlooks, experience and characteristics to both avoid costly mistakes and to make sure jobs that need to be done are completed effectively.
Team composition starts with an understanding of who each team member is, what skills and experience they bring to the table, their interpersonal skills, and their approach to work. The characteristics of a good team include;
A common goal. Effective teams have a common goal. They have a shared objective that each team member is working toward. This goal is known to all team members, it is motivating and has a clear path to achievement.
Open communication. The foundation of effective teamwork is good communication. Without any communication, goals can never be achieved. Good communication involved sharing knowledge and skills, an environment where team members can freely express their thoughts and options.
Practical problem solving. Along the path to achieving a goal, many problems may be encountered. An effective team will identify these problems, and solve them practically.
A happy team is an effective team; they must trust one another to perform and also have each others back when support is needed.
So when working with a team, there should not only be a mix of talent and experience but also a group of people who, while not necessarily friends, will work together efficiently to achieve the desired outcome.