Prevention saves lives, money and time. SafeWork Australia statistics state, 20 workers die per month from work-related incidents. In 2017, over 100,000 claims were made for work-related injuries or illnesses. Safety doesn’t happen by accident. Fire and Safety Australia (FSA) are dedicated to the training, consultancy, and implementation of safety and risk identification and management.
A safety audit is not optional. The Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act 2011 requires that a hazard-based assessment must be conducted, by WHS officers at least once every 12 months, or at intervals agreed between management and the WHS Committee. Safety audits protect employees, employers and the community. Only after a risk analysis can safety hazards be identified, rectified and prevented.
WHAT IS A SAFETY AUDIT? AND WHAT DOES A SAFETY AUDIT IN THE WORKPLACE INVOLVE?
A safety audit is like an x-ray machine at the airport. A safety audit is a process that recognises the imperfections, risks, and hazards in the workplace OHS procedures. It measures the efficiency, effectiveness, and reliability of the WHS management system. Safety audits guide and designs the policies for remedial actions within a health and safety program. An FSA workplace safety audit prevents incidents through education and risk management.
The Health and Safety Handbook states:
The audit should:
- identify the risks and the levels of those risks within the workplace;
- identify strengths and weaknesses in your safety procedures;
- assess whether your safety procedures are legally compliant;
- compare current documentation and practices against best practice and legal obligations;
- recommend improvements in your safety procedures;
- ensure that there adequate resources available to manage OHS; and
- ensure that the resources devoted to health and safety are being utilised effectively.
An audit may be an independent event or part of an ongoing program. In addition, audits:
- can focus on a particular activity (e.g. how hazardous substances are controlled);
- can focus on a particular part of the organisation (e.g. the packing area); or
- may address the overall performance of the health and safety management system.
An audit of an OHS management system will address areas such as:
- OHS responsibilities;
- organisational structure;
- consultation arrangements;
- implementation of all procedures and activities;
- hazard identification, assessment, and control;
- training and competence;
- measurement, reporting and evaluation; and
- review of the OHS system and its overall performance
Do you need a Workplace Safety Audit? Yes? Keep Reading. No? Scroll back to the top and re-read.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS?
1. Does your work involve confined spaces?
SafeWork Australia defines a confined space as an enclosed or partially enclosed space which:
- is at atmospheric pressure during occupancy;
- is not intended or designed primarily as a place of work;
- may have restricted means for entry and exit; and
- may –
- have an atmosphere which contains potentially harmful levels of contaminant;
- not have a safe oxygen level; or
- cause engulfment
It is a requirement under AS2865-2009 and under your State/Territories Workplace Health and Safety Act to hold written safety management procedures when working in confined spaces. FSA consultants will visit your workplace to identify the gaps in your current documentation to ensure compliance with the Australian Standards and WH&S Regulations.
Is your training for confined spaces current? Do you have the required documentation? For more information, read about our confined space courses.
2. Does your work involve heights?
Protect your people. If you work above ground/floor level, precautions are required to ensure yourself, your colleagues and the communities safety. According to SafeWork Australia, in 2015, 58% of fatalities were caused by falls from heights; they were from roofs, ladders, and half involved falls of less than 4m. In 2017, 40% of workplace claims were from traumatic joint/ligament and muscle/tendon injury.
It is a requirement under AS1891.4-2009 and under your State/Territories Workplace Health and Safety Act to hold written safety management procedures for all work conducted at a height where a person could fall from one level to another. FSA consultants will visit your workplace to identify the gaps in your current documentation to ensure compliance with the Australian Standards and WH&S Regulations.
Is your height safety training current? Do you have the required documentation? For more information, read about our heights courses.
3. Does your work involve machinery or vehicles?
In 2016, 2 out of 3 worker fatalities involved a vehicle, and 59% of bystander fatalities were due to vehicle collision. The safety hazard is not limited to the driver, but the entire workplace and the pedestrians living and breathing in the surrounding areas. Special licenses are required for all machinery and vehicles. An outdated risk analysis and risk assessment promotes an unsafe workplace. Contact FSA for a safety audit to assess the unidentified risks in your business.
Is your driver training current? For more information, read about our driver courses.
4. Does your work involve hazardous materials?
Hazardous materials are substances, mixtures, and articles that may cause critical health hazards, physical hazards or both. Spill Kit’s need to be continually assessed and maintained for functionality and accuracy. Detailed risk assessment and safety procedures are fundamental for workplaces involving hazardous materials, such as toxic chemicals, flammable liquids, compressed gases, and explosives.
It is a requirement under your State/Territories Workplace Health and Safety Act and Dangerous Substances Act to have written safety management procedures for working and storage of hazardous materials. Contact FSA for a safety audit to assess the unidentified hazards in your workplace.
Is your Hazmat training current? For more information, read about our hazmat courses.
5. Does your work use electricity?
Electricity is a vital resource for everyday living. However, many are blind to the hazards. In 2016, there were 1140 claims for workplace injuries involving electricity. Technology is advancing rapidly, and so must our safety procedures and training. The risk of workplace incidents lies in the handling, location, and operation of electrical equipment. Electrical damage is costly to employee health, the workplace, equipment, and time.
The high risk areas for electrical injuries or fatalities, if safety audits are inadequate or not sustained are:
- Outdoor work,
- Wet or dusty areas
- Cramped confined conditions,
- Certain materials or metals,
- Commercial kitchens,
- Workplaces that use corrosive substances,
- Manufacturing environments,
- Portable electrical equipment,
- Extension leads.
Consequently, the training of employees and employers is vital for workplace safety. An FSA workplace safety audit will assist your business to meet the WHS standards and identify damage, wear, and electrical faults.
Is your Fire training current? For more information, read about our fire courses.
6. Does your work with other people? Or alone?
People are just as hazardous, as working with machines, vehicles, substances, confined spaces, heights or electricity. What do they all have in common? You. You are the operators, the first line of defence. This is why risk assessment and risk analysis are so critical in every type of workplace. Protect yourself, protect your peers and protect your equipment. Emergencies are not scheduled events. First Aid requirements differ in every workplace. However, all potential workplace hazards must be assessed to develop the First Aid procedures. Contact FSA for a comprehensive risk assessment and analysis for your workplace.
Is your First Aid training current? For more information, read about our first-aid courses.
7. Are you a living, breathing human?
Do you want your customers, employees or yourself to be a statistic? Do you organise regular training? Is your workplace safe? FSA is nationally accredited for training and ISO Quality certified. FSA is the only registered Fire/Safety/Rescue training organisation in Australia, who offers 100% Money Back Guarantee. You are in charge of your safety.
Do you want your workers to go home safe to their families at the end of the day? And do you want them to return to work tomorrow?Call FSA for a workplace safety audit to ensure the protection of your people and workplace.