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Managing workplace hazards, and consultation in the workplace

Aim

This unit of work aims to provide students with an understanding of:

o how to identify a workplace hazard
o how to assess the risk of the hazard occurring
o how to implement measures for controlling hazards
o the role and responsibilities of health and safety representatives and committees o the importance of consultation in the workplace.

Outcomes

On completion of this unit of work, students will be able to:

o define what a hazard is and be able to identify a workplace hazard o explain what risk management is and conduct a risk assessment activity o understand the measures that can be implemented to control the risks in a workplace o explain the role and responsibilities of health and safety representatives and OHS committees. o understand the importance of consultation in the workplace

Unit outline

|Topic |Content |Related Activities | |Workplace hazards and risk management |What is a hazard? |Activity 1: Identifying hazards and risk | | |Hazard identification and risk assessment |management | | |Risk management |Activity 3: Case studies | | |Hazard control in the workplace |Safety First or Expect the Worst: Activities | | |The working environment |10 and 11 | |The role and responsibilities of health and |Consultation in the workplace |Activity 2: The OHS Act 2000 (Worksheet 1, 2)| |safety committees and representatives |The role of the health and safety representative | | | |The role of the health and safety committee | | What is a hazard?

The Occupational Health and Safety Regulation 2001 defines a hazard as ‘anything (including work practices or procedures) that has the potential to harm the health or safety of a person’.

Hazards can be grouped into five broad areas:
o physical eg. noise, radiation, light, vibration
o chemical eg. poisons, dusts
o biological eg. viruses, plants, parasites
o mechanical/electrical eg. slips, trips and falls, tools, electrical equipment o psychological eg. fatigue, violence, bullying.

Hazards can arise from:
o the work environment
o the use of machinery and substances
o poor work design
o inappropriate systems and procedures

Examples of workplace hazards include:
o manual handling e.g pushing, pulling, carrying, lifting o work environment e.g. floor surfaces, noise, temperature o machinery
o heat e.g. burns and scalds
o electricity e.g. electrocution
o harassment e.g. bullying and/or violence
o hazardous substances e.g. chemicals, fumes
o biological waste
o skin penetrating injuries e.g. knife or syringe injuries o noise
o confined space

Recognising the hazards in a workplace and taking steps to eliminate or control the hazard ensures the safety and well being of all employees. It is easier and more effective to eliminate or control the hazard before serious injuries result.

The Occupational Health and Safety Regulation 2001 states that an employer must eliminate any reasonably foreseeable risk to the health and safety of employees and others in the workplace and if this is not...
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