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Bct Year 11 - Workplace Health, Safety and Sustainability

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BCT YEAR 11

WORKPLACE HEALTH, SAFETY AND SUSTAINABILITY

Workplace health, safety and sustainability

Research assignment

Word Count: 1,743

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 3

2. Legal rights and responsibilities of employers and employees 3

3. Legal requirements for reporting and maintenance of accident forms 4

4. Identification of Hazards 4

5. Safety Signs 5

6. Duties of WHS Officer and Committee 6

7. Conclusion……………………………………………………………..7

8. Refernce list……………………………………………………………7

List of Appendices A. Legislated Responsibilities of employers and employees…………….8

B. The different types of safety signs that you can find in the workplace.9

1. Introduction

In the early 1990’s statistics showed that more people died as a result of workplace injuries and illnesses than on the roads. The high number of employee deaths was an unacceptable situation. According to the federal governments Australian Safety and Compensation Council (ASCC), on average someone in Australia dies every two to three days as a result of workplace injury. Of all work related injuries in Queensland 25 per cent occur within the age group of 15-24 years old. Unsafe workplaces result in injuries and can result in law suits.

Acts passed by the federal government are the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 and the Australian Workplace Safety Standards Act 2005, and their corresponding regulations. The objective of these Acts is to provide a healthy and safe work environment that reduces workplace related deaths and injuries.

LJ Looker has a number of WHS related issues in their work environment that can be easily fixed. In this report I’m going to go in depth into how LJ Looker can improve their WHS, I will address the problems that LJ Looker have in their workplace and I will talk about what needs to be done to fix them.

2. Legal rights and responsibilities of employers and employees

According to legislation, all employees and employers should feel that their workplaces is a safe environment to work in. this means that everyone has a duty of care while carrying out their work to ensure the health and safety of themselves and their colleagues. The Queensland Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995 sets out the legislated responsibilities of employers and employees. It’s important that we have these responsibilities to prevent companies from getting blamed for problems that was the employer or employees’ responsibility. At LJ Looker an employee decides to take the safety guard off the paper shredder even though there has been a WHS sign up specifically asking her not to, this is a great example of the employees not being responsible. It was the employee’s responsibility to follow the correct procedure.

See Appendix 1 to view some of the legislated responsibilities of employers and employees.

1. Legal requirements for reporting and maintenance of accident forms
UNDER QUEENSLAND’S WORKPLACE HEALTH AND SAFETY ACT, ANY WORK INJURY, WORK CAUSE ILLNESS OR DANGEROUS EVENT MUST BE RECORDED ON AN INCIDENT RECORD/REPORT FORM WITHIN THREE DAYS OF THE INJURY OR DANGEROUS EVENT HAPPENING. IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT THAT BUSINESSES KEEP AN ACCURATE RECORD OF ALL ACCIDENTS THAT OCCUR IN THE WORKPLACE, FOR THE SAKE OF WORKERS COMPENSATION CLAIMS AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT OR IN THE FUTURE. IF INCIDENT AND ACCIDENTS ARE NOT RECORDED IT COULD RESULT IN THE EMPLOYEE RECEIVING NO COMPENSATION. LJ LOOKER HAS FAILED TO RECORD ANY OF THE ACCIDENTS OR ILLNESSES THAT HAVE TAKEN PLACE IN THEIR WORKPLACE, THIS COULD SERIOUSLY AFFECT AN EMPLOYEE IF THEY HAD AN ACCIDENT IN THE WORKPLACE AND A YEAR LATER THEY HAD AN ISSUE WITH THEIR HEALTH RESULTING FROM THAT ACCIDENT THEY WILL NOT BE ABLE TO CLAIM ANY COMPENSATION FOR THEIR MEDICAL BILLS. PROPER REPORTING OF INCIDENTS, ACCIDENTS AND HAZARD IS NECESSARY TO:

• Facilitate early intervention and rehabilitation of injured employees, facilitating a return to work

• Identify any injury trends and recommend remedial action so as to prevent their recurrence

• Facilitate early identification of any hazards and prompt attention to any unsafe conditions and potential problems that could result in injury or illness

• Meet legislative requirements.

2. Identification of Hazards
A HAZARD IS SOMETHING THAT HAS THE POTENTIAL TO CAUSE HARM.

A risk is the likelihood that death, injury or illness might result because of the hazard.

Dangerous hazards are sometimes not obvious in the workplace. Some may be hidden or not easily identified, such as electricity, gas or high-frequency noise. Others include stress, bullying, alcohol and other drug misuse. It is necessary to identify hazards, access the risks that may result because of those hazards, and decide on appropriate control measures to prevent or minimize the level of risks. Control measures must then be implemented and monitored to ensure the effectiveness of the measures. To properly manage exposure to risk, a risk-management process must be adopted. Under the Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995, to properly manage exposure to risks, a person must:

1. Look for the hazards. 2. Determine who might be harmed and how. 3. Decide on control measures. 4. Put controls in place. 5. Review the controls.

Table 1: Identification of hazards

|Hazard |Level of Risk |Corrective Measure |
|1. Loose cables running from one |Someone could trip over the cables and |Have the company put more power points in. or create a |
|end of the room to the other |seriously injure themselves |metal cover to go over the cables on that you can roll a |
| | |chair over. |
|2. A fixed chair (a chair that |A fixed chair means that staff are |The company should invest in some swiveling chairs so |
|does not swivel) |twisting their body and hurting their |their employees aren’t straining themselves. |
| |backs. | |
|3. Large pile of paper just dumped|This is an environmental hazard wasting|Instead of throwing out the paper it could be used as |
|in the rubbish bin (500 pages) |that much paper is just killing trees |scrap paper. And to ensure it doesn’t happen again people |
| |for nothing. |should be communicating more effectively. |
|4. A sink is dripping and has been|This is another environmental hazard |The company should immediately call a plumber to fix the |
|dripping for 2 weeks |because it’s just wasting precious |leaking tap |
| |water. | |

3. Safety Signs SAFETY SIGNS, SYMBOLS AND COLOURED MARKINGS ARE A RECOGNIZED METHOD OF IDENTIFYING HAZARDS WITHIN A WORKPLACE. FOR EXAMPLE, YELLOW LINES ARE OFTEN PAINTED AT THE TOP OF STEPS TO ENSURE THEY ARE SEEN. HOWEVER, IT IS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THAT THESE IDENTIFIERS ARE NOT A PHYSICAL CONTROL, RATHER, THEY ARE AN ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROL REQUIRED BY LAW. SAFETY SIGNS MUST BE IN ACCORDANCE WITH AUSTRALIAN STANDARD 1319 AND SHOULD BE PLACED IN AREAS WHERE THE POSSIBILITY OF A HAZARD EXISTS.

See Appendix B for the different types of safety signs that you can find in the workplace.

Table 2: Safety Signs

|Hazard |Sign |Reason for its use |
|Lights and air conditioning left on after |Prohibition Sign |To help protect the environment by turning|
|everyone has left the office. |All electronic equipment and lights must |off the electricity otherwise it’s a waste|
| |be switched off at the end of the day. |of money and it’s bad for the environment.|
|A leaking tap or tapped not being turned |Prohibition Sign |Leaky taps or leaving the tap on is an |
|off |After using the tap turn it off, if it |environmental hazard. Because it waists |
| |will not turn off report it to your |water and we are in water restrictions |
| |supervisor. | |
|Blocked emergency exit |Danger Sign |Although emergency exits are very rarely |
| |Do not at anytime under any circumstances |used if an emergency does occur people |
| |block an emergency exit |will need to us the exit otherwise it |
| | |could be life threatening. |
|Loose cables |Warning Sign |Loose cables could lead to someone |
| |Do not leave loose cables lying on the |tripping over and hurting themselves. |
| |ground. | |

4. Duties of WHS Officer and Committee
ANY WORKPLACE WITH 30 OR MORE EMPLOYEES IS REQUIRED BY LAW TO HAVE A WORKPLACE HEALTH AND SAFETY OFFICER (WHSO) WORKPLACE HEALTH AND SAFETY OFFICERS APPOINTED UNDER THE WORKPLACE HEALTH AND SAFETY ACT 1995 MUST CONDUCT AN ASSESSMENT OF THE WORKPLACE AT LEAST ONCE EVERY TWELVE MONTHS TO IDENTIFY ANY UNSAFE WORK PRACTICES. THE WHSO MUST FOLLOW THE ASSESSMENT CRITERIA SET OUT BY WORKPLACE HEALTH AND SAFETY QUEENSLAND, OR THE ONE AGREED TO BY THE WORKPLACE HEALTH AND SAFETY COMMITTEE AT THE WORKPLACE. WORKPLACE HEALTH AND SAFETY OFFICERS ARE APPOINTED BY EMPLOYERS AND PRINCIPAL CONTRACTORS TO: • advise the employer on health and safety issues • implement workplace health and safety related initiatives • perform workplace inspections • help with the functioning of the health and safety committee
A worker can ask for a health and safety committee. Once a worker has asked for a committee, the employer is required by law to appoint one. Employers can also establish a health and safety committee without a worker asking for one.
In some larger workplaces, there can be more than one health and safety representative. There may also be more than one committee. Major employers may have different health and safety representatives, and committees, at different offices. Their role includes: • encouraging and maintaining an active interest in workplace health and safety • considering training and education needs to address workplace health and safety issues • keeping workers up-to-date with new standards, rules and procedures • reviewing the circumstances surrounding workplace incidents • helping resolve issues about workplace health and safety • providing the employer with advice on how to address workplace health and safety issues requirements in relation to workplace health and safety committees.
It is very important to have a WHS committee and officer so that your workplace the correct guideline put in place to ensure a healthy and safe work environment. LJ Looker has know WHS committee put in place to ensure their workplace is safe. This could lead to many injuries in the workplace.

5. Conclusion
LJ LOOKER HAS SHOWN VERY POOR WHS STANDARDS. DURING MY INSPECTION I ENCOUNTERED A NUMBER OF DANGEROUS HAZARDS THAT COULD AFFECT BOTH EMPLOYEES AND THE ENVIRONMENT. THE COMPANY IS NOT MEETING ITS REQUIRED OBLIGATIONS AND BECAUSE OF THIS I HAVE MADE A NUMBER OF RECOMMENDATIONS TO LJ LOOKER ON WAYS THEY CAN IMPROVE THEIR COMPANY’S WHS. I FIRSTLY RECOMMENDED THAT LJ LOOKER SHOULD APPOINT A WHS OFFICER, A PERSON WHO WILL BE IN CHARGE OF THE SAFETY OF THE WORKPLACE AND ALONG WITH A WHS OFFICER THEY SHOULD HAVE A COMMITTEE. HAVING A WHS OFFICER AND A COMMITTEE SHOULD MAKE THE SAFETY OF LJ LOOKER A LOT BETTER, EMPLOYEES WILL BE ABLE TO COME TO THE COMMITTEE WITH ANY CONCERNS THEY HAVE ABOUT THE SAFETY OF THE WORKPLACE. I HAVE ALSO SUGGESTED SOME WAYS IN WHICH LJ LOOKER CAN FIX THEIR HAZARDS SUCH AS SAFETY SIGNS AND GENERAL MAINTENANCE. I HOPE TO SEE SOME REAL IMPROVEMENT IN THE GENERAL SAFETY OF LJ LOOKER AFTER ALL THESE CHANGES HAVE BEEN MADE AND I BELIEVE THAT THE STAFF WILL ENJOY COMING TO WORK A LOT MORE KNOWING THEY ARE IN A SAFE WORKING ENVIRONMENT.

6. Reference List • TRISH SHANNON, MICHELLE HEINEMANN (2004) BUSINESS COMMUNICATION & TECHNOLOGIES

• Rhonda Rasmussen, Aliisa Mylonas, Hilary Beck (2009) south yarra, Business

Communication and Technologies in a changing world

• Commonwealth Legislation

• State legislation

• Australian Standard of Safety Signs

• http://www.deir.qld.gov.au

Appendix A

Legislated Responsibilities of employers and employees

Employer Responsibilities:

• Provide and maintain a safe and healthy work environment

• Provide and maintain safe plant fixtures and fittings.

• Ensure the safe use, handling, storage and transport of substances.

• Ensure safe systems of work.

• Provide information, instruction, training and supervision when necessary.

• Ensure appropriate, safe access to and from the workplace is available.

Employee Responsibilities:

• Comply with Workplace Health and Safety instructions given for the workplace by the employee.

• Use personal protective equipment if it’s provided by the employer, and where instruction has been given on its user.

• Not to willfully or recklessly interfere with or misuse anything provided for Workplace Health and Safety.

• Not to willfully place at risk the Workplace Health and Safety of any person at the workplace.

• Not to willfully injure himself or herself.

Appendix B

The different types of safety signs that you can find in the workplace

Mandatory signs: • Are used to indicate an instruction to be followed • Feature white symbols on a circular blue background • Sometimes provide written instructions as black text on white background

Prohibition signs: • Describe a forbidden activity • Feature a black symbol, surrounded by a red ring with a slash across it • Sometimes provide written instructions as black text on a white background

Warning signs: • Alert people to hazards that are unlikely to be life-threatening • Feature black symbols inside a black triangle, on a yellow background • Sometimes provide written instructions as black text on a yellow background

Danger signs: • Alert people to hazards that are likely to be life threatening. • Contain the word ‘danger’ in a red ellipse framed by a black rectangle

Cautions: • Alert people to a hazard that may lead to minor injury • Should not be used when serious injury or death are possible

First aid/safety equipment signs • Advise the location of safety equipment or features • Use various combinations of green and white for lettering and background.

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