Workplace Health and Safety Obligations 

In the current climate of hypervigilance and hygiene, employers need to be careful not to let their standard. Workplace Health and Safety Standards lapse.

Employers have an obligation to ensure the workplace is safe. This means ensuring that all persons who access your work environment are not at risk of a physical or psychological injury, or if there are risks that these are minimised and/or controlled.

How to assess and control all the potential risks in a workplace is a huge task and varies greatly from workplace to workplace, and industry to industry. Some risks areas that you will want to consider are:

  • Is there clear entries, exits and movement within the workplace?
  • Is the work space set up ergonomically?
  • Are floors and surfaces designed, installed and maintained for the tasks being undertaken?
  • Is there adequate lighting to enable each person to carry out work, move within workplace and evacuate in an emergency?
  • Is there sufficient ventilation?
  • Are there any risks associated with extremes in temperatures?
  • Are there adequate facilities for workers (Inc. include toilets, drinking water, washing and eating facilities), and are these maintained in good working order and clean, safe and accessible?

Many organisations may minimise and control for risks, but can fail to have emergency plans in place should an incident occur. When developing an emergency plan you should:

  • Include response procedures (including notifying emergency service organisations at the earliest opportunity).
  • Include evacuation procedures.
  • Include procedures for obtaining first aid, or other medical treatment and assistance.
  • Ensure effective communication between the authorised person coordinating the emergency response and all persons at the workplace.
  • Ensure testing of the emergency procedures, and outline the frequency of testing.

The employer also has an obligation to ensure that employees are trained in order to safely complete their jobs, including all relevant risk management and emergency procedures.

Please also refer to A Guide for Covid Safe Business to ensure you are fulfilling your obligations in regards to hygiene and infection control in your workplace.

For more information please do not hesitate to contact the office on 1300 007 110.

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