A Company Director was convicted in December 2021 for failing to identify a hazard that led to a worker suffering “war zone” injuries after they came into contact with high voltage powerlines.
Judge David Russell of the NSW District court said the hazard was there to be seen for some months, prior to handing down the conviction (read more here).
The law in all States is simple; employers have a duty to maintain a work environment that is safe. This duty extends to independent contractors e.g., trades people such as plumbers and electricians who perform work on your site.
A process to identify and control hazards should be central to any safety system and is probably why, conducting workplace risk assessments is the most frequently requested service we provide. We have developed some great tools to assist with this and you are free to use.
One of these is an online self-assessment of your overall safety system to determine the extent to which it complies with legislation.
Tips for identifying and controlling hazards in the workplace
- Encourage workers to report hazards in order to foster a no blame culture.
- Provide a mechanism i.e. risk register for hazards to be reported (click here for template).
- Ensure you have a Risk Assessment Tool that workers know how to use (click here for template).
- Allocate time for workers to conduct formal risk assessments such as site safety walks e.g., 20 minutes per month
In the last few safety updates, we have provided information relating to key areas of OHS compliance in Victoria. The next update will be a summary of what we have learned so far. We trust you are finding these safety updates useful!
“Your Safety Partners are like having a team of in-house safety experts. They are extremely responsive, can support or run a complete GAP analysis, design tailored relevant solutions to suit your business quickly and then help you implement them, including training any third parties. All boxes ticked!”
Karina Richter – Risk and Compliance Manager Hazeldenes