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Safe Towns Campaign - are you prepared?

Posted by Andy Perry on 15 August 2016


WorkSafe Victoria has indicated that inspectors will be visiting businesses in the Morwell region from 22 to 26 August, as part of an ongoing workplace safety campaign across Victoria called 'Safe Towns'.  There will be 10 inspectors engaged focusing on the specific challenges that businesses are facing in a working environment.

 Source: safetowork.com.au                

The information session held by the regulator outlined the key areas that will be identified, whilst undertaking the inspections that include Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Requirements ranging from:

  • Hazardous Manual Handling activities that may cause musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) as the regulator has had over 26,000 claims, which was an average of 513 per week;
  • Observing evidence of documented consultative arrangements, such as OHS Committees, Tool Box talks or a new term that was described as car boot talks. It was stress by the regulator that the consultative arrangements must be documented and not hearsay. In addition, if you engage third parties, such as labour hire organisation, these parties must be involved in some of these consultative processes;
  • Reviewing regular servicing and maintenance records for dangerous plant, machinery and equipment that are described in the manufactures specifications;
  • Observing documents and systems for individuals or companies that may be conducting activities when working at heights, which included use of ladders, fall protection devices and mezzanines;
  • Checking records for maintaining electrical equipment, such as Testing and Tagging, Residual Current Device's (RCD) and overloaded electrical sockets;
  • Identifying organisations that are operating Mobile Plant and requesting to observe their developed and implemented Traffic Management Plan;
  • Requesting to observe the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for Dangerous Goods and Hazardous Chemical that are stored or handled in the workplace and items stored at height must be secured at the rear of the shelves to prevent objects from falling;

Workplace Bullying will also have a particular focus as the regulator has identified that psychosocial claims are on the increase. The Technical Inspector outlined to individuals that organisations will need to consider that performance management, not conducted in a reasonable manner will be investigated and even workers who have been discriminated or victimised after leaving the workplace can make a complaint against individuals and the organisation. The regulator stressed that Senior Managers should implement a system of work and take ownership and lead the proactive culture in the business.

The WorkSafe Return to Work (RTW) Manager for the region outlined in the presentation, "If your organisation has had a claim within the last 6 months, it will most likely be visited to review the preventative measures that have been implemented". The Inspectors will also be observing the organisations RTW information and how this material is made readily accessible to workers, such as posters displayed.

If you believe your organisation may need some guidance in relation to the key topics that were presented by the regulator in readiness for an inspection that may take place. HAZCON can provide advice on developing, implementing policies and procedures that may assist in meeting your legal and due diligence obligations.

Please visit our website www.hazcon.com.au to view the extensive range of HSE services and training HAZCON provides. If you are interested in an area that is not shown on our website, please call us so that we can, where possible, work with you; utilising our experience and knowledge to offer a creative solution to your business need.

Author:Andy Perry
Tags:Andy Perry


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