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According to WHS regulations it the duty of every business owner, manager, and supervisor and even to some extent the individual employee to help in managing work health and safety risks to employees and members of the public that visit or do business with you. But what exactly is involved in managing work health and safety risks.
The First Step Is To Identify Hazards In The Work Place
In some cases, certain jobs have known and easily identifiable hazards, in others the hazards may be there, but may not be quite so identifiable. It is the job of the owner, manager, or supervisor to identify all risks. There are a number of ways to go about managing work health and safety risks, but one very important way is to consult with the workers who actually work each given job. They are the best source of information when it comes to identifying potential dangers in the area where they work.
Keep in mind that these hazards are not just limited to working with equipment and machinery or the likelihood of injury due to poor ventilation, or lighting. The hazards may be due to fatigue, stress, or harassment as well as many other things.
Assess The Risks
Once you have identified the risks the next step is to assess the risk.
・ How likely is that the risk could actually happen?
・ What kind of harm could result?
・ How serious would the harm caused be?
Control the Risks
Once you have assessed the risk you need to begin putting in controls that either eliminate the risks all together or at least minimize the risks. These controls need to be reasonably practical given the circumstances. In other words, if you have a hazard that could result in a small non serious injury, such as a small bruise and the only way to completely remove the risk is with an extremely expensive piece of equipment this would not be considered a practical solution to the problem.
When instituting controls you should again consult with those who work in the area or with a given piece of machinery as they can often offer solutions to hazards you may not have thought of that will prove to be both economic and workable in managing work health and safety risks. Keep in mind that controls should also include any training, or testing you feel is necessary to ensure that the worker understands how to do the job and can follow all safety procedures in managing work health and safety risks.
Reviewing Your Controls
The last step in managing work health and safety risks is to review the controls you have in place to ensure they are working. Again talking with the employees is one of the best ways to find out if the controls you put into place have eliminated or reduced the hazard.
As part of managing and reviewing the controls that are set in place you may need to make frequent checks to see that the employees are using any equipment or gear that is necessary to reducing the risk and keeping adequate records of safety checks and any warning or discipline measures that have been enacted in order to encourage the employees to adhere to the safety controls and guidelines you have put into effect for managing work health and safety risks.
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