Preventing injuries in the workplace - 14.4.16

Work-related injuries cost the Australian economy an estimated $60.6 billion each year (4.8 per cent of GDP) according to Safe Work Australia. These injuries impose costs on employers, workers, and the community.

The costs associated with work-related injuries vary depending on the severity of the incident. Most of the injuries can be prevented if the necessary safety measures are put in place.

Workplace injuries can be prevented by-:

Inspecting the workplace

Workplace inspections are an essential part of an effective safety management system and can help prevent injury in the workplace. They help identify potential hazards and their underlying causes. When conducting workplace inspections, the management should be made aware of anything that poses a risk to workers.

Ensuring workers are well trained

Employees should be trained on workplace safety and how to identify potential hazards. Supervising new workers can also help eliminate hazards in the workplace.

Investigating all work-related incidents

Investigating a worksite incident provides employers and workers the opportunity to identify hazards in their operations and shortcomings in their safety and health programs. Most importantly, it enables employers and workers to identify and implement the corrective actions necessary to prevent future incidents.

Prioritising safety in the workplace

Establishing a safe working environment requires everyone in the workplace to make safety a top priority. Employers and employees should work together to make safety a priority. Workers should report any known workplace hazard to their supervisor.

Developing a safety policy

Developing a safety policy in the workplace ensures responsibilities are shared among workers. It also demonstrates the company‚Äôs resolve to minimising workplace hazards.  The company should review the policy every year with a view to assigning safety responsibilities.

Employers have a duty to protect their workers from injury and illness while at work. Under the OHS Act, PCBU must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable the provision and maintenance of a working environment that is safe and without risks to health, including safe access to and exit from the workplace.

Source: OHS News