Question 8 answer
The health and safety representative have to find out the health and safety issues the staff believes are important and convey these issue to the management (Queensland Government, 2016). Therefore, it is important to describe the process we undertook to identify, analyse and consult on the risk. We tried to implemented the well-known risk management process using the four major stages, which are identifying the hazards, assessing the risks (if required), controlling them and reviewing the control measures (SafeWork Sa, 2011).
First, we filled the incident report, with all the necessary information recorded. We tried not only be descriptive, but also reflected on the topic of how this could be prevented from happening again, using the recommendations of our staff, some of whom had the suggestions that we believe can be helpful. As the part of the action plan, the persons responsible were appointed; hence the controlling procedures were followed, because effective risk management means the commitment to WHS from both managers and workers, both parties have to cooperate and comply with own safety policy (WSU, 2012).
All the measures that were taken were in line with the OHS/WHS legislation. This includes the new work health and safety (WHS) laws from 2012, as we consulted with the suggestions of Safe Work Australia. We analysed the data about workplace incident data for the past three months, and consulted with the following guides and regulations to implement the required changes:
First Aid in the Workplace Code of Practice
Managing Electrical Risks in the Workplace Code of Practice
As the part of the action plans in the incident reports we outlined the duty of care responsibilities of employers and employees. However, it is also important to notice that the duties of employees should also be in line with the 2004 Act, and Section 25 in particular, which says that the employees should take the “reasonable care for their own health and safety” and their colleagues, they also should cooperate with the employer in order the be in line with the OHS/WHS legislation (VTHC, 2015).
The current WHS performance with respect to the hazard is far from being ideal, and there are different inadequacies in existing risk control measures. The existing system lacks effective implementation of root cause investigation, safety alerts and general analysis of past and current conditions. One possible way is implementation of different techniques, such as HAZID process, method of checklists, equipment failure case definition, task analysis, Failure Modes Effects Analysis (FMEA), in addition to existing risk assessment frameworks and tools (Comcare, 2015).
One important area that is often overlooked, though it was mentioned in workplace incident data for the past three months, is bullying. We believe that we workers and health and safety representatives have to consult on this issue, set certain standards of workplace behaviour realted to this issue, train managers and employees accordingly. It is suggested that the clear definition of job duties and providing information about this issue can prevent bullying at the workplace (SafeWork Australia, 2016).
Finally, we believe that it is time to review and revise the existing control measures in the future, as the existing control measures cannot be regarded effective, and new hazard and risk are revealed as the result our analysis, in accordance with the recommendations of Safework SA (2016).
Comcare. 2015. HAZARD IDENTIFICATION, RISK ASSESSMENT AND CONTROL MEASURES FOR MAJOR HAZARD FACILITIES, [online] Available at: <https://www.comcare.gov.au/__data/assets/word_doc/0004/39388/Hazard_identification_risk_assessment_and_control_measures_for_MHF.doc> [Accessed 22 January 2016]
Queensland Government. 2016. Health & Safety Representatives, [online] Available at: < http://education.qld.gov.au/health/safety/managing/whsr.html> [Accessed 22 January 2016]
SafeWork Australia. 2016. Frequently Asked Questions: Workplace Bullying, [online] Available at: <http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/swa/model-whs-laws/faqs/pages/workplace-bullying-faqs> [Accessed 22 January 2016]
SafeWork SA. 2011. HOW TO MANAGE WORK HEALTH AND SAFETY RISKS, Code of Practice, [online] Available at: <http://www.safework.sa.gov.au/uploaded_files/CoPManageWorkHealthSafetyRisks.pdf> [Accessed 22 January 2016]
Safework SA. 2016. How to Manage Work Health and Safety Risks [online] Available at: <http://www.safework.sa.gov.au/show_page.jsp?id=113695#.VqTGJfmLTIU> [Accessed 22 January 2016]
VTHC. 2015. Duties of Employees, [online] Available at: < http://www.ohsrep.org.au/law-rights/ohs-legislation/the-ohs-act/duties-of-employees> [Accessed 22 January 2016]
WSU. 2012. Hazard Identification, Risk Assessment and Control Procedure, [online] Available at: < https://www.uws.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/12917/12917_Hazard_Identification,_Risk_Assessment_and_control_Procedure.pdf > [Accessed 22 January 2016]