While it’s important to be prepared to deal with accidents, it’s even more important to do everything possible to prevent them.
And that starts with you!
No matter what your job in the workplace,you need to be aware of the responsibilities you have in the Risk Management process. There are 3 simple steps you need to be a part of:
- Identify Hazards
- Assess Risks
- Control Risks
These important steps are the focus of every WHS decision that gets made. Let’s take a look at how every worker can successfully play their partin accident prevention. We’ll look at each step and provide some simple steps you can take to protect your workplace.
Step 1 – Identify Hazards
Your workplace should already have a Hazard Register. It might be called something else but essentially this is a record of all the known hazards (or things that could cause accidents) in your workplace and their associated risks (what would happen if they did cause an accident).
A hazard register is only useful if it’s kept up to date. As the work environment changes, new hazards appear and need to be added and old ones might change oreven no longer be there.
WHAT YOU CAN DO: If you see something dangerous – or that might be dangerous – Tell someone! Your foreperson, manager or WHS officer needs to know about it. It maybe that something has broken or a new piece of equipment having an unexpected effect on safety. But it won’t get fixed it no one knows about it. And don’t worry if they already know. You can still be certain that you have done everything you can.
Step 2 – Assess the Risk
Once they know about a hazard, your WHS officer needs to assess the situation and work out the risks it causes. They have a simple process to follow involving working out the possible consequences (how bad would it be?) and the likelihood (how soon will it happen?) of an accident occurring. This gives them the information they need to make a good decision.
WHAT YOU CAN DO: As the risk is being assessed, the WHS officer will need to know the full story of those working around the hazard. This may mean getting more information on the workflow, how a piece of equipment is used and what maintenance needs to be performed.
When you are asked for information, you need to tell them everything you can think of. If you notice something that they haven’t, speak up!
Step 3 – Control the Risk
Once all the appropriate information hasbeen gathered, a plan will be made to control the risk. It may involve performing additional maintenance, changing the workflow, how a tool is used or any other measure that is necessary to improve safety.
WHAT YOU CAN DO: Follow the instructions you are given. Never short cut the safety measures that havebeen put in place. This is one of themost important things to remember.
The other thing you can do is provide feedback. Even when a new system of work is put in place, there may need to be changes and refinements made. If you notice that in practice, there are still weaknesses – Speak up! You may, for example, have to take additional safety measures. Tell your WHS officer about them so they can incorporate them into the plan
The important thing is SPEAK UP!
No matter what step of the process your at, it’s important to speak up if you have concerns.
Remember no one can fix something they don’t know about. If you do, then you can besure you are playing your part in making your workplace as safe and preventing accidents.