Wednesday 28th of April is the internationally recognised World Day for Safety and Health at work and Workers’ Memorial Day.
Why do we have an annual day?
In 2003 the International Labour Organisation created the day to raise awareness of accidents and diseases affecting the workplace. The Workers Memorial day, also known as the International Commemoration Day for Dead and Injured Workers was created by the Trade Union movement in 1996. It is an opportunity to reflect and acknowledge those that have been killed or injured at work and their families and loved ones.
In 2019, 183 workers were fatally injured at work, with most being in the transport, construction and agricultural industries. Any workplace death is tragic and unacceptable. With preventative action we can work together to eliminate workplace deaths in future years.
What are my responsibilities as an employee?
Employees must take reasonable care for their own health and safety to ensure any acts or omissions do not adversely affect the health and safety of other persons in the workplace. Employees are also required to comply with any reasonable safety related instruction given by their employer and are required to cooperate with any reasonable policy or procedure relating to health and safety in the workplace.
What are my responsibilities as an employer?
As an employer you have an obligation to ensure the workplace health and safety of all workers whether they are employees, volunteers, or contractors of your business. You are also responsible to ensure the health and safety of other persons, such as visitors, is not put at risk by the activities of your business.
The theme for this year is ‘Anticipate, prepare and respond to crisis and invest now in resilient OHS Systems’. This means that workplaces should aim to implement an OH&S system that is planned, systematic and assesses risks and hazards.
Workplace Health and Safety for small business requires a tailored approach – but most should include a review of the work environment, work systems, plant and structures, substances that are used or stored, as well as providing adequate information, instruction, training and supervision for work to be carried out safely.
Safe Work Australia is an excellent resource for specific duties and activities for Workplace Health and Safety for small business. These include:
- Have a clear safety policy and make it visible to staff and visitors
- Set goals for the safe work environment you want and regularly check progress against these goals
- Put in place systems for safety issues to be communicated, both from your workers up to you and from you down to your workers
- Schedule regular paid time for workers to talk about and act on health and safety issues. This may include developing safe work procedures, maintaining tools and equipment, making changes to workplace layout that improve safety, and refreshing their knowledge of good safety practices
- Make sure all staff, including supervisors, are sufficiently trained and competent.
If you would like support Industryus now has a a dedicated Workplace Health and Safety Consultant to assist, contact us on 07 5655 4047 or book an intro session.