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readys?afety act

ARE REALLY UNDER THE HEALTH AND ARE YOU YOU REALLY With the introduction of the harmonised health and safety In Queensland over introduced the past month orholders. so, there legislation, officers were as duty In Queensland over the pastis month oror so, there So have what is an officer? An officer a person been two major accidents, resultingpersons in six been two major accidents, resulting in six whohave makes, or participates in making, decisions fatalities. Accidents happen; it doesn’t matter how thatfatalities. affect theAccidents whole, or ahappen; substantial part, of matter the it doesn’t how prepared The you duty thinkofyou are, things go wrong. The organisation. an officer is in addition to prepared you think you are, things go wrong. The is, are YOU prepared? thequestion duty requirements of the organisation and in fact question is, are YOU prepared? both entities may be prosecuted.

To be truly prepared you need an emergency plan that is relevant to To be truly you an emergency is relevant to DUEthe DILIGENCE scale of prepared operations at need your workplace. Thisplan planthat would the scale of operations at your workplace. This plan would detail specific emergency procedures, and who will coordinate Officers have a duty to exercise due diligence to ensure their organisation detailprocedures, specific emergency procedures, and who coordinate these example, wardens, aidwill or other complies with the WHSfor laws. The due diligencefirst obligation recognises that these procedures, for example, wardens, first aid or other specialist trained personnel. Personnel mustinfluences be trained tohealth the and the behaviour and decisions of officer/s strongly the specialist trained personnel. Personnel must be trained to the level required oforganisation. their role, and procedures must bebe tested safety culture of the Inthe addition, an officer can found guilty level required of their remembering role, and the procedures must beare tested theregardless workplace, fire and evacuation not guilty. of anwithin offence of whether the organisation has been found within the workplace,that remembering fireat and evacuation are not the only emergencies may present your workplace. To demonstrate due diligence the officer must: the only emergencies that may present at your workplace. • Acquire and keep up-to-date knowledge of work health and safety Rehabilitation matters — theinjury officer needsinto keepbeing abreast of their healthto and safety IfRehabilitation a worker’s results them unable to return their If a worker’s injury results in them to returnto toassist their requirements through training, seminars, orunable other activities. Membership normal duties, a rehabilitation plan being should be developed normal duties, a rehabilitation should be developed to assist the worker’s recovery. The plan would becurrency developed in consultation with a relevant industry body canplan assist in of information and the also worker’s recovery. The plan developed in consultation with the treating practitioner, the would workerbe and their supervisor, and may provide an industry contact. withinclude the treating practitioner, thespecialist worker and their treatment. supervisor, and may suitable duties and medical • Gain an understanding of the nature of the operations — if the officer’s may include suitable and work specialist medical treatment. There is research that duties promotes as having important health background is different the organisation’s operation, then the officer There is research thatto promotes work as having important and wellbeing benefits, and an early return to work / activityhealth needs to gain anbenefits, understanding whatreturn the business does and where and help wellbeing and disability. anofearly work / activity may prevent long-term It can to also improve the it may can go wrong with WHS. helpof prevent long-term disability.toIt work can also improve the likelihood the employee continuing once they return. likelihood of the and employee continuing to work—once they return. • Ensure resources processes are provided the officer must Reporting to ofthe ensure that duties the Regulator organisation are met through the provision Reporting theinjuries Regulator incidents and that occur may be reportable ofSpecific safe plant andto equipment, safe systems of work, informationtoand Specific incidents and Safety injuriesQueensland that occur may be reportable to Workplace Health and (the regulator). training, as well as workplace consultation and supervision. This is a Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (the regulator). This is a legislative duty under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011. These • Receive andduty consider information regarding incidents, hazards and legislative under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011. These reportable events include a fatality, a serious injury or illness, and a risks. The officer needs to ensure theya are provided information reportable events include fatality, serious injurywith or illness, and aon dangerous event. For moreainformation see www.worksafe.qld.gov.au incidents, hazards andwww.worksafe.qld.gov.au that they are able to act dangerous event.and Fornon-conformances more information see accordingly. If you have a reportable event, you must also preserve the accident If you for have a authorities reportable event, you must also accident scene the to inspect. • Ensure that the organisation can comply with all preserve duties asthe prescribed scene for the authorities to inspect. under the Work Health and Safety Act.

VERIFYING THE RESOURCES AND PROCESSES USED

The final part of due diligence is that the officer must verify the provisions Investigations Investigations There areofmany reasons why an accident can goiswrong. However, and use resources. In short “I gave it to them” not a defence for a

Therein are many why accident go wrong. However, when focusing onreasons the endVerification user,anthe worker may not identify other lapse WHS standards. may becan demonstrated through: when focusing on the end The user,aim theofworker may not identify other factors that may be amiss. workplace investigations • Making work health and safety a standing agenda item on board that what may be amiss. The of workplace investigations isfactors to identify contributed to aim the incident. Remember, the meeting agendas, including discussions of incidents and other issues is to identify what contributed to the incident. Remember, the workers involved in the accident did not intend for the situation over the period.in the accident did not intend for the situation workers involved to go wrong, so what allowed the situation to evolve? Even a •  Implementing a process for evaluation andto review safe to go wrong, so what allowed theassituation evolve? a policies ‘close call’ is worth investigating, it could have hadofaEven verywork ‘close is worthWe investigating, as it could a very andcall’ procedures. different outcome. call these ‘freebies’ or have ‘nearhad misses’ different outcome. call audits, these ‘freebies’ or ‘near cost. misses’ as they allow you toWe investigate without human •  Facilitating independent activethe workplace consultation and as they allow you to investigate without the human cost. site visits.

Check your processes Providing training oraware information to officers the WHS laws and the Check your processes ••  Are your personnel of what to do inabout an emergency? of the organisation carried its emergency? workers. • operations Are your personnel aware of what toout do by in an • Is your equipment maintained and tested as required? • Is your equipment maintained and tested as required? • Do you have trained first aiders? • Do you have trained first aiders? MORE INFORMATION • Do you have procedures in place to conduct More information the duty officers be found on the Work Health and • follow-ups Do you have procedures in of place to may conduct atregarding your workplace? Safety website, www.worksafe.qld.gov.au follow-ups at your workplace? . Officers that are seeking more information There are somehealth sample emergency plans on the regarding specific and safety issues need to ensure theQueensland source is credible There are some sample emergency plans on Queensland with the required competencies and experience. The Safety Institute of Australia has Fire and Emergency Services website that canthe be amended Fire and Emergency Services website that be that amended introduced professional membership, to the US can and UK, to suit your workplace needs -similar www.qfes.qld.gov.au mrequires the person/source hold specificneeds qualifications and to possess experience to suit your to workplace - www.qfes.qld.gov.au m in the field in order to be eligible. See sia.org.au for more details. m

Steve Fitzpatrick Safety Steve Fitzpatrick,,Encompass Encompass Safety Steve Fitzpatrick is a Certified Safety

Steve Fitzpatrick is a Certified Safety Professional (SIA), and Registered Auditor Professional (SIA), with and 15 Registered Auditor (Examplar Global), years’ experience (Examplar Global), with 15 years’ experience working with business - developing and working with business - developing and implementing health and safety implementing and safety managementhealth requirements, incident management requirements, investigations and auditing incident investigationssystems. and auditing management management systems.

ARE ARE YOU YOU OKAY... OKAY...

When it comes to your Workplace Health and Safety? When it comes to your Workplace Health and Safety? CONSULTANCY CONSULTANCY > Safety Plans and Procedures > Safety Plans and Procedures > Management Systems > Development Management Systems Development > Safety, Environmental and > Quality Safety, Management EnvironmentalSystem and Quality Management System Auditing Auditing > Incident Investigations > Incident Investigations

TRAINING TRAINING > Cert IV WHS and > Safety Cert IVRepresentative WHS and Safety Representative > Fire Safety including Adviser > and Fire Warden Safety including Adviser and Warden > CPR and First Aid > CPR and First Aid > Traffic Controller and > Implementation Traffic Controller and Implementation

www.encompasssafety.com.au 1300 974 976 1300 974 976 www.encompasssafety.com.au www.bmmag.com.au

61 SAFETY MATTERS

WORKPLACE OFFICERS ANDACCIDENTS: THEIR DUTIES WORKPLACE ACCIDENTS:

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