OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH & SAFETY protection
IN THE WORKPLACE MAGAZINE
OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH & SAFETY
IN THE WORKPLACE MAGAZINE Printed By WDS GRAPHICS PTY LTD ABN: 33 606 737 731 PO BOX 119 Murwillumbah NSW 2484 E: ACCOUNTS@OHAS.NET.AU
Workplace Health & Safety 3-4 What is OHS? 5 Accidents and injuries 6 Insurance & workers’ compensation 7 How insurance works 8 WHS/OH&S acts, regulations and codes of practice 9 When a WorkCover inspector calls 10-11 10 Construction Site Safety Tips 12-16 Workplace bullying: Violence, Harassment and Bullying 17
The information in this magazine is voluntarily provided as a public service. it has been prepared in good faith and is derived from sources believed to be both reliable and accurate at the time of publication. However, the accuracy of the data cannot be guaranteed and “OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH & SAFETY IN THE WORKPLACE MAGAZINE” disclaims liability for any act or omission done or not done in reliance on this data and for any consequences, directly or indirectly arising from this act or omission. Intended as a guide only. Readers should obtain their own independent advice.
Workplace Health & Safety What is Workplace health and safety (WHS)?
Workplace Health and Safety (WHS), often referred to as Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) involves the assessment and migration of risks that may impact the health, safety or welfare of those in your workplace. This may include the health and safety of your customers, employees, visitors, contractors, volunteers and suppliers. As a business owner there are legal requirements that you must comply with to ensure your workplace meets WHS obligations.
WHS or OH&S What’s the difference?
Before 2012, workplace health and safety (WHS) laws were known as Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) laws. These laws differed across Australian states and territories. To make the laws more consistent across Australia, in 2012 the state and territory governments agreed to develop model laws (WHS Act and Regulations), on which they could base their health and safety laws.
Benefits of WHS in your business Creating a safe work environment is a legal requirement and critical to the long term success of your business. It can: • help you retain staff • maximise employee productivity • minimise injury and illness in the workplace • reduce the costs of injury and workers’ compensation • ensure you meet your legal obligations and employee responsibilities.
WHS obligations for business
As a business owner you have legal responsibilities to implement health and safety practices in your workplace as soon as you start your business. You need to ensure that your business doesn’t create health and safety problems for your employees, contractors, volunteers, visitors, customers or the public. Knowing and understanding WHS laws and how they apply to business will help you avoid unnecessary costs and damage to your business caused by workplace injury and illness. Under Australian WHS/OH&S legislation businesses are legally obliged to: • provide safe work premises • assess risks and implement appropriate measures for controlling them
• ensure safe use and handling of goods and substances • provide and maintain safe machinery and materials • assess workplace layout and provide safe systems of work • provide a suitable working environment and facilities • have insurance and workers compensation workers’ compensation insurance for your employees.
WHS/OH&S requirements in your industry, state or territory
Though it may cost to implement safe practices and install safety equipment, the effect of not taking action can be severe and costly. Complying with WHS requirements can prevent you from being prosecuted and fined, and help you to retain skilled staff.
It’s important to note that while Safe Work Australia leads the development of national policy to improve work health and safety and workers’ compensation arrangements across Australia, it does not regulate or enforce WHS legislation. It can however, provide education, training and advice on work health and safety and how to incorporate safety management into your business operations.
Your legal obligations may vary according to circumstances and industry. You may wish to seek independent legal advice on what is applicable to your situation.
WHS obligations for workers People working in your business have work health and safety obligations to themselves and their workmates. They must: • comply with instructions given for work health and safety • use any provided personal protective equipment (PPE) and be properly trained in how to use it • not wilfully or recklessly interfere with or misuse anything provided for work health and safety at the workplace • not wilfully place others at risk • not wilfully injure themselves.
The WHS requirements and legislations you are required to meet as a business will depend on the state or territory you are in. Find the WHS/OH&S authority in your state or territory, including the acts, regulators and codes of practice.
The industry you operate in can also affect the WHS laws which affect you. For example, a mining company has WHS requirements that are irrelevant to a florist. Read the Industry research for industry specific information and requirements within the workplace online.
What is OHS? “Australian law must ensure healthy and safe workplaces and a compensation and rehabilitation system which ensures that no worker is disadvantaged should they be injured at work” - Union Charter of Workplace Rights* Occupational health and safety is concerned with protecting the safety, health and welfare of people engaged in work or employment. The enjoyment of these standards at the highest levels is a basic human right that should be accessible by each and every worker. Regardless of the nature of their work, workers should be able to carry out their responsibilities in a safe and secure working environment, free from hazards. These rights are set out in legislation to ensure that employers are clear about the obligations and the consequences for neglecting them.
• Workplace injury and disease destroys quality of life, social and family activities, affects job prospects and career advancement • An Australian worker is seriously injured every
2-3 minutes • In 2009/10, 567 500 workers were injured while at work but only 38% received workers’ compensation • It is estimated that around 7000 deaths each year are related to work-related diseases. This is four times the annual national road toll.
Workplace injuries, diseases and fatalities, in 2008-09 financial year, were estimated to cost the economy around $60.6 billion in forgone economic activity, or 4.8 per cent of Australia’s total GDP. Previous Safe Work Australia reports estimated the costs to the economy to be: 1992 - 1993 $20 Billion 2000 - 2001 $34.3 Billion or 5% GDP 2005-2006 $57.5 Billion or 5.9% GDP 2008-2009 $60.6 Billion or 4.8% GDP Safe Work Australia has identified that: 5% of total costs are borne by employers, 74% by workers and 21% by the community. The emerging trend over the last three reports is that an increasing proportion of costs are borne by workers and decreasing proportion of costs are borne by the community. Australian Unions continue to call for an inquiry to ascertain the true extent of cost shifting by workers’ compensation schemes onto injured workers and government services - including the public health and social security systems.
Accidents and injuries
It is widely recognised that being in work is beneficial for your overall health. Statistics also show that workplaces are becoming safer, with a decreasing number of workplace injuries. In the unfortunate event of being involved in an accident or injury at work, it’s important to deal with the cause of the incident to prevent it from happening again.
Causes of workplace injuries
Injuries at work occur for a variety of reasons, most commonly as a result of: • musculoskeletal disorders; • exposure to harmful substances; • excessive noise; • stress.
Musculoskeletal disorders refers to a range of muscle and joint problems, including: • back pain; • upper limb disorders (ULDs).
to substances that irritate your airways. These can include manufactured chemicals, as well as organic materials such as wood dust. Exposure can result in coughs, breathlessness and chest tightening. Coming into contact with substances that irritate your skin can trigger occupational dermatitis. This can result in itching, rashes and skin blisters.
Exposure to excessive levels of noise can result in temporary and permanent hearing loss. This is also related to the condition tinnitus, which causes a constant ringing in the ears. Minimising your exposure to excessive noise will help to reduce the chances of developing hearing problems.
Work-related stress can lead to reduced concentration and impaired decision making. This can increase your chances of being involved in an accident at work.
Back pain is the most frequently cited reason for sickness absence in the UK. It isn’t only associated with labour intensive jobs involving heavy lifting, but with office-based roles requiring employees to sit for long periods of time using computer equipment.
Work activity risk assessment
Previously known as repetitive strain injuries, ULDs can include conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow. These are often pre-existing conditions and are exacerbated by adopting an awkward posture for long periods of time at work.
Action could be taken to deal with hazards in the workplace, such as:
Exposure to hazards in the workplace
The nature of your work may require you to come into contact with substances that can adversely affect your health. Some substances may worsen a pre-existing allergy or cause new allergic reactions. This can include things that affect your breathing or react with your skin, resulting in occupational asthma or dermatitis. Occupational asthma can be caused by exposure
Your employer has a legal requirement to assess any risks to your health and safety in your workplace, helping to minimise the risk of accident or injury.
• providing hearing protection against excessive noise levels; • limiting exposure to potentially harmful substances; • conducting Display Screen Equipment tests on workstations.
It’s important that you attend any training provided to raise your awareness of the causes of injuries and to enable you to prevent them from happening.
Insurance & workers’ compensation It’s essential to arrange insurance when you’re in business - this may include insuring your company, your income and your commercial risk. Taking out the right insurance will help protect your business and minimise its exposure to risk The types of insurance required for running your business will vary depending on: • the type of business you’re running • the structure of your business • its size • which industry you belong to. There will also be certain types of insurance that are compulsory, such as: • workers’ compensation insurance - if you employ people in your business • third party personal injury insurance - for any motor vehicles you own • public liability insurance - for certain types of companies. Even if insurance is not compulsory, taking out the right insurance can help protect your business and minimise its exposure to risk.
In the event of a work-related accident or illness, occupational health and safety (OH&S) and work health and safety (WHS) laws require that injured workers have access to first aid, workers’ compensation and return to work rehabilitation. It’s your responsibility as an employer to: • maintain a safe workplace • maintain current workers’ compensation insurance • protect yourself and your workers from financial hardship in the event of a workplace injury.
How insurance works What is insurance?
Insurance is a contract where you pay a premium and an insurer has an obligation to cover and compensate you for particular events such as losses, damage, illness or death.
There are different kinds of insurance contracts. Examples include: • asset and revenue insurance • personal and workers insurance • liability insurance.
Insurance contract terms
Like normal contracts, insurance contracts have terms. Some examples of insurance contract terms include: Conditions of being covered, such as: • having smoke alarms in your building • making sure your vehicles are regularly serviced • how long you’re covered before you have to renegotiate your insurance contract
How much gets paid out to compensate you, such as: • an agreed amount • market value • a percentage of a market value How much you pay for the insurance and when, such as: • annual payout limit • lifetime limits • limits per claim • what you’re cover for.
Product disclosure statements
Under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), insurers have an obligation to provide a product disclosure statement that explains their insurance products, including: • who is offering the insurance • any contract terms • any information reasonably expected to significantly affect their insurance products. It’s a good idea to read an insurer’s product disclosure statement before entering into an insurance contract.
WHS/OH&S acts, regulations and codes of practice
Safe Work Australia leads the development of national policy to improve work health and safety and workers’ compensation arrangements across Australia. It does not regulate or enforce WHS legislation. As a business owner, you must meet the WHS requirements set out in the acts and regulations in your state or territory. You may face penalties if you don’t meet them.
Acts give a general overview of how to make
workplaces safe and healthy. They outline your legal responsibilities and duties as an employer and business owner.
Regulations set out the standards you need to meet for specific hazards and risks, such as noise, machinery, and manual handling. They also set out the licenses you need for specific activities, the records you need to keep, and the reports you need to make.
Regulating agencies (also known as
regulators) administer health and safety laws. They’re responsible for inspecting workplaces, providing advice and help, and handing out notices and penalties where necessary. When courts are deciding whether workplace health and safety laws have been met, they may consider whether you’ve followed the approved codes of practice for your state or territory. You can get the approved codes of practice, and advice and support from the regulator in your state or territory listed below.
Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
• Act: Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (ACT) • Regulation: Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (ACT) • Codes: ACT Codes of Practice • Regulator: WorkSafe ACT
New South Wales (NSW)
• Act: Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW) • Regulation: Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (NSW) • Codes: NSW Codes of Practice • Regulator: SafeWork NSW
Northern Territory (NT)
• Act: Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act 2011 (NT) • Regulation: Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Regulations (NT) • Codes: NT Codes of Practice • Regulator: NT WorkSafe
• Act: Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld) • Regulation: Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (Qld) • Codes: Qld Codes of Practice • Regulator: Workplace Health and Safety Queensland
South Australia (SA)
• Act: Work Health and Safety Act 2012 (SA) • Regulation: Work Health and Safety Regulation 2012 (SA) • Codes: SA Codes of Practice • Regulator: SafeWork SA
• Act: Work Health and Safety Act 2012 (Tas) • Regulation: Work Health and Safety Regulation 2012 (Tas) • Codes: Tas Codes of Practice • Regulator: WorkSafe Tasmania
• Act: Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic) • Regulation: Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007 (Vic) • Codes: Vic Compliance Codes • Regulator: WorkSafe Victoria
Western Australia (WA)
• Act: Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 (WA) • Regulation: Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 (WA) • Codes: WA Codes of Practice • Regulator: WorkSafe WA
When a WorkCover inspector calls ... WorkCover NSW inspectors have wide powers to enter workplaces and carry out investigations, but employers should also be aware they have a number of rights under OHS law. Speaking at a breakfast seminar, John Stanton, a partner with Australian Business Lawyers, said WorkCover inspectors have powers to enter any premises believed to be a place of work. They also have the right to dismantle plant and equipment, to take and keep things, and to access documents. WorkCover inspectors also initiate the vast majority of prosecutions for OHS breaches, and penalties can range from $55,000 for first time offending individuals, to $825,000 for a previously offending corporation. But if an inspector ‘knocks on your door’, you have the right to ask them to produce an identification card. If someone claiming to be an inspector can’t produce an identification, you can refuse them entry, Stanton said.
Tips — when speaking to WorkCover inspectors
Stanton said employers, directors and managers should take note of the following tips when speaking to WorkCover inspectors:
Keep it formal
Check statements and keep records
Make sure you get copies of any statements a WorkCover inspector takes from you. Check the statement is correct and keep a record of it. You should also ask for receipts for anything an inspector takes from the workplace
Don’t guess or speculate when answering questions
‘Speculation can be prejudicial to you’ should a case arise, Stanton said. ‘Stick to the facts when dealing with inspectors.’ ‘Your obligation is to answer [the inspector’s] questions, not to guess or speculate’, Stanton said. If you don”t know the answer, simply say “I don’t know the answer to that question”, or “the facts are not within my knowledge”.’
Protect yourself from incrimination
You are obliged to answer an inspector’s questions where possible, Stanton said. You can’t refuse to answer an inspector’s questions on the basis that you might incriminate yourself (as is the general rule under common law), he said.
Stanton advised seminar participants to treat all conversations with WorkCover inspectors as ‘formal’ conversations.
However, you can rely on a provision under s65 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000 to prevent anything you say being used against you in a prosecution as ‘a natural person’.
‘There is no [such thing as an] informal chat with a WorkCover inspector.’ Stanton said. Assume that information is being gathered and recorded and that it could be used later on if a prosecution arises. Accordingly your dealings with inspectors should be treated formally.
Stanton strongly advises that you let the inspector know you are aware of this right at the time of the interview. The fact that you are relying on this right should also be noted at the end of the statement. In the last couple of years, it has become common practice for WorkCover inspectors to inform interview subjects of this right, he added.
Using s65 only protects individuals from having their statement used against them personally in a prosecution — it doesn’t protect the corporation from having the evidence given used against it.
Seek legal advice
You have the right to seek legal advice and representation and ‘I strongly recommend you do so’, Stanton said. In practice, in most situations you will have some prior notice of WorkCover investigations and interviews — even if it is only a couple of hours — and you should use that time to ensure you have legal advice available. ‘Often people don’t consider the legal implications that may flow on from a WorkCover inspector’s visit’, Stanton said. ‘But the way in which you give information and answer questions could have significant legal consequences. Having legal advice from the very beginning could ensure your interests are protected and the process is fair.’
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10 Construction Site Safety Tips 1. Fall Protection Duty to Have Fall Protection.
2. Scaffolds General Requirements.
Duty to have fall protection is the most cited standard in the construction industry and is one of the leading causes of worker deaths in construction. Employers need to do a better job of assessing job sites and implementing fall protection systems to protect workers.
Approximately 65% of all construction workers perform work on scaffolds. Employees performing work on and around scaffolding are exposed to falls, electrocutions and falling object hazards.
Workers: Workers should familiarize themselves with all potential fall hazards on a job site. Never work in an area where fall protection systems have yet to be installed. Workers using personal fall arrest systems should inspect them before each use to ensure they are working properly and are free of damage. The lanyard or lifeline should be short enough to prevent the worker from making contact a lower level in the event of a fall. This means taking into account the length of the lanyard, length of dynamic elongation due to elastic stretch and the height of the worker. Employers: Employers are required to provide fall protection systems to protect their workers on walking or working surfaces with unprotected edges or sides that are six feet above a lower level. Fall protection can include guardrails, safety net systems and personal fall arrest systems. Guardrails are the only method approved that actually prevents falls from occurring. Safety nets and personal fall arrest systems prevent workers from falling a great distance. Fall protection includes protecting workers from falling into holes such as elevator shafts and skylights as well as excavations. Employers are also required to protect workers from falling objects by requiring hard hats be worn by workers and by installing toeboards, screens or guardrails, erecting canopies or barricading the area to keep workers out.
Workers: Hard hats should be worn when working on, under or around a scaffold. Workers should also wear sturdy, non-skid work boots and use tool lanyards when working on scaffolds to prevent slips and falls and to protect workers below. Workers should never work on scaffolding covered in ice, water or mud. Workers are prohibited from using boxes, ladders or other objects to increase their working height when on a scaffold. Workers should never exceed the maximum load when working on scaffolds. Never leave tools, equipment or materials on the scaffold at the end of a shift. Workers should not climb scaffolding anywhere except for the access points designed for reaching the working platform. Tools and materials should be hoisted to the working platform once the worker has climbed the scaffold. If personal fall arrest systems are required for the scaffold you will be working on, thoroughly inspect the equipment for damage and wear. Workers should anchor the system to a safe point that wonâ€™t allow them to free fall more than six feet before stopping. Employers: All scaffolding should be designed, erected and disassembled by a competent person. A competent person should also inspect scaffolding before the start of work each day to ensure that it is safe for use. Scaffolding should be erected on solid footing, fully planked and at least 10 feet away from power lines. Scaffolding should be erected with
guardrails, midrails and toeboards to protect employees working on, under and around scaffolding.
3.Stairways & Ladders Ladders. Improper ladder use is one of the leading causes of falls for constructions workers resulting in injury or death. Reasons for ladder falls include incorrect ladder choice, failure to properly secure the ladder and attempting to carry tools and materials by hand while climbing. Workers: Always maintain three points of contact while ascending and descending a ladder, that’s both feet and at least one hand. Portable ladders should be long enough to be placed at a stable angle extend three feet above the work surface. Workers should tie ladders to a secure point at the top and bottom to avoid sliding or falling. Tools and materials should be carried up using a tool belt or a rope to pull things up once you’ve stopped climbing. Never load ladders beyond their rated capacity, including the weight of the worker, materials and tools. Employers: A competent person should inspect all ladders before use each day. Defective ladders should be marked or tagged out and taken out of service until they can be properly repaired. Workers should be trained on ladder safety and know how to select the proper ladder for the job. All ladders on the construction site should conform to OSHA standards. This includes jobmade ladders, fixed ladders and portable ladders, both self-supporting and those that aren’t. If workers are using energized electrical equipment, ladders should have nonconductive side railings.
4. Fall Protection
Training Requirements. It’s not a surprise that the top four most frequently cited OSHA standards in construction have to do with protecting workers from falls. Falls are the leading cause of fatalities in construction, accounting for nearly 40% of all worker deaths. Providing proper and ongoing training to workers can go a long way in reducing the number of falls suffered at the construction site. Workers: Workers should be able to recognize the hazards of falling and know the procedures to follow to minimize hazards and prevent falls. Employers: A competent person is required to provide training to all employees that might be exposed to fall hazards. Again, this should cover all employees because at some point nearly everyone on the construction site is exposed to a fall hazard of some type. Topics of the training program should include the nature of fall hazards present on the construction site, proper erection, inspection and maintenance of fall protection systems, use of fall protection systems and personal fall arrest systems and the role of the employee in safety monitoring and the fall protection plan. Employers are also required to maintain certification records of fall protection planning for all employees. Retraining is required for changes that render prior training obsolete and instances where it is apparent that a worker has not retained enough knowledge from the training program to ensure their safety.
5. Personal Protective & Life Saving Equipment Eye & Face Protection.
6. Personal Protective and Life Saving Equipment Head Protection.
OSHA recently updated their standard covering eye and face protection in construction with the new rule going into effect in April 2016.
Hard hats are commonplace at the construction site. They protect workers a number of hazards such as falling and flying objects, electrical shock and other impacts.
OSHA requires that workers be provided with and wear face and eye protection when there are eye or face hazards present from flying particles, molten metal, liquid chemicals, acids or caustic liquids, chemical gasses or vapors, or potentially injurious light radiation. These hazards are present when doing a variety of task on the job site such as welding, chipping, grinding, masonry work, sanding, woodworking and drilling. When flying object hazards are present, eye protection must be equipped with side protection or be fitted with detachable side protectors. Workers: When wearing eye and face protection, workers should make sure that they donâ€™t interfere with their movements and fit snugly on their faces. Eye and face protection should be kept clean and in good repair. Workers should inspect face and eye protection before use to ensure it is free of cracks, chips and other damage. Eye and face protection that becomes damaged should be replaced immediately. Employers: Employers are required to provide eye and face protection to workers free of charge. Eye and face protection must meet one of the following consensus standards: ANSI Z87.1-1989 (R01998), ANSI Z87.1-2003 or ANSI/ISEA Z87.12010 requirements. Employers should issue eye and face protection to workers based on an assessment of anticipated hazards. If workers have prescription lenses, employers are required to make sure that they have eye protection that incorporates the prescription or that can be worn over the corrective lenses without disturbing them.
Workers: Workers are required to wear head protection wherever there is the potential for being struck in the head, which is basically the entire time you are on the construction site. Possible scenarios include falling tools or debris, accidental nail gun discharge, contact with electrical hazards or swinging construction equipment. Workers should inspect their hard hat for any cracks, dents or any signs of deterioration. Hard hats should fit snugly on your head and not come loose during normal movements or work activities. Employers: Employers are responsible for providing all employees with head protection that meets consensus standards outlined by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or is constructed in accordance with one of those consensus standards. Employers are not allowed to charge employees for the cost of head protection or require them to provide their own hard hat unless they do so voluntarily. Hard hats should be kept in good condition and be replaced immediately if they suffer a heavy blow or electric shock.
7. Toxic and Hazardous Substances Hazard Communication. This is a general industry standard that focuses on requirements for employers that have hazardous chemicals in their workplace. Some examples of hazardous materials commonly found at construction sites include lead, silica, asbestos and treated wood or wood that will be cut and generate dust. Certain building materials also contain hazardous chemicals such as zinc, cadmium, beryllium and mercury. Workers: Workers should be able to read and use Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for any hazardous chemical being used at the construction site. Employees should wear proper PPE when handling hazardous chemicals and should clean up any spill when they occur. Employers: Employers are required to implement a written hazard communication program that includes an inventory of all hazardous chemicals used at the site. All container of hazardous substances must have a hazard warning and be labeled. Employers should have an MSDS available for each hazardous substance. Employees should be trained regarding the risk of all hazardous chemicals along with proper handling instructions.
8. General Safety and Health Provisions The purpose of this standard is to protect construction workers from being required to “work in surroundings or under working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to his health or safety” by contractors and subcontractors. Workers: The key takeaway from this standard for workers is that they should know that there are protections in place for their safety while working on the construction site. This includes receiving proper training for specific job duties and being provided with personal protective equipment (PPE). Workers should never operate any machinery or equipment if they have not been properly and adequately trained on its safe operation.
Employers: Employers are required to implement safety programs in order to protect workers and prevent accidents. A competent person(s) is required to provide inspections of job sites, equipment and materials and includes ensuring that non-compliant tools and machinery are taken out of use by locking or tagging or removing them from the job site Construction standards take precedence over any similar or applicable general industry standard. In addition to providing necessary PPE to employees at no cost, employers are also required to provide training to all employees on hazards and all related matters for construction standards applicable to a worker’s job duties.
9. Scaffolds Aerial Lifts Aerial lifts fall under scaffolding and are vehiclemounted devices used to elevate workers such as articulating and extendable boom platforms, vertical towers and aerial ladders. Hazards associated with the use of aerial lifts include fall and ejections from the lift platform, tip-overs and structural failures of the lift, electric shock, contact with overhead objects or ceiling and being struck by objects falling from lifts. Workers: Workers must be trained and authorized in order to operate an aerial lift. Inspect all vehicle and lift components based on the manufacturer’s recommendations before operating an aerial lift to ensure it is in safe working condition. Never operate a lift if any component is missing, damaged or appears defective. Always stand on the floor of the lift platform or bucket when working, never use a ladder or other device to increase your working height. Make sure that your harness or restraining belt and lanyard are securely attached to the boom or bucket and that they are in good working condition. Never exceed the load capacity or the vertical and horizontal reach limits of the lift. Lower the lift platform when driving the lift and stay at least 10 feet away from overhead lines. Employers: Employers should ensure that all workers operating aerial lifts receive proper training before being authorized to use them
and provide retraining in the event a worker has an accident while operating a lift, hazards are discovered, a different type of lift is being used or if the workers are observed improperly operating a lift. In addition to ensuring that all aerial lifts are in good operating condition, employers are also responsible for having work zones inspected for hazards including holes or unstable surfaces, overhead obstructions, inadequate ceiling heights and slopes or ditches. Employers should also have power lines de-energized when possible when workers are in the vicinity.
10. Fall Protection Fall Protection Systems Criteria and Practices. This standard covers all of the requirements and provisions for the different types of fall protection required by OSHA. It covers items like guardrail height requirements and minimum tensile strength for components of personal fall arrest systems. This standard also covers requirements for covers over holes and openings and provisions for establishing controlled access zones. Workers: Workers should be aware of potential fall hazards as well as what fall protection systems have been put in place to protect them. If workers are using personal fall arrest systems, they should inspect them for wear and ensure that all components are in good working order and that the harness properly fits. Employers: Employers are required to install all required fall protection systems before any employees begin work. Employers should remember that they are also responsible for protecting workers from falling objects with either toeboards, canopies or guardrails. If using a safety monitoring system, the safety monitor should be a competent person who remains on the same walking or working surface and in visual sight and hearing distance from the worker they are monitoring. They should be able to identify fall hazards and warn workers when they are working unsafely or may be unaware of a fall hazard. If conventional fall protection methods laid out by OSHA are infeasible or create a greater
hazard and a worker is performing leading edge work, precast concrete erection or residential construction work, the employer must have a fall protection plan. The plan must be site specific and developed by a qualified person. In areas where conventional methods cannot be used must be classified as controlled access zones and only workers designated to perform work there are allowed to enter.
Work Smart, Be Safe!
Workplace bullying: Violence, Harassment and Bullying
What is workplace bullying?
Workplace bullying is verbal, physical, social or psychological abuse by your employer (or manager), another person or group of people at work. Workplace bullying can happen in any type of workplace, from offices to shops, cafes, restaurants, workshops, community groups and government organisations. Workplace bullying can happen to volunteers, work experience students, interns, apprentices, casual and permanent employees. Some types of workplace bullying are criminal offences. If you have experienced violence, assault and stalking you can report it directly to the police.
What does bullying in the workplace look like?
• repeated hurtful remarks or attacks, or making fun of your work or you as a person (including your family, sex, sexuality, gender identity, race or culture, education or economic background) • sexual harassment, particularly stuff like unwelcome touching and sexually explicit comments and requests that make you uncomfortable • excluding you or stopping you from working with people or taking part in activities that relates to your work • playing mind games, ganging up on you, or other types of psychological harassment • intimidation (making you feel less important and undervalued) • giving you pointless tasks that have nothing to do with your job • giving you impossible jobs that can’t be done in the given time or with the resources provided • deliberately changing your work hours or
schedule to make it difficult for you • deliberately holding back information you need for getting your work done properly • pushing, shoving, tripping, grabbing you in the workplace • attacking or threatening with equipment, knives, guns, clubs or any other type of object that can be turned into a weapon • initiation or hazing - where you are made to do humiliating or inappropriate things in order to be accepted as part of the team.
How bullying can affect your work
If you are being bullied at work you might: • be less active or successful • be less confident in your work • feel scared, stressed, anxious or depressed • have your life outside of work affected, e.g. study, relationships • want to stay away from work • feel like you can’t trust your employer or the people who you work with • lack confidence and happiness about yourself and your work • have physical signs of stress like headaches, backaches, sleep problems
What is not workplace bullying Some practices in the workplace may not seem fair but are not bullying. Your employer is allowed to transfer, demote, discipline, counsel, retrench or sack you (as long as they are acting reasonably).