Basic Occupational Health & Safety

(non-accredited)

  1. Safety and Risk Management
  2. Dealing with Emergencies
  3. Operating Machinery and Vehicles
  4. Working in a Safe Environment

 

Occupational health and safety is every employer and employee’s responsibility. It is essential that our workplaces are kept safe for all staff, visitors, contractors. etc. Occupational safety means a safe workplace for conducting work tasks by following the company’s OH&S procedures without placing yourself or others in danger.

It is essential for every employer to maintain and provide a safe working environment for its employees according to Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004.

It is also essential that every employee only conduct a task, operate machinery and equipment that they are adequately trained to use.

It is your duty of care to your co-worker and yourself that the workplace is a safe place to work, that everyone goes home at the end of their shift.

 

Safety and Risk Management

What is a hazard?

A hazard is a situation that has the potential for an item or issue to cause physical harm. Some hazard examples:

  • A loud noise
  • Bad electrical wiring
  • Wet floor without a wet floor sign
  • Nails on the footpath
  • Extreme vibrations
  • Poor ventilation.

 

What is risk?

Risk is the likelihood of something negative happening to cause an incident.

 

Risk Assessment

Risk assessment is taking a practical step to evaluate a situation or task to identify the likelihood of a hazard occurring.

Five steps of risk assessment:

  1. Document the activity
  2. Identify the hazard
  3. Document the control measures
  4. Identify who is responsible
  5. Monitor and review.

 

What are control measures?

Control measures are the mechanism put in place to reduce or eliminate the likelihood of hazard.

Risk control measures:

  1. Eliminate the risk
  2. Substitute the risk
  3. Engineering controls (better work area design, better ventilation, etc)
  4. Administrative controls (training, work, scheduling, job rotation, PPE).

 

Principles of OH&S
  1. Identify risk (identify and eliminate workplace hazards)
  2. Assess risk
  3. Control sisk
  4. Review control measures.

 

Always Report

It is essential you are aware of your site/workplace reporting procedures. Always report:

  • Any near misses
  • Hazards
  • Potential risks
  • Any bullying
  • Harassment and intimidation
  • When injured at work; report to your supervisor or manager immediately
  • Report any breaches of company/site procedures.

 

Near Misses

All near misses should be reported and documented.

 

Accidents

Unintended incidents that cause damage or injury should be reported. If possible, take pictures of any hazardous item/s that might have caused the accident. A report should be made and sent to your supervisor or manager.

 

Dealing with Emergencies

Fire Warden and First Aid Officer

Every workplace should have a fire warden and first aid officer. It is important to know who is your workplace fire warden and first aid officers.

During fire emergencies, your fire warden will be liaising with the fire brigade and be the chief warden. During the first aid emergency, your workplace first aid officer will be in charge.

It is essential to know any emergency specific locations and equipment are; e.g. Emergency Assembly Point’s, Fire Isolation Room, Fire Extinguishers, Defibrillator (AED), First Aid Kit and Trauma Tents.

Be aware of emergency procedures:

  1. Always participate in fire drills
  2. Know your evacuation tips
  3. Dial ‘000’ in an emergency
  4. Do not use lifts during emergencies
  5. Always use site specific emergency procedures.

 

Correct Use of Fire Extinguishers

It is essential to know where fire extinguishers are stored at your workplace, and how to correctly use them.

Remember this acronym PASS:

  • Pull the pin
  • Aim the nozzle of the fire extinguisher to the base of the fire from a safe distance
  • Squeeze the operating lever of the fire extinguisher to release agent
  • Sweep at the fire from all directions until the fire is put out.

 

Types of Fire Extinguishers and their uses
Types Use Comments
Water Combustible materials (paper, wood) Do not use on electrical fires
Foam (light yellow) Combustible materials (paper, wood) and flammable liquids (paints, petrol)  
Dry Powder Can be used on combustible materials (paper, wood), flammable gases, liquids, metals and electrical fires  
C02 Flammable liquids (paints, petrol) and electrical fires  
Wet Chemical Combustible materials (paper, wood) and deep fat fryers  

 

To learn more about classes of fire and correct use of fire extinguishers, speak to your site supervisor or manager and you can also learn more here freeextinguishersonline.

 

Operating Machinery and Vehicles

Training/Licence

Only drive vehicles and operate machinery that you are licensed and are trained to use. If you are not licensed or are not trained, do not use.

Vehicles/Equipment

Do not leave the vehicle running while parked. Only drive vehicles and machinery, you are trained and license to drive. Do not drive a faulty vehicle, drive at the speed limit, don’t drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Before you drive any work vehicle or machinery; make sure you do a proper inspection to see if there is any damage to the vehicle. If you notice any damage, take pictures and make a report. Report any issues detected while driving a vehicle or using machinery, so the next person would not get hurt or blamed.

While driving work vehicle or machinery in public spaces; you must remember the vehicle or machinery are likely to have company logos on them. So, you must drive safely and with extra care.

 

Working in a Safe Environment

Isolation

Ensure that areas and/or equipment are isolated before any contractor completes any repairs on site. E.g. during maintenance cleaning near electrical power, ensure the power is isolated before cleaning commences. Use appropriate signage to communicate to others e.g. cleaning in progress/slippery when wet signs. Always place the right tags/signage on faulty equipment.

 

Moving or Lifting Heavy Items

It is essential for the employee to understand proper manual handling procedures. Tasks such as lifting, pushing and pulling must be done properly and carefully. If you are unable to lift an item alone, request for assistance, or use proper workplace lifting, pulling and pushing equipment available.

You must remember, when lifting, lift with your knees bent and the weight is more on your legs and not on your back. If you are unable to lift, pull or push call for assistance and don’t do it alone.

 

Safety Data Sheet

A Safety Data Sheet is a safety document used when working with hazardous chemicals or materials. They show guidelines for the proper use of particular chemicals and materials in use, the proper storage procedures, personal protective equipment to use and best first aid response method.

 

Correct Storage

When chemicals and dangerous or hazardous materials are carefully stored, to avoid a potential hazard.

 

Confined Space

Only carry out work in a confined space where you are trained to do so. Before commencing a task, inform a third party, such as your supervisor or manager. Always make sure you do a risk assessment, and you are sure it is safe to work.

Wear proper uniform and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) especially while working in a confined space environment. Once the task is completed, inform your supervisor or manager.

 

Working at Heights

Ensure you are fully trained in working at heights and if possible complete official working at heights training. It is crucial when working at heights, that you are comfortable with heights. If you are not comfortable with working at heights, inform your supervisor or manager. Always make sure you make a risk assessment to eliminate or control any potential hazard.

Use the right equipment:

  • Use the proper ladders when working/climbing heights
  • Use a harness where necessary
  • If possible, use fall arrest systems
  • Always climb the ladder facing forwards, and disembark with your face towards the ladder.

 

Ergonomics

It is essential you work, with proper and comfortable work chair and desk. Keep your workplace clean, use glare reduction screen covers on your computers.

If you are walking or standing for long hours, wear proper comfortable shoes and ask your supervisor when to take a meal break and rest breaks.

 

Environmental Hygiene

Keep the workplace clean and hygienic. Control pest and vermin; regular cleaning, emptying of bins, washing dirty dishes and cleaning the microwave. Follow no smoking requirements. Always wash your hands after each task and take a regular bath at home.

 

Correct Uniform

Always wear appropriate work uniform and PPE when on-site or performing a task. Wear hi-vis, steel-cap boots or other PPE as required.

Wear site and task-specific uniforms. Do not use damaged uniforms or PPE; replace them when required.

When working at night, make sure you wear a hi-vis and use a flashlight. Safety glasses should be worn where required. Raincoats should be worn when it’s raining, and suitable Winter jackets should be worn during winter months.

 

Health

Do not force yourself to work while you are sick at home. If you fall sick while at work report to your supervisor or manager and go home if you can’t continue. If you will be standing or walking for long hours at work, use the right set of shoes.

 

Working Long Hours

If you are working long hours, whether sitting, standing, walking or static; you should prepare appropriately. Use the right shoes for the job, avoid wearing uniforms that will be heavy on you. Have a proper plan for your meal breaks.

 

Night Shift

When working at night shift’s, try to have a consistent sleep pattern at home so that you can stay awake while at work. Only take shifts you can do. If you are unable to do shift work or night shifts, inform your supervisor or manager so they can give you suitable working hours.

 

Rain and Sun

While working in high temperatures or an environment that is exposed to severe heat waves; drink lots of water, use sunscreen, wear sunglasses and sun-protective hats.

Avoid standing in direct sunlight for long hours. When it is raining wear raincoats, find a safe shelter to stay.

 

Bullying, Sexual Harassment and Discrimination

Security Concepts Services, is a business that adheres to Australia 2010 Equal Opportunity Act, as such; all employees who engage in bullying or discrimination of another employee base on their race, religion, sexual orientation, sex or political affiliations will face disciplinary measures and possibly termination of employment

Sexual Harassment of any kind is not acceptable; disciplinary actions will be taken against employees who engage in any sexual harassment and may lead to termination of employment

Security Concepts Services encourages all employees to report any form of bullying, discrimination and sexual harassment to site supervisor/Manager of HR/operations.

 

Drugs and Alcohol

You should not drink alcohol, take drugs or be under the influence of either while at work. If you suspect an employee drinking or taking drugs while at work, report to your supervisor or manager. If you are on any prescription drugs, it is essential you report it to your supervisor or manager.

 

Fatigue

Fatigue is feeling tired or drowsy. Fatigue can be physical or mental; fatigue reduces our ability to work effectively. Fatigue can be caused by so many factors, but the most common cause of fatigue at places of work are; shift work, night shifts, or working extended hours of long shifts.

It is important for fatigue to be addressed properly by; cutting down on the number of hours worked, reducing overtime, going on short holidays, avoiding shift work or speaking to your supervisor or manager for more suitable working hours.

 

References

This short internal course was designed to help our employees understand how to conduct themselves and work in a safe environment. The contents would not have been possible without the assistance of the following organisations: Safework NSW, Intopeopleinc,Worksafe Vic Worksafe Queensland, Femalisafety, Safework Australia and Business.gov.au.

 

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