Safety Alerts

A Safety Alert is short guidance material published by Systems on a Shoestring that highlights an incident or unsafe practice to industry. Safety Alerts outlines required action to be taken to prevent the incident from reoccurring or to prevent the unsafe practice.

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Preparing for an emergency

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Emergencies can take on many different forms all with a wide range of factors and influences that require each scenario to be treated and responded to differently. Weather related emergencies can include floods, mudslides, severe drought, brush fires, tornados and hurricanes. People created emergencies may be the result of a burglary or workplace shooting incident. Workplace emergencies can also be created by equipment malfunction, chemical spill or release, and even fire. Some emergencies may require the need to plan to keep all employees safe and secure, others may require immediate evacuation or emergency medical care for an employee or customer.

Do you have similar safety risks in your workplace?

  • Is your business located in an area that experiences seasonal weather extremes?
  • Could a situation arise when you would need to communicate with employees that they should not report to work that day?
  • Is there a chance that an employee could be injured in such a manner that they will need immediate medical care?

Working near overhead power lines

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In February two companies were fined $150,000 over a joint failure to prevent a mobile boom from contacting overhead power lines, resulting in a worker suffering electrical burns.

Do you have similar safety risks in your workplace?

  • Have you identified the overhead power lines and other electrical risks in your workplace?
  • Do you have an inspection programme in place to check that changes are routinely identified?
  • Identify the clearances required and determine how these will be maintained for the duration of the work

Why focus on hearing loss in the work place

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$11.75 billion is the estimated cost of hearing loss in Australian (2005). Currently one in six Australians are affected by hearing loss and by 2050 one in four is expected to be affected. A third of all hearing loss is due to noise exposure. Any equipment or activity that creates noise over 85dB(A) can cause hearing loss.

Do you have noise risks in your workplace?

Who needs a licence to perform high risk work?

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High risk work includes scaffolding, dogging and rigging work, cranes, forklifts, reach stackers, boilers and boom-type elevating work platforms. In most instances if perform this type of high risk work you will need a licence.

Who can hold a licence to perform high risk work in your workplace?

To be eligible for a high risk license:

Ladders

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Ladders should only be used when other safer alternatives are not reasonably practicable.

Do you have similar safety risks in your workplace?

  • Do you use ladders in your workplace?
  • What activities require workers to use ladders, are there safer alternatives such as scaffold or elevated work platforms?
  • Are the ladders in good working order?
  • Do you have a safety system in place to document the correct use of ladders?

Housekeeping

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Maintaining a clean and tidy workplace is essential for protecting workers and visitors in the workplace.

Do you have similar safety risks in your workplace?

  • Is there safe and clear access to and from the workplace?
  • Are all emergency exits clear?
  • Are floors clean and tidy?
  • Are benches clean and tidy?
  • Is there safe access around areas around off plant and equipment?
  • Walk ways clear of obstructions that can be tripped over?

Consultation

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Consultation is mandatory under the work health and safety legislation in all states.

Consultation is considered a basic way to reduce work place injuries. Penalties for not consulting can be up to $20,000 for individuals and up to $100 000 for body cooperates.

Do you consult in your workplace?

  • Do you have an effective system to consult with your workers?
  • How frequently do you consult with your workers?
  • Does your safety system outline your consultation process?
  • Is this consultation methods communicated to your workers?

First Aid

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First Aid saves lives.
Where workers are injured in the workplace a quick response can assist in recovery and prevent deaths.

Do you have similar safety risks in your workplace?

  • Do you have a first aid kit in your workplace?
  • Is the first aid kit stocked?
  • Are any items in the first aid kit out of date?
  • Do your workers know how to access the first aid kit?
  • Do you have trained first aiders in your work place?
  • Do you have an inspection program in place to routinely check your first aid kit?

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