What Is Health And Safety & How Does It Affect You?
What is health and safety and what does it affect me? It doesn’t matter if you work on a construction site, factory, workshop or office, safety applies to you and it’s important. When starting a new job you will be inducted about health and safety procedures and you will be told to follow safety guidelines at all times. But exactly what is health and safety?
What Is Health & Safety?
The goal of any health and safety plan should be to create a safe working environment and reduce the risk of injuries, accidents, and fatalities on the job. When a good health and safety plan is set up and everyone follows the procedures correctly they can help prevent accidents and reduce the risk of employee injury and illness.
How Does It Affect Me?
As The Employer
As the employer you need to ensure the following is in place:
- You train your employees in safety matters and safe work procedures.
- You ensure work areas are safe to work in.
- Safety files are kept up to date.
- You have a system in place where safety policies and risk assessments are updated at regular intervals.
Health and safety is an important part of the job and essential for a well functioning workplace.
Additionally, you are also required to comply with health and safety regulations as set out in the OHS Act and various different safety regulations. If you do work for a client or main contractor you are also obligated to comply with their safety requirements.
As The Employee
If you are employed by a company you should make sure that you are inducted on safety matters pertaining to your job. If you are working with specific hazards, such as toxic materials, heights or enclosed spaces, you will need to have additional specialized health and safety training for these specific risks.
It is your responsibility to follow the correct health and safety procedures as outlined by your employer. You contribute to your own safety as well as those who work around you. If you are tempted to cut corners you will be putting yourself and those around you at risk.
If your employer asks you to violate any safety procedure you have the right to refuse.
As a Manager/Supervisor
You are responsible for setting up, managing and updating safe work systems. Legally it forms part of your job.
A Few Things to Consider as Manager/Supervisor
- Are the employees who report to you qualified and trained to do their job?
- Are they trained in all safety aspects of their job?
- Have your workers been inducted?
- Do they wear the correct PPE for the job?
- Is your safety file up to date?
- Do you regularly revise and update safe work procedures and risk assessments?
- Do you have a clear emergency procedure?
- Are emergency contact numbers clearly visible for all to see?
- Do your workers know what to do in an emergency?
- Do you have access to a first aid kit?