Another month has passed, and monthly reports are due by the 7th and a new focus for this month.
New Feature Added to CIRT
A new feature has been released for CIRT this month that allow users to review their own profile and training data.
To access My Profile, look on the bottom right hand corner under where you name is displayed when you have logon on using a computer.
Simply click on the My Profile tab.
For those people that use mobile phones or tablets you will see it is also located in the footer of the website.
The My Profile area permits you to:
- change your contact details
- review what training and assessments you have completed.
To assist our clients in meeting their various work health and safety (WHS) compliance requirements we have developed a monthly focus.
The main focus of this program is to provide assistance in implementing the WHS systems in accordance with the WHS Act and Various Codes of Practice. (CoP)
This Month’s Focus
This month’s focus has been broken down into two groups, Business Protection and Employee Development. It is important to read and understand the following:
- Contractor and Subcontractor Management
- Concurrent liability
- Employee Development
- Contractor Management
As a PCBU what are you responsible for?
As a PCBU you are responsible for ensuring the Principal contractors you hire have the relevant policies in place regarding:
- Workplace Health and Safety Policy
- Workers Compensation policy
- Public Liability Policy
- Professional Indemnity insurance
A PCBU can request evidence that the Contractor has completed these requirements and have the policies in place. It is important to note that the Safe Work Procedure a contractor supplies must not be a generic document that applies to any business.
Whilst it is the Principal Contractor who is responsible for subcontracting at work, it is also the responsibility of the PCBU to have copies and evidence that the Subcontractors have the relevant policies just like the Principal Contractor.
It is important not assume that the contractor will follow the correct procedures even if they specialise in that particular work. It is your responsibility to create a safe working environment and hence need to ensure they have a safe system of work in place.
What to do if a Contractor does not follow a Safe Work Procedure?
If you discover a contractor is not following their Safe Work Procedure it is important you request work to stop immediately.
This will need to be resolved and the policy will need to be followed. If the contractor continues to not follow the procedure contact the employer immediately as to reinforce the Safe Work Procedure to the contractor.
If an incident occurs with either a Principal Contractor or Subcontractor a PCBU could find themselves with Concurrent liability. This liability involves two or more parties that are independently liable for the same incident. A PCBU can be liable if they have the ability to influence or control the safety regarding different activities and do not take action to minimise or eliminate those risks.
It is important to have a plan in place to minimise the risk of this happening. CHD Partners offers a checklist “Managing Contractors at your Work site” to ensure our clients are covered in the case of an incident. By following this checklist, a PCBU can be reassured they have done everything in their power to create a safe work environment.
Site Inductions for Contractors
All persons conducting work on site must be site inducted. This includes Principal Contractors and Subcontractors. By doing so the contractors do not create a risk for themselves and have knowledge of the dangers which could exist around the site.
Your site induction should include things such as:
- Site entry, access and amenities
- Policies and their locations
- Safety procedures they are required to complete
- Emergency evacuation procedures.
By covering all aspects listed above a PCBU can be reassured the contractors know the site and exactly what to do in the event of an emergency.
Minimising the Risk of Contractors being Deemed Workers
It is important for a PCBU to understand the line between contractors and their own workers. To ensure contactors are not deemed workers a PBCU needs to check they have their own:
Workers Compensation coverage for their own workers.
Paid all workers’ Compensation premiums associated with the particular work.
The same applies for Subcontractors, you need to ensure they have their own:
- Signed statement, provided by the contractor.
- Certificate of Currency from an insurer that states the insurance is valid.
- That they are classified in the correct industry.
That they have declared an appropriate amount of wages for their insurance cover.
Aside from Contractors it is important for a PCBU to consider their own employees and their own development. A PCBU must ensure they consider:
- Identification of Risks
- Develop Procedures
- Training staff in processes (Inductions)
- Staff aware of Procedures and sign offs
By a PCBU ensuring these topics are all covered they can be reassured that they are providing their staff with a safe work environment and have the correct procedures in place.
Identification of Risk
An employer must be on top of possible risks in the workplace. By ensuring they can identify a risk they can act on it before an incident can occur. For a PCBU this is a skill which can become invaluable for the business and the safety of staff.
A PCBU must be sure they develop the relevant procedures regarding the safety of their staff. Having the relevant WHS Policy is vital for the safety of all employees of your business.
It is also important to have the proper procedures in place in the evet of an emergency. The staff need to be aware of these procedures and know what to do in the case of an emergency.
Training Staff in Processes
It is important for any business to ensure their staff are trained in the processes they develop. By ensuring staff are adequately trained in different processes the business can ensure all employees have the understand of what to do and how to do it correctly.
This allows the business to be reassured their employees are capable of what they are expected to do and are able to complete the work safely. This contributes to the creation of a Safe Work Environment.
Staff being aware of Procedures and Signed Off
Once your business has developed different procedures for the work you complete the first step is completed. It is important to understand that having your employees read and sign off on these procedures it is just as equally important as creating them in the first place. When the business provides time for employees to ready these procedures the employees are able to read in detail the document and ensure they understand the content.
Once employees have read the document and fully understand it they must sign off on the document to say they understood it. This process is important for the business on a legal side too, if an incident occurs by a particular worker who have read the procedures the business is able to show they have signed off that they understood and hence the question is then turned to the employee as to why they conducted the work unsafely.
Supervision is important for a business to understand. Supervision isn’t just having a manager on shift telling workers what to do. Supervision requires a manager to watch a worker while they conduct a particular task. Once the task has been completed the Supervisor can have a conversation with the worker talking about what was done right or wrong. They can also ask the worker their opinion on the task and what could be done differently.
SCAN (Take 5)
A SCAN or also known as a Take 5 are a quick and easy way to identify any health, safety and environmental hazards before starting a job that has already had a risk assessment or safe work method statement completed.
A SCAN for safety asks the question “Am I safe to start work?” and provides a clear set of questions which takes less than 5 minutes to complete.
Safe Work Procedure
Sometimes the risks associated with a work task may be obvious, such as using dangerous machinery or chemicals. Other times the risks are not so obvious, such as unloading goods or packing boxes in a warehouse.
Safe work procedures make workers aware of risks in their work tasks and tell them how to avoid injury or illness while doing those tasks.
Safe work procedures briefly document the risks associated with a work task and list the appropriate risk control measures into a sequence of steps for doing the task safely. Most effective when developed in consultation with your workers, safe work procedures are a useful tool when training and supervising your workers, and when responding to incident reports and changes in the workplace.
Safe Work Method Statement
A SWMS is a document that sets out the high-risk construction work activities to be carried out at a workplace, the hazards arising from these activities and the measures to be put in place to control the risks.
One SWMS can be used for work that involves multiple high-risk construction work activities, for example, a work activity that requires using powered mobile plant, working at heights of more than 2 metres and working adjacent to a road used by traffic other than pedestrians.
A SWMS is classed as an administrative control and is used to support higher order controls to eliminate or minimise risks to health and safety, for example, engineering controls.
A SWMS is generally different from other documents that focus on specific tasks or processes, such as a Job Safety Analysis or a Safe Operating Procedure. A SWMS is not intended to be a procedure—rather it is a tool to help supervisors and workers confirm and monitor the control measures required at the workplace.
This Month’s Tasks
This month is simply three documents:
All staff need to do is complete the following steps just like doing the induction.
Login into CIRT at www.cirt.net.au
Click on Action Safety Tasks Heading
Click on the relevant document under the heading.
Consultation and Toolbox Talk
Supervisors are tasked with completing the following toolbox which is in consultation and toolboxes and in your Action: Managers Tasks
Each month we would like to encourage our customers to give us feedback on our service or CIRT.
We have now added a customer survey on bottom of the My Documents home front page. Feel free to comment.