Consultation key to hazard control

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It is important for every business to check their control methods

It is important for every business to check their control methods.

To address workplace hazards generally you may follow the steps below:

  • Hazard identification;
  • Risk assessment;
  • Control measures.

The last step in the process is to review the control measures you have implemented. It is essential that whatever method you have used to control a hazard is effective.

A review is required:

  • To ensure control measures are not effective;
  • Before a change at the workplace that is likely to give rise to a new or different health and safety risk that the control measure may not be effectively control;
  • If a new hazard or risk is identified;
  • If results of consultation indicate that a review is necessary;
  • If a HSR requests a review.

If any of the above are identified a new hazard identification risk assessment process needs to be implemented.

Some of the questions that may be considered when doing a review are:

  • Are the control measures working effectively in both their design and operation?
  • Have the control measures introduced new problems?
  • Have all hazards been identified?
  • Have new work methods, new equipment or chemicals made the job safer?
  • Are safety procedures being followed?
  • Has instruction and training provided to workers on how to work safely been successful?
  • Are workers actively involved in identifying hazards and possible control measures? Are they openly raising health and safety concerns and reporting problems promptly?
  • Is the frequency and severity of health and safety incidents reducing over time?
  • If new legislation or new information becomes available, does it indicate current controls may no longer be the most effective?

One of the pivotal components is consultation – between those who are performing the activity and management.

The ensure the process of hazard identification and risk assessment is succesful it is essential to review the control measures that are selected to reduce the risk of the hazard.

By Craig Hortle, TCCI Work Health and Safety Specialist South

For more information on WHS, please contact Craig Hortle or Janelle Whitehouse at the TCCI on 1300 559 122 or email safety@TCCI.com.au.

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