Work health and safety housekeeping
It’s the ideal time for some work health and safety (WHS) housekeeping!
The past twelve months have seen monumental changes in the way businesses manage their work health and safety. For many, the change has happened fast.
The holiday season, leading in to the new year, is an ideal time for workplace ‘housekeeping’. Particularly after the year we’ve all had!
It’s a great time to review WHS – for your business, your employees, and your clients or customers.
Here’s a few things to consider getting in order during the ‘quieter’ times of business to help you eliminate or minimise physical or ergonomic hazards:
Get your workspace ready
Whether your business is closing over the holiday period, or open as usual, the period over the Christmas and New Year is a great time to do some ‘clean up’ of office and workspaces – whether you’re working from home, or in the traditional office workplace.
The physical workspace has a significant impact on the way you work. Clutter can not only cause obstacles and hazards, it can also impact people’s mental health.
It’s a great opportunity to get your workspace in order:
- File or recycle paperwork, prepare items for archival and storage – ensure you shred unneeded sensitive paperwork
- Clear workspaces, desks and shelving of unnecessary items
- Prepare desk space for easy access of the daily items you need, ensure your computer and chair are adjusted to the suitable angles and heights to eliminate or minmise ergonomic hazards
- Ensure floorspace is clear from boxes, paperwork, other items that may affect access and safety
External and internal walkways and access
Slips, trips and falls are common causes of workplace incidents – internally and externally.
The quieter period provides a great opportunity to do a ‘walk around’ of your business to identify and remediate any potential hazards:
- Review access and egress points around your workplace to ensure they are clear, and free from obstacles
- Ensure car parks and exterior walkways are clearly marked – it’s a good time to update line markings and other safety signage
- Repair or replace carpet flooring or hard surfaces that are uneven, buckling, peeling or curled
Equipment and appliances
Undertake checks and reviews of all of your equipment and appliances.
- Perform the necessary electrical testing and update tags
- Get equipment and machinery serviced
- Ensure appliance and equipment service records are maintained and up to date
Assess your fire systems and fire safety equipment and procedures.
- Check access to your fire-fighting equipment to ensure there are no obstructions. A one metre exclusion zone around equipment is required
- Check paperwork and compliance records to ensure that fire-fighting equipment is within test date
If you have vehicle movement on your premises – such as cars, trucks or forklifts – review your traffic management plan to ensure that it mitigates the risk associated with people and vehicle moving within the same space.
Site cleaning and upkeep
The holiday season, or quieter business periods are a great time to undertake general maintenance and upkeep of your work site:
- Clean interior or exterior walls
- Give your business a refresh and undertake any painting works – for maintenance or general refresh
- Remove any build up of dust and dirt throughout the internal or external areas
COVID-19 Safety Plans help to protect your staff, customers and visitors as you get back to business. The type of Plan will vary depending on the nature of your business, however all businesses should have undertaken some planning to ensure they keep their business, staff and customers safe.
This time of year is a great time to reassess the COVID Safe Plan for your business and ensure that the measures you have put in place will have longevity and be suitable to manage related risks.
Documentation and signage
Ensure your signage or documentation is up to date for:
- Work health and safety policies and procedures
- Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS)
- Quality assurance and compliance procedures
- Safety signage
Work health and safety training
The quieter period of the year is also an ideal time to ensure your workers are up to speed with the latest workplace systems, procedures, documentation and requirements. Keeping up to date with work health and safety training will assist your business to start the new year off on the right foot, particularly if you have had new employees join in recent months. WHS training can be readily delivered online and cover:
- WHS Induction Training
- Skills in risk assessment and risk management
- Understanding of worker / employee obligations in work health and safety; and
- Practical examples of training subjects relevant to your organisation.
Learn more about your WHS obligations
Start the new year off on the right foot, and get your business in order. Now’s the time.
For more information on work health and safety for your business, or to book a Complimentary Consultation, get in touch with the team from Masula Compliance on 07 3348 3666 or email email@example.com