The importance of having sound workplace safety systems

The importance of having sound workplace safety systems has been highlighted after a worker was found deceased in a commercial cold store facility. Read Adelaide Now article - SA Police woman death

SafeWork SA have released a Safeguard factsheet to assist businesses who have cold storage facilities so that they understand risks that could injure a worker or group of workers.

The primary duty for a business in South Australia is detailed in Section 19 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2012. It requires a business to protect workers and any other person from risk by providing a safe workplace, safety systems, safe plant (machinery), structures and substances as well as adequate supervision and training. 

A safety system includes the processes required by a business to identify foreseeable hazards, manage those hazards with the implementation of controls such as in relation to a cold storage facility having safe ways to enter and exit the cold store for normal work and in an emergency. Ensuring that work processes do not create a risk in the cold store such as use of a forklift that creates fumes such as carbon dioxide. Other important systems will include well trained supervisors, effective training for workers operating in the facility, policies and procedures that guide workers to work safely in the facility. 

Most importantly a business must ensure that controls remain effective through review processes by management taking reasonable steps to identify potential issues such as a worker being stuck inside the cold store, that workers are involved in the safety solutions (consultation) and making necessary changes when an issue is identified or raised before someone is put at risk of injury or illness.

Business SA’s WHS Consulting team can help you by conducting a "Health Check" of all your safety systems against the WHS laws.

This will assist your business identify and understand its WHS legal obligations and pinpoint any shortcomings in meeting compliance. 

The audit involves a highly qualified member of our WHS Consulting Team visiting your workplace to identify how well it is meeting its legal compliance obligations under the WHS laws. 

In brief, the audit process involves the Senior Consultant performing a comprehensive review of your business’s WHS documentation (e.g. safety policies, procedures and related systems), in addition to conducting a visual inspection of your workplace’s operations.

Using information obtained from the above documentation review and site walk, the Senior Consultant is then able to compile a formal written report tailored to your business needs which details any non-compliances or short comings in its WHS systems, and potential solutions to address them. 

The Senior Consultant may also provide you with a recommended training plan for your leadership team and workers. Development of relevant and effective safety documentation is another task where Business SA can assist. Business SA reminds all its members that only proper training, effective procedures and hazard controls will protect your people and your business, and ensure your organisation complies fully with its WHS legislative requirements.

Next step
Business SA has fee-based safety experts who can help your business in your journey towards safety compliance. Please contact our Customer Service Centre on 08 8300 0000.

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