October was Safe Work month and represented a great time to remember the need for work, health and safety systems you should have in the workplace and to concentrate on the reduction of workplace injuries.
With the automotive industry being a higher risk area than some others, there are several requirements all business, including sole Traders, need to have in place to ensure a safe work environment for workers (which includes contractors, temps, apprentices, work experience) and the general public. While most business are complying with their obligations from a practical standpoint where they are servicing fire extinguishers, hoists, first aid kit or compressors, the system can sometimes lead to complications. The MTA recommends the below documentation to be in place to back up any practical controls that are already in place:
- WHS policy
- Incident / injury report form
- Visitor / Contractor Register
- Tool Box Meetings and minutes recorded
- Workplace inspection checklists, completed regularly
- Risk Assessment forms
- Hazard Report Forms for employees to fill in where required
- Hazard action sheet to address any hazards that arise
- Induction Checklist for all staff and contractors
- Standard Operating Procedures for plant and equipment on site
- Plant and Equipment Maintenance Schedule
A WHS policy is an essential document for any work place to demonstrate their commitment to WHS. This document should be displayed in the reception area and in the workers lunch room. A WHS policy should be unique to the business and should be discussed with staff before implementing. It should also be signed by the owner of the company.
Incident/Injury Report form
The completion of this form after any incident or injury on site is an essential part of WHS compliance. Completing an incident injury report form allows both the employer and worker to discuss what happened and investigate the cause and implement control measures. It is also important for the lodgement of any Return to Work Claims and possible SafeWork SA investigations.
Visitor/Contractor Sign in Register
Whenever a visitor or contract arrives on site, they should be required to sign in at reception prior to commencing work or entering the workshop/office environment. Essentially, this is to keep a record of all people on site at any particular time which is required for any emergency situation where an evacuation may take place. It is also a good way to ensure all contractors have been inducted on site and hold the requisite insurance and licences.
Tool Box Meeting Minutes Record
Under the WHS Act 2012 the PCBU (Person Conducting Business or Undertaking) must consult with workers, this can be done in many different ways, however in the automotive industry conducting a Tool Box meeting seems to be the best way to cover off this requirement. In order to provide evidence of this consultation happening, a PCBU would need to have evidence. Completing a minutes record or agenda would serve as evidence of consultation in this case.
Workplace Inspection Checklist
A workplace inspection should be carried out regularly in the workplace, this can be every week to every 3 months depending on the size of the business and the risks associated with the work performed.
Risk Assessment Form
All businesses should be conducting risk assessments of their plant and equipment annually or as required. A risk assessment will give businesses an idea of the level of risk and what control measures should be put in place to reduce the risk involved.
Hazard Report Forms/Hazard Action Lists
All workers should have access to hazard report forms in the workplace to be able to raise hazards with management. They should also be trained in how to complete these forms and management should encourage their use. Once a hazard report form has been handed to management, it is important to document the hazard and any actions arising from the report. This may include the person responsible for fixing the issue and the date it was fixed. It is important to remember that hazards can be reported at any time. You do not need to wait for an accident to occur. This is all about prevention!
All employees and contractors should be inducted on site; these forms are a guide as to what should be covered in the induction process. There are separate forms for employees and contractors given the different conditions of the work to be performed and the liabilities attached to each.
SOP’s (Standard Operating Procedures)
SOP’s are required for all plant on site and equipment where practicable. These documents stipulate the PPE requirement for the equipment and the recommended procedure for use and these should be personalised to each workplace to ensure compliance. The MTA can provide a template for each piece of equipment in the workplace and can work with members to personalise to the workplace.
Plant and Equipment Maintenance Schedule
This document should be used to track all maintenance completed on plant and equipment in the workplace, it is important to be able to record it the exact service/maintenance date, who completed the service/maintenance, and when it is next due for service/maintenance of these pieces of equipment.To learn more about your WHS obligations from a practical standpoint, the MTA’s Workplace Relations Department is running a training session on WHS & Safe Work Compliance on the 14 November. Click here to register your interest.