Male worker and female case manager talking on truck transport site

Simple steps to safety self-audit tool

This tool is designed to help you to assess your current health and safety practices and to identify any areas which you can improve. The tool will assist with creating and implementing an action plan and provides information on where you can go and who you can contact to get help with work health and safety.

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Getting started
Talking with your team
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Getting started

Successful safety cultures are led from the top, where your actions and attitudes send a message to the people who work in your business that you are serious about their health and safety.

Effective safety management in a workplace requires an involvement from everyone to make it safe. To do this successfully, people need to understand their responsibilities and how they can meet them.

Employers can help develop a good safety culture by:

  • talking with the people who work in the business about safety related issues
  • developing and implementing safe work procedures
  • training the people who work in the business on safe work practices
  • making sure tools, plant and equipment are safe to use, regularly serviced and maintained in good working order
  • supplying workers with appropriate safety equipment for the job
  • leading by example.

1. Are safety responsibilities clearly defined and understood by managers and workers?
2. Is sufficient time, money and resources allocated to meet safety responsibilities?
3. Do managers promote safety as a high priority?
4. Do managers lead by example?
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Talking with your team

Talking with your team, or consultation is about involving and developing your organisation’s workers. Workers that feel involved in decisions that affect them are more engaged with the business and the organisation is far less vulnerable to misunderstanding, rumour and resentment. In a modern business workers should not only be aware of what they should be doing but also why they should be doing it.

The people who work in your business are often the best people to understand the risks of the workplace. Seeking their input when making decisions shows them that you take their health and safety seriously and that you value their efforts. One of the benefits to this is that you can address potential problems before they arise.

Consultation can occur through staff meetings, toolbox talks or even a health and safety committee. General work health and safety information can be delivered through noticeboards, emails or newsletters.

1. Are safety issues discussed with workers?
2. Are workers involved in making safety decisions and developing procedures?
3. Are workers’ views valued and taken into account?
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Managing hazards and risks

Part of managing health and safety in the workplace is controlling the risks. In order to do this you will need to accurately identify potential hazards.

Ask yourself and your workers what it is about the activities, processes, items of plant or substances you use that could injure or harm someone. Remember hazards at work include things that could harm the psychological health of workers such as excessive work demands, workplace bullying and violence.

Having identified potential hazards you’ll need to first consider if they can be eliminated. If this is not possible, then consider the risks involved and put measures in place to minimise (control) them.

Finding safety solutions can be as simple as asking your workers for ideas, looking at information available from designers and manufacturers, getting help from industry groups or considering relevant codes of practice.

1. Have all hazards been identified and their risks evaluated?
2. Have all identified hazards and risks been controlled to eliminate or minimise their impact?
3. Have safe work procedures been developed and implemented for all tasks?
4. Are safe work procedures regularly reviewed for effectiveness?
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Focusing on work health and wellbeing

Given we spend about a third of our lives at work, the work environment can have a significant impact on our health and wellbeing. The aim is for work to be a positive contributor to our health. A healthy workplace is where health and wellbeing is viewed as important and managers and workers discuss ideas for promoting a healthy workplace.

When it comes to work health and wellbeing, risk factors include physical inactivity, unhealthy eating, harmful alcohol consumption, smoking and poor mental health. An effective health and wellbeing program takes into consideration the impact that the workplace culture, work environment and type of work can have on the health of workers, as well as putting in place health promotion activities or initiatives.

1. Is the health (physical and mental health) and wellbeing of workers a priority and are plans and programs in place to promote health and wellbeing?
2. Is the reporting of workplace issues that could contribute to work-related stress encouraged (e.g. heavy workloads, fatigue, poor workplace relationships)?
3. Do managers educate workers on acceptable workplace behaviour and conduct for the prevention of workplace bullying and harassment?
4. Are health promotion activities conducted at the workplace that encourage healthy lifestyle options and to support emotional wellbeing (e.g. RUOK Day/beyondblue support, quit smoking, healthy eating, physical activity)?
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Training and supervision

Training and supervision are important. Workers need to know how to do their jobs safely and be aware of issues that affect their health and safety.

Training is one of the best ways to ensure that your workers are safe while at work. By providing them with effective training and adequate supervision, they will become aware of safety issues and will perform their jobs competently, consistently and safely.

Training will ensure that your workers know about issues that will affect their health and safety. It will provide your workers with information about potential risks associated with their work, the safety policies and procedures you have in place, how to work safely and how to deal with emergencies.

1. Are all workers inducted into the business?
2. Are workers trained in safe work procedures before they commence tasks?
3. Are workers supervised to ensure safe work procedures are being followed?
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Maintaining a safe and healthy workplace

Maintaining a safe workplace is important. It can be achieved by:

  • carrying out regular safety checks
  • maintaining workplace equipment and tools
  • providing workers with easy to understand information and training on how to do the job safely
  • having an incident/accident reporting and investigation procedure
  • planning and testing emergency procedures
  • keeping workers informed of any changes and providing training opportunities when anything new at work is introduced
  • reporting hazards, near misses and injuries, assessing new and emerging hazards and identifying the effectiveness of existing control measures
  • talking to your workers about ideas for promoting a healthy workplace.

1. Are safety checks performed regularly?
2. Are workplace tools and equipment regularly maintained and serviced?
3. Does the business have a formal incident process and are all incidents investigated to identify potential gaps in the process?
4. Are there emergency plans in place (e.g. fire, medical etc.) and are those plans regularly tested?
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Everyone in the workplace is responsible for their own safety and that of others. While no one plans to get hurt, you can plan to not get hurt.

Managing and improving workplace needs to be an ongoing task.

Safety processes and operations evolve with time and workers come and go changing risks for everyone in the workplace.

Having established your work health and safety (WHS) management system you should regularly review and monitor how effective it is, as well as make any necessary adjustments to keep it up to date.

Effective WHS management requires leadership and commitment. Everyone at work also needs to understand their responsibilities and how they can best meet them. By managing tasks and people with safety top-of-mind, you can achieve good safety outcome for everyone.

1. Are all incidents and safety issues recorded and actioned?
2. Are safe work procedures reviewed after an incident and updated if required?
3. Are incidents and injuries monitored to identify trends and help the business address emerging issues?
4. Senior management regularly receives and reviews safety reports and information and provides guidance and resources necessary to maintain a safe workplace.
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