A critical step to creating a safe and healthy workplace is understanding the nature of risks, the harm that hazards could inflict on your employees and the likelihood of those hazards actually occurring. When managing workplace health and safety (WHS), this is considered the risk assessment phase and takes place after potential hazards have been identified.
Managing health and safety is a must in every workplace. No matter the industry, a work environment can present multiple hazards that could inflict ill health, injuries or even have the potential to kill. If incidents do occur, they could have a dramatic impact on people's lives (their colleagues, family and overall wellness) as well as negative implications for organisations through loss of staff and reduced production. This is why employers not only have legal obligations to protect their employees, but it also makes good business sense.
Organisations should be aware of effective workplace risk management practices that ensure a healthy and safe environment. Workplace hazards can incur great costs for a company, but if identified and assessed properly, they can be controlled and prevented, or at least minimised. We've listed out the 4 most common ones - physical, ergonomic, chemical, and biological.
In Australia, all companies and organisations are legally obligated to make sure they are providing a healthy and safe working environment for their employees, customers, contractors, visitors, volunteers and/or suppliers. This multidisciplinary field concerned with the safety, health, and wellbeing of all stakeholders in the workplace is known officially as Workplace Health & Safety (WHS).
While there are numerous WHS requirements, luckily they are readily available and meeting these requirements carries extensive benefits such as saving costs, higher staff retention and avoiding serious legal and business consequences.
Did you know that 56 workplace fatalities have already occurred this year (source: Safe Work Australia)? This statistic is an unfortunate fact that highlights how critical Workplace Health and Safety is, irrespective of what industry you’re in. While Australia is still ranked among the top health and safety performing nations, this statistic is still too high.