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An introduction to WHS. What is WHS?. WHS stands for Work Health and Safety. It is all about keeping everyone safe when you are at work. Why bother with WHS processes?. Because it saves lives. Deaths in the workplace have dropped by almost 20% since 2002.

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An introduction to WHS


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  1. An introduction to WHS

  2. What is WHS? • WHS stands for Work Health and Safety. • It is all about keeping everyone safe when you are at work.

  3. Why bother with WHS processes? • Because it saves lives Deaths in the workplace have dropped by almost 20% since 2002. That’s about 54 lives saved every year!

  4. Why bother with WHS processes? • 1. Because it saves lives • 2. Because it saves money • The most common workplace injuries were sprains and strains, costing $565 million! • Second was back injuries, which cost $270 million. • Statistical Bulletin 2000/2001, WorkCover NSW)

  5. Why bother with WHS processes? • 1. Because it saves lives • 2. Because it saves money • 3. Because, legally, we have to • There are major fines for employers and employees who don’t follow safety standards.

  6. Why bother with WHS processes? • 1. Because it saves lives • 2. Because it saves money • 3. Because, legally, we have to • 4. Because it doesn’t work unless we have a system to make it work • It takes effort- safety won’t just happen!

  7. Why bother with WHS processes? • 1. Because it saves lives • 2. Because it saves money • 3. Because, legally, we have to • 4. Because it doesn’t work unless we have a system to make it work!

  8. So, what does it involve?

  9. Responsibilities of the employer Provide a safe working environment - Provide proper training and information - Supply personal protective equipment and clothing - Provide amenities - Provide first aid facilities and personnel - Provide a safe system of work - Identify hazards, assess the risks and eliminate or control the risks - Provide supervision - Consult with employees - Provide for emergencies - Ensure OH&S committee members and representatives are trained - No victimisation or unlawful dismissal of an employee is allowed • The employer (the boss) has a long list of responsibilities:

  10. Responsibilities of the employee • … but the employees (the rest of us) have some responsibilities too!

  11. Responsibilities of the employee Co-operate with the employer in WHS matters. • … but the employees (the rest of us) have some responsibilities too! We need to: EXAMPLE: If asked, we should follow reasonable instructions to clean up, move things, help with inspections etc.

  12. Responsibilities of the employee Take reasonable care for the health and safety of people who are at the place of work. • … but the employees (the rest of us) have some responsibilities too! We need to: EXAMPLE: Sharlene made sure visitors kept their kids away from equipment that wasn’t safe for them, even though they weren’t there to visit her. She also makes sure her clients aren’t bullied or hurt by other clients.

  13. Responsibilities of the employee Notify the employer or supervisor of any risk to health and safety. • … but the employees (the rest of us) have some responsibilities too! We need to: EXAMPLE: Sara told her boss and WHS rep when she noticed the brakes on the bus seemed a bit dodgy. The boss doesn’t drive the bus very often so she was glad to be told.

  14. Responsibilities of the employee Not to interfere with or misuse things provided for health, safety and welfare. • … but the employees (the rest of us) have some responsibilities too! We need to: EXAMPLE: Sharlene makes sure no-one uses the first aid kit, fire equipment or safety gear for anything it isn’t made for.

  15. Responsibilities of the employee Not hinder aid to an injured worker. Not to refuse help in either receiving aid or giving aid. • … but the employees (the rest of us) have some responsibilities too! We need to: EXAMPLE: When Jason hurt his wrist playing a game with kids, he wanted to keep playing but Khaled made sure it was looked at by the first aid rep.

  16. Responsibilities of the employee Not disrupt the workplace by creating health or safety fears. • … but the employees (the rest of us) have some responsibilities too! We need to: EXAMPLE: Dennis is worried that one of the kids he works with has a contagious disease, even though the doctor said it was okay. He doesn’t make the other workers and clients worried by telling them about it all the time.

  17. The process The Youth Services Toolkit has sample forms for these processes

  18. We need to actively look for hazards before they become a problem. We do this through: • Workplace inspections • Consultation • Looking at injury and illness records • Recording complaints • Observing the workplace The Youth Services Toolkit has sample forms for these processes

  19. Once we know the problem, we need to see how much of a problem it can be. We need to think about how much harm it could cause and how likely it is. First, look at how much harm it could do..

  20. Long term disabled Cut finger Broken leg Look at the Youth Services Toolkit Risk Assessment Form for more detail

  21. 2. Assess risks (harm) Now look at how likely it is to happen…

  22. Cut by broken glass left on football field Cut by broken glass left in garbage bin

  23. Then look at the two together and give a score out of six - like this:

  24. Paper cuts - very likely but not very dangerous Poison in cupboard - very unlikely but dangerous

  25. So - looking at these scores - we can decide if the risks need to be addressed straight away:

  26. … or we can go on working but fix them as soon as possible:

  27. … or we can plan to leave it a while because it’s not very likely to happen and wouldn’t cause much harm anyway:

  28. Okay - so now we have a list of hazards (problems) and we know which are the most important to fix first. How do we fix them?

  29. Think about what would be the best way to fix the safety problems.

  30. Don’t wait to be told to fix any problems you see. The boss can’t be there all the time to tell you what to do.

  31. You need to always be looking for any health problems, and taking responsibility for fixing them.

  32. Remember: it is your job to look out for

  33. Remember: it is your job to look out for Safety issues that affect you

  34. Remember: it is your job to look out for Safety issues that affect you Safety issues that affect your co workers

  35. Remember: it is your job to look out for Safety issues that affect you Safety issues that affect your co workers Safety issues that affect the public when they are at your workplace

  36. Tips for young workers Take responsibility for your own safety Know what to look for when entering a new or different workplace Know what questions to ask about the job Report any health and safety concerns Follow all safety procedures

  37. Ask your supervisor…. What are the dangers of my job? What are the hazards? Should I have any job safety training? Do I need any personal protective equipment? Should I be trained in how to use my PPE? Where are the first aid facilities? Who is the first aid person?

  38. Ask your supervisor…. What do I do if I get injured? Where are the fire extinguishers? Where are the emergency exits? How will I know if there is an emergency? What should I do in an emergency? Who do I go to in the workplace if I have a health or safety question?

  39. Disclaimer This guide is an introduction to the general principles of the Work Health and Safety legislation. The guide is not intended to be a substitute for advice on a particular work health and safety issue from a qualified source. More details are available through the links in the final slide.