Employee safety training manual
Employee safety training manual
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Human Resources-Employee Safety Manual
Construction site hazards are numerous and complacency towards these hazards is a leading factor in most workplace accidents. Sub-Contractors and Workers need to be reminded that safety should never be taken for granted.
Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) Compliance
[enter-your-company-name-here] has a responsibility to ensure that all operate under the banner of the company, do so having met the minimum requirements necessary to operate machinery and equipment and comply with all legislative and regulatory requirements.
The company reserves the right to audit compliance and require Sub-Contractors to provide proof of compliance from time to time.
General Safety Induction
The aim of this document is to inform Sub-Contractors and workers about the hazards that exist within the construction industry. By undertaking induction training, ultimately Sub-Contractors and workers will know more about their workplace and the hazards inherent to construction work.
Workplace health and safety legislation insist that workers undertake general induction training. It also requires workers to undertake site-specific training. Site-specific induction training is designed to inform the worker of the hazards that exist on a particular construction site.
The following sections are extracted from the Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995
What is a “workplace”
A “workplace” is any place where work is, is to be, or is likely to be, performed by a worker, self-employed person or employer.
- A construction workplace.
- A vessel used for teaching (for example, scuba dive class)
- A vehicle supplied by an employer for use by a worker in the performance of work.
- A place may be a “workplace” even though it does not have to be registered or notified as a workplace under a regulation.
Who is an “employer”
An “employer” is a person who, in the course of the person’s business or undertaking, engages someone else to do work, including volunteers, other than under a contract for services, for or at the direction of the person.
Who is a “worker” and who is not
A person is a “worker” if the person does work, other than under a contract for services, for or at the direction of an employer:
- A subcontractor works under a contract for service and is not a worker for this Act.
- A person may be a “worker” even though the person is not paid for work done by the person.
Who is a “self-employed person”
A “self-employed person” is a person who –
- performs work for gain or reward; and
- is not an employer or worker.
Who is the “principal contractor”
Use this document as a guide to creating your own employee safety training
The “principal contractor” for a construction workplace (other than a construction workplace for domestic premises) is –
- the person appointed as principal contractor by the owner of the workplace; or
- if no principal contractor is appointed – the owner of the workplace.
The “principal contractor” for a construction workplace for domestic premises is the person in control of building or demolition work at the workplace.
What is a “construction workplace”
- A “construction workplace” is a workplace where building work and civil construction work (over $80,000) or demolition work (“construction work”) is done.
- A workplace becomes a construction workplace from the beginning of the day when construction work starts at the workplace.
- A workplace stops being a construction workplace when the construction work at the workplace is finished and possession of the workplace is returned to the owner of the workplace.
When is a worker at work
A worker is at work only if the worker is at the worker’s workplace or at another workplace at the worker’s employer’s direction.
What is consultation
Consultation is about fostering cooperation and developing partnerships between government, employers and workers to ensure workplace health and safety.
Consultation is an important strategy in achieving workplace health and safety and happens in 2 ways
- at an industry level through establishing the workplace health and safety board and industry sector standing committees; and
- at the workplace level through the election by workers of workplace health and safety representatives and establishing workplace health and safety committees.
Assuring Workplace Safety
Assuring workplace health and safety
Workplace health and safety is assured when persons are free from death, injury or illness caused by any workplace, workplace activities or specified high risk plant.
Workplace health and safety is assured when persons are free from risk of death, injury or illness created by any workplace, workplace activities or specified high risk plant.
Workplace health and safety can generally be managed by;
- identifying hazards
- assessing risks that may result because of the hazards
- deciding upon control measures to prevent, or minimize the level of, the risks
- implementing control measures
- monitoring and reviewing the effectiveness of the measures
Health and Safety
Our policy is to provide a controlled work environment that protects the health, safety and welfare of all employees, sub-contractors and other persons in all our workplaces.
The company accepts its responsibility as an employer, to train and assist all employees in safe work practices, and seeks the full support and co-operation of all employees and sub-contractors in this endeavour.
- Management will meet its obligations to the Act, Regulations, Codes and Standards, by identifying all issues appropriate to the management of health and safety in all our workplaces.
- Employees are committed to implementing and monitoring good health and safety practices in their specific areas of operation.
- All employees have a personal responsibility to their employer, their fellow workers, themselves and the general public to adopt and maintain appropriate health and safety standards in all their work activities.
- At all times, the company maintains health and safety as a priority and will not knowingly demand or expect any person to participate in any activities that are likely to be detrimental to their health or safety.
3 points to remember:
- Most incidents can be avoided; be aware of conditions around you. If you see that something is wrong, fix it or report it.
- Do not have the attitude that health and safety is someone else’s problem.
- You have a legal obligation to work safely; breaches can result in heavy fines for you and the company
Stick to the Rules
- Be aware of your obligations under the legislation
- Be aware of company rules and regulations
- Co-operate with directions to maintain and improve safe conditions
Know Your Way Around
- Become familiar with the workplace in all respects, so that you know where to go and who to turn to in an emergency.
- Locate all exit points.
- Know who is responsible for Health and Safety and First Aid.
- Locate First Aid stations.
- Know the evacuation procedures.
- Find out where the fire fighting equipment is and how to use it.
- Locate communication points such as phones and intercoms, etc.
Share What you Know
Tactfully alert a fellow worker if he/she is engaged in unsafe practices.
Housekeeping – Amenities
- A clean workplace is a safer workplace and you have a personal responsibility to clean up after yourself.
- Keep amenities clean; such as showers, change rooms, fridges, urns, microwaves, jugs, appliances, sink and bench tops and meal rooms.
- Put rubbish, scraps, waste etc. in bins.
- Put perishable foodstuffs in the refrigerator.
- Replace lids and caps on containers.
- Wipe up spills
Keep your Eyes Open
- Be alert to potential hazards and risks; if you observe any then do something about them.
- Report potentially dangerous situations or practices to management.
- Remove, cover, signpost or barricade hazards whenever practical.
[e.g. Workplace Health and Safety Act]
The Workplace Health and Safety Act, places responsibilities on every person at a workplace. Employers, employees, principle contractors, designers, manufacturers, suppliers and importers have clearly stated responsibilities.
Administration of the Act
- The Minister for Industrial Relations is responsible for the administration of the Act.
- The legislation is administered by the Department of Training and Industrial Relations.
Scope of the Act
The Act applies to all persons:
- who may in any way affect the health and safety of others or
- whose health and safety may be affected in any way by workplaces, work at workplaces, workplace operations, and specified high risk plant.
Purpose of the Act
The Workplace Health and Safety Act:
- improves industry and workplace level consultative arrangements
- clarifies the obligations imposed on persons under the legislation
- explains how persons can fulfil their obligations by using Regulations.
Objective of the Legislation
The overall objective of the Act is to provide freedom from the risk of disease or injury at any workplace, workplace operations or high risk plant.
This objective is to be achieved through:
- The establishment of a workplace health and safety board and various industry committees to advise the minister. These are known as “industry consultative arrangements.”
- Provision for the election of workplace health and safety representatives and the establishment of workplace health and safety committees. These “workplace consultative arrangements” will foster consultations between workers and employers.
- The appointment of workplace health and safety officers.
- The provision of workplace health and safety regulations that must be complied with.
- The provision of standards which give practical advice on ways to identify and manage exposure to risk in the workplace. These standards will be set by the minister.
- The promotion of community awareness of workplace health and safety.
- Imposing obligations on persons whose actions or omissions may affect the health and safety of others at a workplace.
- Provision for the appointment of inspectors and enforcement procedures.
Workplace Health and Safety regulations
A regulation is legislation made by the minister to deal with matters of an administrative nature; or prohibit exposure to risk; or prescribe ways to prevent or minimise exposure to risk. Where a regulation defines the way to do the work it must be followed.
Advisory standards and Industry Codes of Practice
Advisory Standards state ways to manage exposure to risk common to industry, whilst Industry Codes of Practice state ways to manage exposure to risks identified by a part of industry.
The principal contractors must ensure all work at the workplace is carried out in a manner that ensures workplace health and safety, helps employers and self-employed persons to fulfil their workplace health and safety obligations, ensures plant and substances provided for general use are safe and without risk of illness or injury to persons at the workplace, ensures hazards that no other person has obligations for are controlled and ensures workplace activities do not risk the health and safety of members of the public at, or near the workplace.
If a Principal Contractor believes an employer or a self-employed person at the workplace is not meeting their WH&S obligations, the Principal Contractor must direct this person to do so. If the person fails to comply, the Principal Contractor must direct all work to stop until the employer or self-employed persons agrees to fulfil their obligations.
The employers must ensure the workplace health and safety of each of their workers and themselves and to ensure others (visitors, salespersons, pedestrians) who may be affected by the way they conduct their business and work activities are not exposed to risks.
The self-employed must ensure the workplace health and safety of themselves and others are not adversely affected by the way they conduct their business and work activities are not exposed to risks.
Persons in control of workplaces
Ensure the risk of injury or illness from a workplace is minimised for persons coming onto the workplace.
Ensure the risk of injury or illness from any plant or substance provided by the person for the performance of work by someone other than the person’s workers is minimised when used properly.
Ensure there is appropriate, safe access to and from the workplace for persons other than the person’s workers.
Workers and Other Persons
Workers and other person on site must follow the instructions of an Employer or Principle Contractor regarding the workplace health and safety of themselves and others. Workers are required to use personal protective equipment if provided by their employer and they are properly instructed in its use. Among their obligations they are required:
- Not to wilfully or recklessly interfere with or misuse anything provided for workplace health and safety
- Not to wilfully or put at risk the workplace health and safety of any person or
- Not to wilfully injure themselves
Penalties & Offences
An Improvement Notice is the most common form of action taken by the Division of Workplace Health and Safety. This requires a person who has a legal obligation (an employer or an employee) to rectify a breach of the law within a specified time period.
An Improvement Notice is written, and must state what is wrong, what must be done to fix it, and a date by which the changes must be made. It is an offence not to comply with an Improvement Notice.
A Prohibition Notice immediately stops the circumstances which have given rise to the immediate risk to health and safety. The notice must state, what is causing the risk, the relevant part of the legislation, and under what circumstances the notice will be lifted.
Common Law Liability
The Common Law is the law built up and developed through the courts over the years into rules and principles.
Common Law actions generally depend on fault on someone’s part and damages are the usual remedy. Damages can be extensive.
The concern is with liability in the field of TORT – simply described as a civil wrong (as opposed to a criminal offence) and negligence with the most important example.
In legal terms “negligence” relies on three features:
- A duty of care owed to the Plaintiff;
- A breach of that duty by the Defendant; and
- Damage to the Plaintiff resulting from that breach.
The standard of care adopted is that of the “reasonable man of ordinary prudence”.
There are three main areas where the Employer can be held liable for injuries or damage suffered by an employee:
- Vicarious liability of the Employer;
- Personal liability of the Employer; and
- Breach of Statutory Duty.
The Employer is held responsible for the negligent actions of his employees in the course of their employment.
A negligent employee may theoretically be sued himself, but in reality it is the employer who is sued. The employer may however have his redress by disciplining the employee through demotion, sacking, etc. or even demanding contribution.
In the previous case the employer is held liable for the negligence of another. However, the employer himself owes certain duties to his employees and he will be liable for any breach of those duties which results in injury to another employee.
There are four basic duties of an employer:
- To provide and maintain competent staff;
- To provide and maintain a safe place of work;
- To provide and maintain safe plant and appliances; and
- To provide and maintain a safe system of work (A system means generally the way things are done).
Breach of Statutory Duty
This refers to the other body of law – the various Acts of Parliament eg. Coal Mining Act, Radioactive Substances Act, Workplace Health and Safety Act, etc.
The Acts contain provisions designed for the safety of certain persons and commonly prescribe specific precautions to be taken.
Breach of this law has different effects from the last two heads of liability.
- It gives rise to penalties; as an offence against the Act.
- It gives rise to civil action for damages for any injuries caused.
Workplace Health and Safety Officers
A workplace health and safety officer in a workplace is there to monitor the safety management system.
A workplace health and safety officer has the following functions
- Inform the employer or the Principal Contractor about the overall state of health and safety at the workplace;
- conduct inspections at the workplace to identify any hazards and unsafe or unsatisfactory workplace health and safety conditions and practices;
- report to the employer or principal contractor any hazard or unsafe or unsatisfactory workplace health and safety practice identified during inspections;
- establish appropriate educational programs in workplace health and safety;
- investigate, or assist the investigation of, all work injuries, work caused illnesses and dangerous events at the workplace;
- help inspectors in the performance of the inspector’s duties;
- if any work injury, work caused illness, dangerous event or immediate risk to workplace health or safety at the workplace happens – to report the injury, illness, event or risk to the employer or the Principal Contractor;
- at least once a year do an assessment of the workplace and give a written report to the employer. The form is approved by the safety committee or the approved form by the Division of Workplace Health and Safety.
Workplace Health and Safety Representatives
Workplace Health & Safety Representatives are a key aspect in managing safety. They represent the worker’s interests in safety and usually form part of the workplace health and safety committee.
Some of the entitlements or workplace health and safety representatives include:
- to inspect the workplace or the part of the workplace within the representative’s area of representative; and
- to review circumstances surrounding work injuries, work caused illnesses and dangerous events told to the representative by the employer; and
- to advise the employer of the results of the review and to make recommendations arising out of the review; and
- to be consulted by the employer on any proposed change to the workplace, or plant or substances used at the workplace, that affects, or may affect, the workplace health and safety of persons at the workplace; and
- to be told by the employer of the presence of an inspector at the workplace if the representative is at the workplace; and
- Safety Representatives are to be given paid training to enable them to perform their entitlements.
Workplace Health and Safety Committees
The Purpose of the Committee
A committee can help create a consultative approach to health and safety. A successful Committee should seek to undertake the following issues:
- Analyse and discuss incident reports.
- Analyse and discuss reports from workplace inspections.
- Analyse and discuss reports from the Workplace Health and Safety Officer.
- Analyse and discuss various workplace statistics.
- Discuss issues or complaints raised by workers.
- Evaluate and improve the effectiveness of the committee.
- Develop, monitor and continually improve workplace training.
- Actively promote workplace health and safety issues.
- Develop new policies and procedures.
- Monitor and act accordingly on all matters relating to housekeeping, fire prevention, guarding, protective equipment and violations of safety rules.
- Monitor and act accordingly on issues relating to general working conditions, such as lighting, ventilation and noise levels in the workplace.
- Monitor and act accordingly on longer-term occupational health problems.
Notification and Recording Requirements
The Principal Contractor must notify of serious injuries, illnesses and dangerous events to the Division of Workplace Health and Safety.
All injuries, illnesses and dangerous events must be recorded by the Principal Contractor and also advised to [enter-your-company-name-here]. The employers must record the injuries and illnesses of their workers and self employed people record their own injuries and illnesses.
The employer and self employed person must help the Principal Contractor as well as [enter-your-company-name-here] in the notification and recording process if it is them or their workers that are injured or caused the dangerous event.
Construction Workplace Plans
A documented plan for the workplace can assist the Principal Contractor to manage relevant workplace health and safety obligations.
A principal contractor must prepare a construction workplace plan before construction work starts.
The plan must state
- workplace address;
- name and address of the Principal Contractor;
- principal contractor’s ABN;
- whether there is a WHS committee;
- whether there is a WHS Officer appointed;
- expected start date;
- estimated duration of the work;
- type of construction;
- plant provided for common use;
- site rules;
- the risks the Principal Contractor is obligated to manage;
- proposed control measure for the risks;
- how the controls will be implemented;
- arrangements for monitoring and reviewing controls;
- emergency procedures; and
- public safety strategies.
The plan must be written so it is easy to understand, signed and dated by the Principal Contractor. It must be available for the length of the project.
Hazards and Risks
Hazards and risk are NOT the same thing.
A hazard is something with the potential to cause harm. This may include substances, plant, work processes and/or other aspects of the work environment.
Risk is the likelihood that death, injury or illness might result due to the hazard.
Workplace Health and Safety Risk Management Process
Five Basic Steps
There are five basic steps in the workplace health and safety risk management process:
- Identify hazards
- Assess risks that may result because of the hazards
- Decide on control measures to prevent or minimise the level of the risks
- Implement control measures
- Monitor and review the effectiveness of measures
Step 1 – Identify Hazards
What to Look For
There are a number of general types of workplace hazards, including:
- Work environment (such as confined spaces)
- Energy (such as electricity)
- Manual handling
- Substances (such as chemicals)
How To Look For Hazards
A simple way to begin looking for hazards can be by dividing your workplace into logical workplace groupings, such as:
- Tasks (working on the lathe, loading the truck, data processing);
- Locations (offices, grounds, warehouse);
- Roles (electricians, office workers);
- Functions or production processes (administration, cooking, washing, cleaning, receiving, forming, finishing).
There are many other activities that can be undertaken to help with identifying hazards. These include:
- Walking through and inspecting each task or location;
- Consulting with workers. Ask about any problems they have encountered and any near misses and unreported minor injuries;
- Consulting with WH&S reps and workplace health and safety committees;
- How people use equipment and materials;
- How suitable the things used are for the task, and how well they are located.
- And how people could be hurt directly and indirectly by the various workplace aspects;
- Conducting a safety audit;
- Testing, particularly of plant and/or other equipment and noise levels;
- Scientific or technical evaluation;
- Analysing records and data covering, for example, incidents and near misses, worker complaints, sick leave and staff turnover;
- Acquiring information from designers, manufacturers, suppliers, and other organisations, such as unions, employer bodies and health and safety consultancies;
- Environmental and medical monitoring;
- Undertaking working surveys.
After completing Step 1, you may have discovered many hazards at your workplace. You need to assess the risks associated with these hazards. This will be achieved in Step 2 of the risk management process.
Before proceeding to Step 2, however, you should identify the risks associated with each hazard and consider whether any of these risks are:
- Relatively minor, or
- Issues about which there is a regulation, advisory standard or industry code of practice (made under the workplace health and safety act 1995) or guidance material (produced by the division of workplace health and safety).
If any of the risks are relatively minor and/or the hazard can be easily fixed, attend to these straight away.
That is, you may NOT need to work through the assessment method shown in Step 2 before controlling the risk (Step 3). For example, you may be able to relocate a telephone cord that lies across the walkway.
To find out whether there are any regulations, advisory standards, industry codes of practice or guidance material for any of the hazards identified at your workplace, you can:
- Refer to the workplace health and safety regulations (for regulatory information only);
- Access the department of employment, training and industrial relation’s home page (www.dir.qld.gov.au) and then click on health and safety;<NOTE THESE ARE QUEENSLAND CONTACTS – RESEARCH AND LOCATE THE APPROPRIATE CONTACTS FOR YOUR STATE)
- Contact the division of workplace health and safety, publications section free call 1300 369 915;
- Contact your local district office of the division of workplace health and safety;
- Refer to the divisional publication, publications catalogue; and/or
- Consult your union, employer body, professional association and/or health and safety consultancy.
Step 2 – Assess Risk
Step 2 involves assessing the risk associated with the hazards identified in Step 1. As noted earlier, risk is the likelihood that death, injury or illness might result because of the hazard. To assess risk, you need to consider both likelihood and consequences.
The desired outcome of this step is a prioritised list of risk for further action. Various methods can be used to undertake a risk assessment.
For each of the risks:
- Determine the likelihood of an incident occurring at your workplace, bearing in mind existing control measures;
- Determine the consequences of an incident occurring at your workplace, bearing in mind the existing control measures;
- Combine your likelihood and consequence estimates to rate the risk.
- Using the ratings of each risk, develop a prioritised list of workplace risks requiring action.
Use the following descriptive scale to nominate the likelihood of an incident occurring at your workplace.
|Could Happen Frequently
Could Happen Occasionally
Could Happen, but Rarely
Could Happen, but Probably never will
The following factors can affect the likelihood of an incident occurring:
- How often the situation occurs.
- How many people are exposed.
- The skills and experience of persons exposed.
- Any special circumstances of the people involved.
- The duration of the exposure.
- The position of the hazard relative to workers and to other hazards.
- Quantities of materials or multiple exposure points involved.
- Environmental conditions.
- Condition of equipment.
The effectiveness of existing control measures
- Do the existing control measures represent good practice
- Are the existing control measures minimising exposure to the risk
- Do workers know about the existing control measures
- Are the existing control measures being used/followed
- Are there adequate systems or procedures in place in relation to the existing control measures
- Is there adequate training and supervision in relation to the existing control measures
- Is there adequate maintenance in relation to the existing control measures:
- How easy is it to use, or work with, the existing control measures
Use the following descriptive scale to nominate the consequences of an incident occurring.
|Death, permanent disablement
Serious bodily injury
First aid only, no lost work time
To determine the consequences, you must make a judgement on the severity of the potential outcome. You should review any information gathered during the identification stage, including incident statistics and manufacturer’s data.
Also consider the following factors which can affect the consequences:
- Potential for “chain reaction”
- Concentrations for substances
- Volumes of materials
- Speeds of projectiles and moving parts
- Position of the worker relative to the hazard
- Forces and energy levels.
Step 3 – Decide On Control Measures
Step 3 involves deciding on control measures to manage exposure to identified risks.
Start at the top of the list and work your way down
Firstly, try to eliminate the hazard
If this is not possible, prevent or minimise exposure to the risk by one or a combination of:
- Substituting a less hazardous material, process or equipment
- Redesigning equipment or work processes
- Isolating the hazard
(Note: These measures may include engineering methods).
As a last resort, when exposure to the risk is not (or can not be) minimised by other means:
- Introduce administrative controls
- Use of appropriate personal protective equipment
In many cases, it will be necessary to use more than one control measure to satisfactorily manage exposure to a risk. For example, to minimise exposure to a risk involving a chemical, you could decide to replace the toxic chemical with a less hazardous one, implement safer work procedures and use personal protective equipment.
Some control measures that are lower control priorities may need to be put in place until a permanent measure can be achieved. For example, you may decide that the best way to manage exposure to a risk is to purchase a safer type of machinery with better guarding.
However, it may be some time before the new machine can be delivered and installed, In the interim, it will be necessary to minimise exposure to the risk by doing something, such as increasing supervision, providing specific instruction in safer work procedures and erecting a temporary barrier to minimise dangerous access.
Similarly, it may be necessary to delay implementing a major control measure until your business goes through a “slack” or “off-peak” time so that disruptions are minimised. In such cases, you will need to decide on interim measures to manage exposure to risk.
The control measures selected should:
- adequately control exposure to the risk;
- not create another hazard; and
- allow workers to do their work without undue discomfort or distress.
Eliminate the Hazard
The ideal solution is to get rid of a hazard completely. This is the most effective control and should always be attempted in the first instance. This may mean discontinuing dangerous work practices or removing dangerous substances or equipment. For example, using a machine to do a repetitive manual activity or completely removing asbestos from a workplace.
Prevent or Minimise Exposure To The Risk
If a hazard cannot be eliminated, there are a number of control options that can be used alone, or in combination, to prevent or minimise exposure to the risk.
This involves replacing the hazard with one that presents a lower (and more manageable) risk. For example, a hazardous work practice or substance is replaced with a less hazardous one.
Examples of substitution include:
- Using less dangerous chemicals, such as, substituting a flammable solvent with a water-based solvent or replacing a toxic solvent with a detergent. (it may also be possible to use less of a dangerous substance.);
- Replacing glass with plastic;
- Replacing a pedestal fan with a ceiling fan in a restaurant kitchen;
- Replacing an existing machine with one that has better guarding to make the same product.
This involves changing the design of the workplace, equipment or work process. It involves thinking about ways the work could be done differently to make the workplace safer, such as rearranging aspects of the workplace, modifying equipment, combining tasks, changing procedures to eliminate hazardous steps, changing the sequence of tasks in a job and/or reducing the frequency of performing a dangerous task.
Examples of redesign include:
- Controlling chemicals through improved ventilation;
- Installing lifting equipment to reduce manual handling;
- Fitting a frame to a tractor for rollover protection;
- Modifying exhaust systems to reduce noise
Isolation refers to isolating or separating the hazard from the person, or the person from the hazard.
Examples of isolation include:
- Installing screens or barriers around hazardous areas;
- Enclosing or guarding dangerous equipment;
- Using remote handling equipment for hazardous substances or procedures;
- Installing acoustic booths around noisy equipment.
When Exposure To The Risk Cannot Be Minimised By Other Means
Administration and the use of personal protective equipment are lowest on the list of control priorities.
These controls should NOT be relied on as the primary means of risk control until the options higher in the list of control priorities have been exhausted. These controls require management enforcement and commitment, together with behaviour modification.
They are dependent on appropriate human behaviour to work properly and, therefore, tend to be less effective.
In general, administration and personal protective equipment should only be used:
- When there are no other practical control measures available (that is, as a last resort);
- As temporary measures while a more permanent solution is found; or
- To supplement other controls (that is, as back-up controls).
Administrative Controls involve minimising exposure to a risk through the use of procedures or instruction. It is often necessary to use these controls in conjunction with other measures. For example, if a mechanical device is introduced to reduce manual handling, the Sub-Contractors will also need to be trained how to use it.
Examples of administrative controls include:
- Job rotation to reduce exposure;
- Limited entry or limited time in hazardous areas;
- Adequate supervision;
- Instruction and training in safe work procedures;
- Preventive maintenance and housekeeping procedures;
- Warning signs.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is worn by people as a final barrier between themselves and the hazard. This measure does not control the hazard at the source and relies on behaviour modification for its success.
The success of this control is dependent on the protective equipment being:
- Chosen correctly;
- Worn correctly;
- Used correctly; and
- Maintained in good condition.
Personal protective equipment is often an expensive option in the long term when the costs of maintenance, supervision and (potentially more) injuries are taken into account.
Examples of personal protective equipment include:
- Hearing protective devices, such as ear muffs and ear plugs;
- Protective eyewear, such as goggles;
- Safety helmets and wide brim sun hats.
Step 4 – Implement Control Measures
Step 4 involves putting selected control measures in place at your workplace. This means undertaking those activities necessary to allow the measures to function or operate effectively.
Implementing control measures involves:
Developing work procedures
Develop work procedures in relation to the new control measures to make sure they are effective. Management, supervision and worker responsibilities may need to be clearly defined in the work procedures.
For example, in relation to the use of machine guarding, the manager’s role may involve making sure the appropriate guarding is purchased and that it is installed correctly, the supervisor’s role may involve making sure the workers operate the machine only with the guarding in place, some workers’ role may involve using the machine with guarding in place as instructed and other workers’ role may involve the maintenance of the machine and guarding.
You should inform workers and others about the control measures to be implemented. It is important to clearly communicate the reasons for the changes.
Providing training and instruction
You should provide training and instruction for the workers, supervisors and others in relation to the new control measures.
You should provide adequate supervision to verify that the new control measures are being used correctly.
Maintenance relating to control measures is an important part of the implementation process. Work procedures should spell out maintenance requirements to ensure the ongoing effectiveness of the new control measures.
Step 5 – Monitor and Review
The final step in the process is to monitor and review the effectiveness of measures.
For this step, it can be useful to ask questions to determine whether:
- Chosen control measures have been implemented, as planned
- Are chosen control measures in place
- Are these measures being used
- Are these measures being used correctly
- Chosen control measures are working
- Have the changes made to control exposure to the assessed risks resulted in what was intended
- Has exposure to the assessed risks been eliminated or adequately reduced
- Are there any new problems
- Have implemented control measures resulted in the introduction of any new problems
- Have implemented control measures resulted in the worsening of any existing problems
To answer these questions, you can:
- Consult the workers, supervisors and health and safety representatives;
- Measure people’s exposure (eg, taking noise measurements in the case of isolation of a noise source); and
- Monitor incident reports.
You should set a date to review the entire workplace health and safety risk management process.
Hazards and Hazardous Environments
Entry into a confined space can be one of the most hazardous activities, which you as a construction worker may be faced with.
Be aware of the confined spaces that may exist on site. Generally they will be areas with limited openings for workers to enter and exit and are not designed for regular occupancy. There may be areas that contain or cause an accumulation of atmospheric hazards. They may also have a deficiency or over supply of oxygen.
Confined space entry is a specialised field requiring detailed training and a thorough understanding of the appropriate work and safety practices. Don’t attempt to enter a confined space unless you are fully trained and know what you are doing.
Further requirements include a written authority to enter, risk assessments, rescue and first aid procedures.
Examples of confined spaces:
- Trenches and excavations
- Ceiling work
- Life wells
- Tunnel construction
- Asbestos removal
- Basement areas of buildings under construction
Major hazards of working in confined spaces:
- Oxygen deficiency
- Presence of atmospheric contaminants
- Accidental operation of machinery, services
- Performance of non-routine tasks
- Personnel, training, rescue and first aid
- Entry procedures including:
- Preliminary review
- Safety of the atmosphere
- Authority to enter a confined space
- Determine whether there is a need for a person/s to work in or enter a confined space
- Consider substituting the work or process with one less hazardous
- Changing the process so that the work may be performed without need to enter a confined space
- Engineering in controls to separate the worker from the hazard
- Determining if there is a need to set up training, maintain supervision, develop rosters, etc.
- Does the work require PPE
- Additional precautions during occupancy:
- Use of portable electrical equipment
- Static electricity
- Suitability and safety of non-electrical equipment
- Approval for return to service
There are serious consequences potentially in fatigue related incidents. Our fatigue policy which requires in general that within a 24 hour period, Sub-Contractors must take a break of at least 10 hours in a continuous block. This break cannot be made up of smaller periods but must be continuous.
Effects of the Sun
We are becoming more aware nowadays of the need to stay out of the sun because of the damaging effect the suns rays has on our skin. Australia for instance has the highest incidence of skin cancer in the world and the number of reported cases of skin cancer has increased alarmingly over the past years despite increased awareness of the problem.
The effects of the sun are cumulative so it is important to encourage lifelong habits of avoiding overexposure at an early age.
Skin cancer is very visible, so it can be detected early. Early detection leads to a complete cure in most cases with minimal disability.
The Causes Of Skin Cancer
Ultraviolet light is the major cause of skin cancer.
There are three different types of ultraviolet rays:
- Ultraviolet A. These rays primarily cause ageing by sun exposure. The rays are prevalent throughout the day and shine all year round being as abundant in winter as summer. The rays are very strong regardless of where you live.
- Ultraviolet B. These rays are responsible for sunburn and skin cancer. The rays are most abundant between the hours of 10.00am and 3.00pm when the rays are at the shortest distance to the earths surface. Those rays are also most intense closer to the equator.
- Ultraviolet C. These rays are not of particular concern as they are trapped by the ozone layer, however if the ozone layer continues to be depleted then they will pose problems.
Types Of Skin Cancer
There are three main types of skin cancer:
- Basal cell carcinoma
- Squamous cell carcinoma
Preventing Skin Cancer
There are a number of things we can do to protect ourselves from the harmful effects of sunlight:
- Stay indoors during the middle part of the day when the ultraviolet light is at its peat.
- Sporting activities should be scheduled either early morning or late afternoon.
- Physical Shade
- Wear broad-brimmed hat
- Wear protective clothing
- Wear broad-spectrum sun cream/lip zinc
- Wear sunglasses
Heat exhaustion: occurs when the worker becomes slightly dehydrated due to the constant loss of water in perspiration. Replacement of the water loss usually promotes a full recovery.
Heat Stroke: is a potentially irreversible and fatal response to exposure to extreme heat when the body is unable to maintain its normal regulation of temperature. Early warning signs need to be recognised.
- Pale, cool skin initially, later becoming red
- Rapid and weak pulse.
- Replace lost fluids
- Rest in cool, shaded area
- Ice packs to wrists, groin and neck region
- Monitor and seek medical attention if heat stroke is suspected.
Protection from heat will include:
- Wear long sleeve shirts
- Long trousers
- Head and neck protection
- Maintain fluid intake
What Is Noise
Noise is unwanted sound that may damage a person’s hearing.
Sound pressure is measured in decibels (dB). The decibel scale is logarithmic, or compressed, as the human ear is capable of hearing a broad range of sound pressures.
The amount of damage caused by noise depends on the total amount of energy received over time. This means as noise becomes louder, it causes damage in less time.
Excessive noise is defined in the [e.g. your state Health Regulations] and means a level of noise above
- LAeq, 8h of 85 dB(A) – that is, an 8 hour equivalent continuous A-weighted sound pressure level of 85 dB(A), referenced to 20 micropascals; or
- LC, peak of 140 dB(C) – that is, a C-weighted peak sound pressure level of 140 dB(C), referenced to 20 micropascals.
What does L Aeq, 8h of 86 dB(A) mean
LAeq,8H of 85 dB(A) means the actual energy of varying noise levels experienced over a period is equivalent to 8 hours of a continuous steady A-weighted sound pressure level of 85 dB(A).
In simple terms, this can be shown in the following table which has a range of time/sound level variations equivalent to a daily noise dose.
For example, a person exposed to a continuous sound pressure level of 94 dB(A) over a period of 1 hour has experienced 1 daily noise dose, that is, the equivalent of a continuous sound pressure level of 85 dB(A) over 8 hours.
What does LC, peak of 140 dB mean
LC, peak of 140 dB(C) means a C-weighted peak sound pressure level of 140 dB(C). Levels of noise above LC, peak of 140 dB(C) can cause immediate hearing damage.
This is often referred to as “acoustic trauma” and can result from an event that causes very loud noise, for example, an explosion or metal being machine punched.
How is a person’s hearing damaged
A person’s hearing ability can become temporarily or permanently impaired if the person’s unprotected ear is exposed to excessive noise.
|Power Drill||70 cm (nod); idle running; outdoors||92|
|Vacuum Cleaner||1.5m; 1000 W machine; in-doors||78|
|Power Saw||70 cm (nod); idle running; outdoors||108|
|Driving in city tunnel||Passenger seat; window open||85 (avg)
|Suburban Train||In the open; slow speed; window open||74|
|Suburban Train||Medium speed; buildings either side, window open||86|
|Train Platform||3m; train pulling out||96|
|Car Engine||50 cm; bonnet open (as if checking engine)||84 (idle)
|Lawn Mower||1.5m (nod); idle running||93|
|Stereo System||3m; rock music; party volume||98|
|Coffee Grinder (domestic)||60 cm (nod)||94|
|Hair Dryer||10 cm (nod)||88|
|Telephone||1 m (nod)||83|
|Edge Trimmer (electric)||1.5 m (nod)||72|
|Power Sander||50 cm (nod); idle running; in-doors||94|
|Street Corner||5 m; normal traffic||76|
|Street Corner||5 m; as lights turn green||86|
|Person Shouting||1 m||88|
|Normal Conversation||1 m||62|
Managing Hazardous Substances in the Workplace
The following issues should be considered when hazardous substances are used in the workplace:
- How hazardous substances should be used;
- How persons are exposed to hazardous substances;
- Whether the risk from the hazardous substance is significant;
- How exposure to hazardous substance in the workplace should be controlled.
Material Safety Data Sheets
There are thousands of chemicals in and around the world today. It is essential to obtain adequate information to avoid any hazard to health in the workplace and the general environment form the use of any chemical.
An ideal way of obtaining practical concise information on a product is through a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS).
What Is A Material Safety Data Sheet
A MSDS provides information which allows for the safe handling and use of chemicals or mixtures of chemicals in the workplace.
- The identity of the product eg. (formulation or chemical name)
- The properties and uses of the product
- Health hazard information
- Precautions for use
- Safe handling information
- First aid instructions
- Methods for safe disposal
Essentially, the manufacturer of the substance is responsible for the preparation of the material safety data sheet. In the case of imported chemicals, this responsibility may fall on the importer or local supplier.
The quality of the MSDS may vary from one manufacturer to another. To overcome this problem, the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission (Worksafe Australia) has produced a booklet called “Guidance Note for Completion of a Material Safety Data Sheet”.
The potential for a fire to break out on a construction site should never be underestimated. Even small fires can be costly in terms of damage and delay.
Know What To Do
Remember to follow the site’s fire response procedures, keep your head and above all don’t panic.
You need to be on the lookout for possible fire hazards such as:
- Electrical wiring defects.
- Flammable vapours and dust.
- Accumulated rubbish or flammable liquid spills.
- And hot work activities.
When carrying out hot work, make sure whenever possible that work is carried out in designated areas where no fire risk exists. There should be no combustible materials close by and check to see that fire-fighting equipment is at hand.
Remember that good housekeeping and the proper disposal of rubbish and waste material is a vital part of any fire safety program.
It is important to use the right type of extinguisher on the material that is burning.
Class of Fire
Fire involving energized
Do not use water or foam extinguisher on an electrical fire – you could electrocute yourself!
If the fire alarm goes off then immediately stop working and evacuate to the assembly area. Remain at the assembly area until everyone is accounted for and the all clear has been given.
Because our bodies are made up mainly of water they make excellent conductors. Electricity adopts a path of least resistance and you could easily provide that path if you don’t take care.
Keep an eye out for electrical hazards such as:
- Cracked or faulty insulation
- Equipment that is overheating
- Damp or humid conditions
Always adopt safe work practices when dealing with electricity. Remove metal wristwatches, jewellery and belts with large metal buckles. Make sure you wear non-conductive footwear.
Before starting work check to see that your tools are in good shape and clean. Your electrical equipment should also be thoroughly inspected and tagged by a competent person on a regular basis and records maintained of these inspections.
Remember to keep power cords well away from heat sources, wet areas, sharp objects and other places where they could get damaged. Run cables at height to keep them dry and prevent them from being damaged.
When working near live power cables, ideally use non-conductive wooden or fibreglass ladders. Remember to keep as far away from power lines and electrical cables as possible especially in damp conditions.
Residual current devices cut the current if contact is made with any live part. These devices should be in place and checked on a regular basis.
Avoid Electrical Hazards
- Make sure you are working in a safe environment.
- Don’t wear jewellery or metal wristwatches.
- Check insulation regularly.
- Make sure your tools and equipment are clean.
- Look out for overheating equipment.
- Keep machines well maintained and lubricated.
- Use tools with insulated handgrips.
- Residual current devices to be checked regularly.
- Wear non-conductive footwear.
- Check that a competent person has recently inspected electrical equipment.
Electric Shock Action
- Don’t touch a person if connected to a live circuit
- Call for help and switch off the power.
- If power cannot be switched off then use a non-conductive lever (example a wooden broom) to push or pull victim clear.
- Check for a pulse.
- Place victim in recovery position.
- Cardio-pulmonary resuscitation may be necessary.
- Seek urgent medical attention.
[e.g Australian Standards enter your state/countries] sets out size, shape and colour of the signs in the four categories.
With the exception of Danger signs they are mainly symbolic in their design.
Brief Safety signs draw attention to objects and situations affecting health and safety.
It should be noted that safety signs do not replace the need for proper accident or hazardous prevention measures.
Safety signs are classified into four categories according to their function. They are:
- Regulatory signs
- Hazard signs
- Emergency information signs
- Fire signs
Purpose, Meaning and Reasons for use
Regulatory signs contain instructions with which failure to comply constitutes either an offence by law, or a breach of standing orders, safety procedures or other workplace directions.
There are three types of regulatory signs:
- Prohibition signs – Signs that indicate that an action or activity is not permitted
- Mandatory signs – Signs that indicate than an instruction must be carried out
- Limitation or Restriction signs – Signs that place a numerical or other defined limit on an activity or use of a facility
Hazard Signs – Advise of Hazards
There are two types of hazard signs:
- Danger signs – Signs warning of a particular hazard or hazardous condition that is likely to be life-threatening.
- Warning signs – Signs warning of a hazard or hazardous condition that is not likely to be life-threatening.
Emergency Information Signs
Indicate the location of, or directions to, emergency related facilities such as exits, safety equipment or first aid facilities.
Advise the location of the fire alarms, fire fighting facilities and exits.
Safety Signs and Procedures
Another form of signs used on site are the danger tags or locks and out of service tags. These tags are designed to prevent another person activating any equipment, valve, electrical supply, switch or tap which may place you in danger.
Danger Tag or Lock out
The personal danger tag should be placed on the main isolating switch, valve, etc. once it has been set to the non-dangerous position. Be aware that there may be more than one hazard that needs to be isolated. Make sure you have tagged the correct isolator/switch.
A lockout system may also be used in conjunction with a danger tag. This enables the workers undertaking work that may place them at risk to attach a lock preventing the isolating switch from being activated.
Master clips are available that allow a number of workers to each attach their own lock to the isolator switch. This requires that all workers remove their own lock and danger tag before the switch can be activated.
Remember, the only person who can remove a danger tag or personal lock-out device is the person who placed it.
Out of Service Tag
This tag is used to identify faulty equipment or equipment that is being services. It should be placed and removed by the same person. It does not offer any personal protection. The out of service is primarily used to warn others of hazards.
Definition of Manual Handling
Manual handling is any work process that requires:
Each year many construction workers suffer injuries caused through manual handling techniques including strains, sprains, ligament and joint injuries and back injuries.
These cause unnecessary pain and hardship to workers and their families and cost the industry around $100 million a year per State. Most of the injuries suffered affect the shoulders, hands, back and knees.
When lifting do not:
- Lift too far out from the body
- Perform jerky lifts
- Perform heavy lifts
- Twist when lifting
- Continue frequent lifting
- Over stretch
Do not try and lift heavy or awkward loads on your own. Get help from someone else or use mechanical aids to help you. When lifting with two people, they should be of similar height and one of the two should be in charge of the lift.
When mechanical aids cannot be used, you should use correct manual handling practices:
- Proper lifting
- Plan your lift
- Use a wide, balance stance
- Get as close as possible to the load
- While lifting, keep your lower back in its normal alignment. Use your leg muscles to assist the lift
- Pick up your feet to pivot and turn. Do not twist straight around. Move your feet as you go.
- Lower the load, maintaining the normal alignment of your back, again using your legs.
- Ensure a solid contact when lifting. Use your entire palm, not just your fingers.
Explosive Power Tools and Other Plant
Explosive Power Tools
Operational hazards of explosive powered tools include injury to the operator, their assistant, or other persons in an area which can extend up to 100 metres in radius with certain tools caused by:
- The possible free flight of the fastener, either by over-penetration and escape or by ricochet, and from shattered target fragments;
- Permanent hearing loss caused by impact noise.
Limiting the Hazard
The quality of component materials of tool, charge and fastener, and the design factors incorporating safety, are matters under development and surveillance, but outside the control of the operator. However, personal factors are controllable, and the area where accidents can best be prevented.
Preventative measures include:
- Limiting the use of these tools to responsible and adequately trained person;
- Working in a climate which promotes the safe use of tools; and
- Working under a system of formal supervision.
Plant, Tools And Machinery
The tools and equipment you use must be kept in safe working order.
Make sure you choose the right tool or piece of equipment for the job and check it thoroughly before use.
With machinery it is a good idea to have a written pre-operation check list which you should go through before commencing work.
If any faults or problems are identified then immediately get these attended to. Don’t attempt to operate faulty equipment.
Special care must be taken when working with or near hoists, tower cranes, mobile cranes and concrete pumps.
Complacency concerning their safe use will often end in disaster.
Also stay alert to the movement of site vehicles. Wear high visibility clothing when working with mobile plant or if you are near roadways.
Always travel at a safe speed.
Other Workplace Hazards
Safe Housekeeping Practices
Principal contractors play an important role in ensuring the orderly conduct of a construction workplace.
The principal contractor needs to implement and maintain safe housekeeping practices, including –
- Appropriate, safe and clear access to and from the workplace;
- Safe systems for collecting, storing and disposing of excess or waste materials;
- Adequate space for the storage of materials and plant; and
- An adequate number of safety signs that are kept in good condition. Appropriate signs may include signs about –
- the direction to the site office or site amenities;
- where first aid and fire extinguishing equipment are kept;
- the means of access must be kept clear;
- where hazardous substances are kept;
- who the principal contractor is;
- head and foot protection must be worn; and
- authorisations required for the site.
An employer or self-employed person must implement and maintain the safe housekeeping practices that apply to their work.
An employer or self-employed person must also manage risks from protruding objects such as exposed nails or vertical reinforcing steel.
Common plant is plant provided by the principal contractor for use by an employer, self-employed person or worker at the workplace.
A principal contractor must ensure common plant is safe for the purpose for which it is provided and that it is maintained.
An employer or self-employed person using the plant must ensure any requirements about its safe use are complied with.
Excavations (Including Trenches)
Before excavation work is carried out, the principal contractor for a construction workplace or an employer/self-employed person for another workplace must –
- find out what underground services exist;
- obtain relevant information about the service (location, type, depth, restrictions to be followed); and
- record the information.
An employer/self-employed person must –
- consider the information;
- follow any reasonable restrictions; and
- implement necessary control measures.
An employer or self-employed person is responsible for managing the risks associated with –
- an excavation collapsing;
- objects falling into an excavation;
- a person falling into an excavation; and
- substance exposure in an excavation, eg, carbon monoxide from plant.
A barricade or hoarding at least 900mm must be erected around an excavation unless it is not practicable or no members of the public are likely to be in the area of the excavation.
An employer or self-employed person must implement any control measures necessary to prevent risk from the collapse of another structure such as an adjoining building or road.
A barricade at least 900mm high must be erected around a trench that is 1 metre or more deep unless it is not practicable or only workers involved with the trench will be in the area; or another form of barrier exists, eg, excavated materials near the trench.
An employer or self-employed person must ensure that if a person is entering a trench more than 1.5 metres deep it –
- has shoring or shielding;
- is benched – not higher than it is wide and no vertical face exceeding 1.5 metres;
- is battered – angle not exceeding 45 ° and bottom vertical face not exceeding 1.5 metres; or
- is approved in writing by an engineer as safe to work in.
Written approval to vary the benching and battering requirements may be obtained from an engineer. The approval must be kept on site at all times. Ladders used for access must be no more than 9 metres apart in the area of the trench where work will be carried out.
Protecting the Public from Falling or Flying Objects
These regulations relate to objects that may fall onto or hit members of the public in an adjoining area. Adjoining areas could include a public footpath, road, square or the yard of a dwelling or other building beside a workplace.
Housing And Civil Construction
A principal contractor for a construction workplace or an employer/self-employed person for another workplace must assess the risk from falling objects and use controls to prevent or minimise the risks.
The controls chosen must comply with any regulatory requirements.
A principal contractor for a construction workplace or an employer/self-employed person for another workplace must –
- erect signs about the nature of the workplace, authorisations about entry to the workplace and the conditions for using adjoining areas, eg, ‘Construction site – no unauthorised entry’ or ‘Do not proceed if light is flashing – load is being lifted onto site’;
- implement one of the following controls based on the angle between the highest point where work is to be carried out and the line where the control will be put –
- barricade or hoarding at least 900mm high = 15 °
- hoarding at least 1800mm high > 15 °and = 30 °
- fully sheeted hoarding at least 1800mm high > 30 °; and
- for Demolition Work over 75 °
- Fully sheeting hoarding 1800mm high or erect a gantry
For demolition work in general (regardless of the angle formed)
- Perimeter containment sheeting or close the adjoining area to the extent to protect the public and if either are not possible another control measure
For formwork over 75 °
- Fully sheeted hoarding 1800mm high or erect a gantry.
For formwork in general
Perimeter containment sheeting or close the adjoining area to the extent to protect the public.
Other construction work over 75°
Fully sheeted hoarding 1800mm high or erect gantry plus a gantry or close the adjoining area or a catch platform.
The public must be kept out of an adjoining area where loads are being lifted, unless a gantry that would withstand the force of the load if it fell, has been provided.
Refer to Part 19 and the dictionary of the Workplace Health and Safety Regulation 1997 for specific requirements on control measures for protecting the public from falling objects.
Construction Workplace Amenities
Workplace amenities include:
- Sheltered area
- Washing facilities
- Drinking water
- First aid equipment
A principal contractor must ensure workers have reasonable access to a room or sheltered area to eat meals or take breaks.
The area must –
- present no health or safety risk;
- by hygienic; and
- if there are 15 or more workers at the site, have adequate space, seating and facilities for washing and storing utensils, boiling water and storing food in a cool place.
There must be 1 toilet available for each 15, or part number of workers. A toilet connected to sewerage, a septic system, a pump-out holding tank storage type system (“connected”) or a portable toilet is acceptable for a workplace with fewer than 15 workers.
However, if the number of the workers increases and the toilet provided was portable, it must be replaced by a connected toilet within 2 weeks after the number of workers has increased.
Toilets must be –
- in a cubicle or room fitted with a door and located in a position that allows privacy;
- have fresh air; and
- if used by female construction workers – be equipped with sanitary disposal facilities; and separated so that urinals are not visible.
The principal contractor must ensure workers have access to washing facilities. The facilities must be separate from toilets if there are no separate toilet facilities for females.
Employers must ensure workers have access to drinking water that has been supplied by the principal contractor from a source other than toilet, hand or face washing facilities. Reasonable access for a housing construction site would be within 30 metres from where the work is being carried out and for a high risk building, access on the ground level and every second level of the building.
First Aid Equipment
Employers must provide workers with reasonable access to appropriate and adequate first aid equipment. A self-employed person is responsible for ensuring reasonable access to appropriate and adequate first aid equipment.
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