Being able to identify and resolve key hazards in the workplace is critical; this is as it prevents any potential emergencies in the workplace. What has been identified is that most businesses do not realise what is a hazard, and how certain hazards can contribute to emergencies.
Hazards are sources of potential harm to: humans, property, environment and/or a combination of all of them. By reviewing your businesses tasks, operation and/or policies and procedures on a regular basis – to ensure that the tasks is safe – is essential to minimising the risk of harm. Also, another way to identify key hazards within a business is looking over past incident reports and/or historical data that may be available. This is as historical data can identify a hazard, allowing you to check and see if the hazard is still evident or if it has been resolved.
You can also use other external and internal resources to assist you in identifying risks within your business, these include:
Workplace resources: workplace resources that you may be able to use to prevent and identify hazards are – incident report/register, injury reports, workplace inspections, maintenance records, safety meeting minutes, workplace procedures and policies, safety data and/or chemical reports.
External resources: When identifying hazards, it is essential to use external resources, as internal resources cannot identify risks that are unusual or once off; whereas external resources can identify hazards that other businesses, similar to your business, has overcome. External resources include: information that is specific to your industry, WHS acts, regulations, publications, internet, alerts, Safework Australia, newspapers, journals and/or industry associations.
When you are reviewing tasks within your business, it is essential to talk to employees that complete the task on a daily or regular basis, as they are the ones who are aware of the workplace hazards. In addition, if there are new policies and procedures put in place, all employees should be made aware of the changes to ensure that the implementation is smooth and effective. As stated, regularly reviewing tasks ensures that you can identify hazards, and being proactive as a company and not reactive.
If you require assistance with reviewing tasks and identifying hazards, please contact our expert Risk Specialists to assist you today.