Keeping your workers safe

Managing health and safety in your community organisation is similar to managing any other risk. A typical approach includes:

  • Identifying the risks and who is at risk
  • Assessing and prioritising the impact of each risk
  • Deciding what you are going to do to control or manage each risk
  • Implementing and evaluating your actions

Assessing health and safety risks

There are a number of things to check when assessing your organisation's health and safety risks:

  • Risks in your physical environment such as furniture, fittings, equipment, appliances, car parks
  • Risks in your work practices such as inadequate induction, training and supervision, unrealistic work demands, bullying or harassment
  • Risks in your policies and procedures such as grievance procedure, discrimination and harassment policy, operating principles, insurance policy

Training and supervision

While most people have good common sense, you should provide information and training to all workers on managing and maintaining a safe and healthy work environment.

Most of your organisation's health and safety information and procedures can be explained during induction sessions, however, there may be other training that your workers need that is more specific to their role.

It is also useful to incorporate health and safety reminders into other ad hoc training, information sessions and meetings.

Typical health and safety issues:

  • Steps or procedures for operating or looking after equipment
  • Emergency procedures and exits
  • Location and use of first aid equipment
  • Clarification of roles (for insurance coverage workers must always work within the scope of their role and tasks)
  • Possible health and safety risks
  • Contact person for health and safety issues
  • Procedures for reporting a health and safety issue

Emergency procedures

Your organisation should document its emergency procedures. This doesn't have to be a lengthy document but you will need to include a number of points.

These include:

  • Steps people need to take in an emergency or evacuation situation
  • Emergency exits, routes and meeting points
  • Location and contents of first aid kits
  • Location and use of fire equipment
  • Who to contact in an emergency
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