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08 November 2011

Workplace safety: need-to-know info

Safety in the workplace is an important issue for workers and employers. But who is responsible for what? Here is a breakdown of the employer's duties to safety in the workplace.

Safety in the workplace is an important issue for workers and employers. But what is required by law, and who is responsible for what? Here is a breakdown of the employer's duties to safety in the workplace.

  • Put together an OHS Management System that makes provision for maintenance by means of scheduled risk assessments and OHS check-ups.
  • Teach supervisors and OHS representatives to follow HIRA (Hazard Identification Risk Assessment) procedures, especially before any new function, plant or equipment is implemented, installed or taken into use.
  • Eliminate all hazards. Should it be practically impossible to eliminate all identified hazards, the employer should mitigate the remaining risks by implementing safe working procedures and supplying Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the employees.
  • Ensure that work is performed under the supervision of a person trained to understand the hazards associated with it and that the supervisor has the authority to ensure that precautionary measures taken by the employer are implemented.
  • Include all relevant information, instructions and training in a comprehensive induction course.
  • Enforce any measures to promote health and safety in the workplace. Employers are encouraged to ensure that OHS rules are incorporated into their disciplinary codes.

Furthermore employers who have more than 20 workers in the workplace have to designate an OHS Representative.

 
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