Why are safety management systems essential in the Rail Industry? 

Why are safety management systems essential in the Rail Industry? 

Safety Management Systems are one of the most helpful tools in managing Work Health Safety. As an employer, you have a duty of care to employees and therefore have to manage safety measures appropriately. From monitoring and reducing incidents, to auditing safety procedures, it is important to make an ongoing commitment to safety management.

This is especially true in the Railway Industry, where employers and workers can often be at a higher risk. 

What are the added risks when working in the Railway Industry?

All industries need effective safety management measures, however in higher risk industries safety systems can be the difference between life and death. With higher risk consequences, and a higher likelihood to happen, the railway industry relies heavily on effective safety management systems.

Some of the additional hazards that are present in the Railway Industry are:

  • Falling from heights
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals
  • Dangers of trips and slips
  • Hazard working with high voltage
  • Hazard working with fast moving trains
  • Biological hazards (COVID-19 related risk of working on a public railway network)

RAIL SAFETY NATIONAL LAW – SECTION 99

In terms of the specific law regarding to safety management systems in the Railway Industry, the Rail Safety Law Section 99 states that:

“A rail transport operator must have a safety management system for railway operations”

Hence, safety management is a legal requirement when working in the Railway Industry and is an essential for any business working in Rail. The law also states that these safety management procedures need to be evidenced in writing, which is where a digital safety management system can be very helpful.

What does a safety management system need to include?

Firstly, the law states that the safety management system must have an identified person who prepares and monitors it. This means that a business has to allocate the responsibility to an employee. Plus, the business needs to allocate the responsibility of implementing the safety management system changes. In bigger companies, there will likely be a whole safety management team who will work on a comprehensive safety plan. 

The Rail Safety National Law states that the operator needs to include the following in their safety management system:

“(a) measures to manage identified risks to safety for the purposes of interface agreements;

(b) a security management plan;

(c) an emergency management plan;

(d) a health and fitness management program;

(e) a drug and alcohol management program;

(f) a fatigue risk management program”.

How can Railway Businesses implement effective safety management?

Working with skilled professionals who know how to create and implement safety systems is essential. Once you have these employees in place, it is important to empower them to create the best rail safety management plan possible.

Digital safety management software can be a great way to empower your safety team to provide an effective rail safety management plan.

A rail safety management system needs to include:

  • Identifying current hazards and looking at past incidents
  • Analysing current risk using a risk matrix: working out how likely the risk is to happen and what the consequences of that risk are
  • Creating procedures that ideally eliminate the risks, or at least reduce them
  • Monitoring the effectiveness of the procedures and controlling actions
  • Auditing the safety management procedures and changing them in line with environmental changes or changing risks

Minimising Risk In The Railway Industry

Beakon Software helps businesses minimise risk in the railway industry and meet compliance demands. Safety Management Systems enable businesses to stay on top of their safety procedures and retain a digital trace of their safety management efforts.

Beakon’s class-leading system enables employees and/or contractors to report incidents, hazards, and near misses. You are then able to classify and manage incidents across the whole business and apply cost-efficient strategies to manage and minimise workplace risk.

Check out the Safety Management Systems from Beakon.

Online Safety Inductions: Are They Effective?

5 Occupational Health And Safety Procedures That Businesses Forget About

How do Australia’s Workplace Health And Safety Procedures measure up? Well, although Australia’s Health system is ranked one of the best in the world, when it comes to workplace accidents it has some work to do. According to SafeWork Australia, in the year 2020, 182 Australian workers were killed at work. For a country that is considered very safe, this is actually a very high number of fatal accidents at work.

When compared to the 111 workers who died due to fatal injuries at their workplace in the year 2019-2020 in the UK this stat becomes quite shocking. Why? Because comparatively the UK has far more workers vs Australia. With a population of 66 million vs Australia’s 25 million, you’d expect the UK to have far more serious work accidents however this isn’t the case. This shows us that there is work to be done when it comes to health and safety procedures at work. 

Many fatal accidents are just that – accidents. They are largely unavoidable and happen as a fluke. However, there are some that occur due to negligence or complacency. In this article we’re looking at how businesses can tighten up their procedures to stop workplace accidents from happening, with the top procedures that businesses forget about.

orange lights on top of white and red metal bars

Workplace Safety Inductions

Picture the scene. A new employee starts at work, who comes highly recommended from a friend or colleague. You’re sure that he has all of the necessary safety knowledge to get started on your site. He’s pretty much ready to get started, and assures you that he’s fine to get cracking without a boring safety induction. The project is behind schedule and it would be really handy to skip a full workplace safety induction, as you’re confident that he will be fine.

Would you let him get started? Often the answer is yes. However, the answer should be a resounding NO. Workplace safety inductions are essential, and should never be skipped. You can streamline them with online software that helps you manage safety on the go, but never never forget to get it done.

man in black jacket holding lighted sparkler

Ongoing training

How often do things change in a workplace? Very often!

This is why the safety training needs to be ongoing, and relative to your workplace. What is true one month may change the next, and only with a system that allows quick and effective knowledge sharing can you be sure that your team is fully protected.

One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is getting workplace safety signed off and then ignoring it for 6 months to a year. This is where accidents can happen, so ongoing training is a must!

red hard hat on pavement\

Procrastinating an audit

Often we’ll ask businesses when they carried out their last safety audit, and often the answer is ‘never’. This is a major mistake, as audits offer an effective way to keep on top of your safety processes, manage data and find out how efficient your processes are. They serve as a great way to stop and reflect on what is working and what is not working, and get the team onboard with the changes. 

Procrastinating an audit is one of the quickest ways to encourage accidents on your site, as without a full view of how things are operating, you can’t be sure what’s going wrong.

5 Occupational Health And Safety Procedures That Businesses Forget About

Not monitoring overwork

How many times have people rocked up to your site and got ready to get on the tools, and you’ve looked at them and thought “you haven’t slept”? When people are operating machinery, working with heights, or dealing with physical labour where risk is involved, they should not be working if they are tired, overworked or ill.

Taking this into account will have a massive effect on how many accidents occur on your site. We’re not saying that people need to always call in sick if they’re a bit tired, but creating a culture of taking care of yourself and monitoring health should definitely be encouraged.

person holding tool during daytime

Not having an effective back to work plan

In the unfortunate instance of an incident occurring on your site, you need to ensure that a full back to work plan is in place. Often businesses will neglect this aspect of workplace safety and assume that if someone is ready to come back to work that they are good to go. This is not always the case.

Without a proper back to work plan, the injured employee may push too hard too soon and cause even more damage. Easing them back in slowly is a must, and injury management software helps to aid that process.

OHS Software For Your Business

Beakon offers OHS software that helps your business stay on top of your health and safety procedures. Discover what our clients have to say about our service now.

Incident Management best practices

8 Workplace Safety Stats That Will Blow Your Mind

Workplace safety is something that we all know is important, but many of us know very little about. In this article we’re helping you brush up on your workplace safety knowledge with some eye opening stats that might surprise you.

Take a look…

  • Globally, one person dies every 15 seconds due to a workplace incident

Studies show that every 15 seconds, on average 153 workers will have a workplace accident and one of them will be fatal. This shocking statistic proves just how sinister neglecting workplace health and safety can really be.

  • In Australia, less than 50% of people know what to do in an emergency

Did you know that less than 50% of building occupants know the correct way out in the event of an emergency. This includes knowing what to do in a fire, armed robbery, attack and much more. This shocking statistic proves how important it is that emergency procedures are presented upon induction, but also regularly refreshed.

8 Workplace Safety Stats That Will Blow Your Mind

  • The majority of people on a site won’t know where a fire extinguisher is 

In an Australian study, less than 25% of people could locate the nearest fire extinguisher based on memory. When considering this in a construction site context, it is quite worrying that in the event of a fire, the majority of people would not be able to take action. Knowing where certain safety tools like the fire extinguisher, defibrillator, first aid kit etc. should be standard procedure for everyone on your site.

  • In the year 2017-2018, 107,335 serious claims resulting in one week or more off work occurred in Australia

Not only does an inadequate workplace health and safety system negatively impact the health of your people, it also causes businesses to lose staff and money. Businesses who have serious claims made against them may be liable for damages, as well as having to provide a succinct back to work program for the affected worker. This often takes much longer than one week, and in extreme cases can take up to a year.

  • The most common cause of injury is heavy lifting (24.2%)

Most workplace injuries are much more minor than the extreme cases of fatalities that we often hear about in the news. That said, they can still cause a significant amount of disruption within business and can also cause individuals serious pain.

beige and white skeleton

  • In Australia the median compensation paid on a workplace claim is $11,300

Of the 563,600 people who  experienced a work-related injury or illness in 2017-18, the average workplace compensation amount was $11,300. This proves the importance of having the correct safety procedures in place to minimise the risk of injury and prove due diligence and compliance.

  • 36% of those who experience injury at work are technicians and trades workers

The ABS recently released stats that revealed that 36% of those who experience workplace injury are technicians and trades workers. This is a high percentage, but what is more surprising is that their colleagues who operate machinery also make up a high percentage at 11%, with labourers coming in at 15%. This proves that building sites are a common location for workplace incidents and need more attention.man in gray dress shirt and blue denim jeans sitting on brown wooden floor

  • 6% of people do not return to work after an injury

This shocking Australian statistic proves just how crucial it is to implement a back to work program that encourages people to return to work. After an injury it is not just the physical body that can be harmed, but mental health and confidence too, with 6% of people not returning to work after an injury.

How To Reduce Workplace Incidents 

If these stats prove anything, it’s that reducing workplace incidents should be at the top of every employer’s priority list. Not only is adequate workplace safety and incident management essential to the physical and mental health of employees, but without a solid safety system in place businesses make themselves liable for huge costs.

The ways to reduce workplace incidents are very simple – analyse the risks and seek to minimise them. Of course, no company will ever be able to guarantee that no incidents will occur on their site, but with good incident management procedures in place as well as regular audits, training and risk assessments, businesses can minimise their risk and remain compliant.

To learn more about how to minimise workplace incidents get in touch now to start a free trial.

How Can A Business Reduce The Amount Of Incidents In The Workplace?

How Can A Business Reduce The Amount Of Incidents In The Workplace?

Reducing the amount of incidents in the workplace should be a high priority for any business. However, sadly many companies wait until it’s too late to start putting procedures in place to reduce the risk for their employees.

As soon as you sense something isn’t right with a workplace safety policy, a workplace set up or an injury on site and how it’s being managed, it’s crucial that you report it. Without businesses taking a critical eye to their safety management procedures, they will never be able to progress and reduce the amount of incidents in the workplace.

If you stumbled upon this article because you know your businesses safety isn’t up to scratch and you need to do something about it, take a look at the ways that a business can reduce the amount of incidents in the workplace.

  • Audit Your Safety Procedures 

Ideally, this is the entry point for a business to go ‘ah-ha, we can do better’. If you’re coming in at this point and have found this article after some reflection on where your business is failing, good on you! Often people leave it until after an incident has occurred to start making changes to safety measures, and obviously that is less than ideal.

Auditing your safety protocols before an incident occurs is essential, and that’s where a handy tool like Audit Software comes in. Auditing your risks, procedures and data is a crucial part of moving forward successfully and reducing the amount of incidents in future. 

By looking at where previous incidents have occurred, the risks that are still present and the ways you mitigate them, you put yourself in a much stronger position to understand the health and safety status of your organisation. The first step to reducing incidents is to know where the risks are, and to understand whether you’re doing enough to protect people against them.

  • Engage The Whole Team In Incident Reduction Measures

Once you’ve looked at what is going on on your site and how things could be better, it’s time to get the whole team on board. Often, companies will undergo these amazing audits and have great policy changes, however they forget to include the workers who are on the ground.

This means that their audit and new regulations miss the vital feedback from workers who will be able to highlight extra risks that leadership teams won’t come up with. By including team members from each department in the audit and reconstruction of safety procedures, you’ll ensure that everyone is in it together from the off.

Keeping workers engaged in safety is a crucial part of minimising risks. Often leadership teams will ‘take over’ the safety changes without consulting the people who actually need to implement them and this is a mistake. Engage the whole team for full coverage of your organisation.

  • Implement Training To Reduce Incidents

When we think of workplace training, we often think about the kind of learning that goes on at the start of a contract. This is often really effective and is crucial to ensuring that people are qualified to get on the tools. However, this isn’t the only training that needs to go on.

In order to do your bit when it comes to safety and compliance, your business needs to carry out refresher training to keep people up to date. Often, accidents and incidents will happen when people get complacent and forget the safety training that they did months or even years ago.

To ensure that the risks of the job remain in the forefront of employee’s minds, putting workers through LMS training that they can complete anywhere is a great idea. LMS systems like Beakon’s will alert leadership and employees when their refresher training is due, making sure that your people feel empowered to take their learning into their own hands.

  • Review And Improve As Information About Incidents Comes Through

An incident response strategy has to be flexible and agile in order to take into account the kinds of incidents that are happening in your workplace. Each site will be different, and companies need to look at industry and company specific data to see where their incidents are occurring.

By reviewing incident data and taking staff surveys, you will get a good picture of how your organisation is managing safety in real-time. There is no one size fits all to incident management, but by reporting, investigating, analysing and proactively actioning issues, your business will be able to improve processes in order to lessen the likelihood of accidents in the workplace.

Safety Software: The Key Benefits

Safety Software: The Key Benefits

What are the key benefits of safety software?

Safety software covers an array of topics and can be used to improve the safety procedures of a business. Whether a company wants to boost compliance, improve employee wellbeing or change how they do things in regards to safety on site, safety software is a great first step.

So, what are the benefits of safety software? There are so many! Because there are many different types of safety software, there are also many different benefits. We’re diving into the key benefits of different types of safety software, so that you can see where your business might be missing out.

What are the different kinds of safety software?

The main safety software that your business will need is:

  • Safety audit software
  • OHS safety management software 
  • Incident reporting systems 
  • Injury management systems 

Let’s look at each one in a little more detail…

Safety Software: The Key Benefits

Benefits of Safety Audit software

Safety audit software helps your businesses get a good grasp on what is happening within your organisation in terms of safety. The software helps you conduct safety audits and ensure that your safety inspections meet minimum requirements.

When you opt for a company like Beakon software, you’ll also have the benefit of being able to use a tablet or mobile to carry out the audit. This feature helps you synchronise data so that you can carry out the all important audits virtually anywhere.

The key benefits of safety audit software are:

  • Increased operational efficiency
  • Standardises safety practices by location, auditor, and project
  • Measures the quality and effectiveness of your safety program
  • Helps to save time and money on all safety initiatives

Benefits of OHS safety management software 

OHS safety management software refers to any software system that helps a business comply with Work Health and Safety regulations. This is a crucial element of running a business, so having OHS software that you can really trust can have many benefits and keep your business out of trouble. 

Some of the key benefits are:

  • Consistency

Review information, provide insight, and gather a picture of your organisation.

  • Compliance

Ensure your business complies with all relevant Australian workplace health and safety laws and acts in like with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

  • Efficiency

Streamline your safety reports and store of all the necessary information on one single, easily accessible dashboard.

  • Cost effectiveness 

OHS software helps you reduce the risks of legal consequences or penalties for your business.

  • Boosts customer & employee trust

Be seen as an ethical company who puts the health and safety of its people first.

Safety Software: The Key Benefits

Benefits of Incident Reporting systems

Safety software often embodies incident reporting systems, so that employees can register incidents effectively when they’re out and about. A remote software system that operates on mobile can be an asset to a business, and is sure to make everyone’s life easier in the terrible event of an incident at work. 

The key benefits of incident reporting safety software are:

  • Protect your employees 
  • Maintain a working environment that is safe 
  • Minimise risk
  • Ensure that employees know how to report an incident 
  • Ensure employees take care of the health and safety of themselves and others.
  • Identify trends and incident types
  • Predict incidents and prevent them
  • Remain compliant
  • Conduct periodic reviews to assess risk

Benefits of an Injury Management system

Last but not least, an injury management system can have some incredible benefits. As well as boosting employee and customer trust, having an injury management system can also help people recover from injuries and make a speedier return to work.

An injury management system is designed to help injured workers make an early (and safe) return back into the workplace. An employer, employee and insurer will work together to ensure that the employee is reintegrated back into the workforce.

Key benefits of injury management software are:

  • Keeps employees safe
  • Helps the business remain compliant 
  • Retains staff members who have been injured at work
  • Support employees on a safe return to work
  • Helps build better employee relations
  • Builds trust in your organisation
  • Reduces expenses by assisting an employee back to work vs hiring someone new

Safety Software: The Key Benefits

Learn more about safety software for your business!

Overall, the key benefits across all safety software is that it helps to keep your employees and your business safe. When working on a site, it can be hard work to keep on top of everyone’s safety, but safety software makes that simply. With many different varieties of safety software, there is something to fill in the gaps at every organisation.

Looking for more info on injury management systems, incident management, or safety management? Chat to us today and sign up for a free trial!

Incident Management best practices

Incident Management best practices

Improving incident management practices isn’t always easy. Although it is of high importance, often staff members don’t want to spend time learning about incident management. Let’s face it – it’s pretty boring for them. However, in the event of an incident or emergency, they need to know exactly what to do.

As a manager who oversees people it’s important to have a grasp on incident management best practices. This way, you can spread knowledge within your team and ensure that you are always complying with your legal and moral duties.

We’re rounding up some of the incident management best practices that every business should be aware of.

What is incident management?

Incident management refers to how a company or team responds to an incident. An incident could mean a variety of different things to different businesses, but what is important is that each business has clearly defined understanding of possible incidents and has clear instructions on how to manage them.

Without incident management practices in place, businesses can be liable in the event of an incident. Incident management helps to mitigate the disruption caused by an incident and reduce harm when an incident occurs. It allows businesses to continue business as usual whilst also maintaining their obligations to their employees and the public.

The stages of incident management can be defined in simple terms as identifying, analysing, reporting, correcting and managing hazards. The goal of incident management is to effectively report incidents and ensure that the risk of a potential incident is minimised in the future.

Why do businesses need incident management practices?

Businesses need incident management in order to protect their reputation, their employees and comply with their legal obligations. The WHS Act requires that employers notify the regulator of certain types of workplace incidents depending on how serious they are. 

This measure is in place to protect employees and businesses from putting a foot wrong, and to ensure that every safety incident at work is fully reported. Depending on how serious the incident, a business may be required to preserve the incident site. However, this will be relayed to the business via the regulator once they report an incident. 

The important thing to remember from a businesses’ point of view is to ensure that all relevant staff understand the incident reporting guidelines and are able to carry them out on behalf of your business. This is where cloud-based workplace training and incident management reporting systems are extremely beneficial.

Incident Management best practices

 

Train staff to report incidents as first responders

This tip relies upon training having already been completed before the point of an incident. In short, the first responder needs to have already had sufficient training in how to respond to an incident. 

A comprehensive ‘first responder’ E-Form on an online incident reporting system can help with this, and urge the first responder to take the right steps. With Beakon, all incidents that are reported will work through a built-in Risk Matrix and prompting questions to assess the incident effectively. Prior to the incident happening, it is essential that the first responder has already been briefed on the process of incident reporting.

 

Investigate the incident

It is best practice to investigate any incident that occurs in your workplace. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the incident has to be reported to a higher body, but it means that your business needs to report and investigate all incidents internally.

 

It is key that you assign mandatory investigations based on risk level, looking at things like why the incident occured, the root cause and Contributing Factor Analysis. It is also important that you review investigations for quality and accuracy before being released for action.

 

Analyse the incident and report to a regulator if necessary

In some cases the incident report will need to be escalated. In order to do this properly, you will need to analyse the incident and assess its seriousness and risk level.

An incident management platform means you will be reminded to escalate the incident report automatically based on your business rules. The complex administration of compliance can be tricky to master, but with a platform that embeds your Health & Safety framework, business rules, and industry and legislative requirements within it, you can rest assured that you are protected.

Record corrective actions

After an incident occurs, a company is required to take corrective actions to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. In order to do this, you may want to invest in a digital platform that allows you to create an online paper trace that can’t go missing. Providing corrective actions and showing how you are minimising risk is an essential part of compliance, and a best practice that should not be forgotten about.

 

Create a return to work program

 

When someone has been involved in an incident, it is a requirement that you support them in their return to work. Incidents involving an injury will mean that the individual will likely need time off, and may have special requirements when they return.

It is best practice to ensure that the returning employee’s needs are met, and that regular meetings are hosted to see how they are getting on.

 

Incident Management software that helps keep your business compliant

Incident management software helps to keep your business compliant and ensure that employees are protected. It is not simply about reporting an incident. A business must also be aware of the incident management that needs to occur in order to continually evolve and minimise incidents.

At present, we’re offering a free trial so that you can see how incident management works with Beakon software. Sign up now!

Does health and safety software save businesses money?

Does health and safety software save businesses money?

One of the questions we are so often asked about health and safety software, is whether it will save the business money.

On the surface, it can look like health and safety software is an added cost as opposed to something that could save your business money. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. 

Health and safety software can save your businesses huge amounts in insurance, injury claims and compliance costs, which can not only hurt your business financially but in terms of reputation damage too. Discover why health and safety software can be one of the best ways to save money, and ensure that you have the best practices in place as your business grows.

Here’s some of the ways health and safety software will help you save money:

Improve how your business responds

One of the main costs associated with health and safety that set people back are the response times and how the business responds to an incident.

These are the areas where mistakes can be made, incidents can be left unreported and ultimately the business can be liable. A significant amount of time and money can be saved by implementing more effective safety management and incident reporting systems that help you stay on top of everything that is going on within your business.

Your business could save money with these systems by improving the response time, minimising clean up, encouraging a faster return to normal productivity and preventing the need to replace damaged equipment.

Safety systems that help you set out how employees and contractors should respond to an incident can significantly improve emergency response time, which in turn saves money.

Does health and safety software save businesses money?

Avoid Penalties 

One of the main ways that businesses lose money when it comes to health and safety is when they don’t comply with rules and regulations and end up being fined.

Compliance is crucial to reducing fines and ensuring that things are done the right way on your site or project. With health and safety software in place employees are aware of the guidelines and have an easy to read guide on hand on their mobile or tablet. This helps to minimise error on the businesses behalf and means that your teams can identify and communicate with the right person when unsure of what to do. 

In this regard, the compliance goal becomes much easier to achieve and maintain, which reduces the likelihood of any penalties that can add up in the long run.

Does health and safety software save businesses money?

Reduce costs associated with accidents and incidents

The cost of having an incident occur on your site can be shockingly high. Correcting mistakes, paying fines, or paying out to compensate staff who are injured on your site can make a huge dent in your profits and in some extreme cases even put you out of business.

Having safety management software in place helps to reduce costs associated with accidents in two ways: 

  • Reduces the likelihood of the accidents 

The best way to avoid having to pay out for accidents is to avoid having them in the first place. Health and safety software helps your business do just that by ensuring that measures are in place to reduce the risk of an incident.

  • Ensures you are doing everything correct if something does happen

Sometimes accidents are just unavoidable, and in these moments health and safety ensures that you are covered and have done everything you can do reduce them and report them if they do happen.

Does health and safety software save businesses money?

Save on reputation costs with health and safety software

The immediate costs of an incident on your site are obvious – compensation costs, costs of temporary workers, sick leave costs, insurance premiums – the list goes on.

However, some of the costs that are caused by an incident are hidden. Included in these costs are things like reputation damage and team morale that can cause issues.

If your company reputation is damaged you may find it hard to generate new business, or keep your clients if they don’t trust that your business is operating safely. This is especially true in a small business scenario, where many clients may know each other, or your story may feature in the local news.

Your reputation both internally and externally can have a huge effect on your profits. People need to trust your organisation both from within and without in order for you to continue doing good business, and a health and safety system helps solidify that.

Does health and safety software save businesses money?

Reduce Insurance Costs when you have health and safety software

Another important and often overlooked cost-saving of health and safety systems can be lower insurance premiums.

When a business is able to show that they are compliant and have measures in place to reduce incidents, they will often see a drop in their insurance premiums.

Plus, you will also benefit from a lower rate of injuries and incidents on your site, which will help you in lowering your premium. In having less incidents, and dealing with them correctly when they do happen so that perhaps you don’t have to claim as frequently will ensure that your risk is lower.

This often results in cost savings through lower insurance premiums.

Are you looking for an exceptional health and safety software for your business? Discover Beakon Software today.

OSHA Record Keeping: What Constitutes A Reportable Injury?

OSHA Record Keeping: What Constitutes A Reportable Injury?

Any dangerous incidents, fatalities, injuries or illnesses in the workplace can be of serious detriment to your business. The health and safety of workers needs to be protected as a priority, not only because it is the right thing to do, but because it is the law. As a business owner it is important to know what to do if someone is injured. 

Get familiar with OSHA and what constitutes a reportable injury in our handy article…

What is OSHA?

OSHA stands for Occupational Health Services Australia, a large regulatory agency that governs safety procedures in Australia. Employers in higher-risk industries and those with employees are obliged to abide by OSHA recordkeeping requirements. The OSH Act places certain duties on employers, employees and self-employed people in order to protect the health of safety of everyone.

There is often a level of confusion around these requirements, particularly when discussing OSHA recordable vs reportable events. This is partly due to the fact that not all recordable events are reportable.

What should and shouldn’t be reported as part of OSHA?

In order to clarify these murky waters, here’s a brief overview of OSHA record-keeping requirements, with regards to recordable vs reportable events. 

Work related deaths and certain types of injuries must be reported to WorkSafe as a legal requirement. Reportable injuries need to be reported to SafeWork via an online form or phone call immediately following a major incident. 

“OSHA record keeping requirements define a reportable injury or illness as any of the following:

  • a fracture of the skull, spine or pelvis;
  • a fracture of any bone in the arm (other than in the wrists or hand) or in the leg (other than a bone in the ankle or foot);
  • an amputation of an arm, a hand, finger, finger joint, leg, foot, toe or toe joint;
  • the loss of sight of an eye; and
  • any injury other than the above which, in the opinion of a medical practitioner, is likely to prevent the employee from being able to work within 10 days of the day on which the injury occurred.”

“Types of diseases that must be reported are:

  • infectious diseases: tuberculosis, viral hepatitis, Legionnaires’ disease and HIV, where these diseases are contracted during work involving exposure to human blood products, body secretions, excretions or other material which may be a source of infection; and
  • occupational zoonoses: Q fever, anthrax, leptospirosis and brucellosis, where these diseases are contracted during work involving the handling of, or contact with, animals, animal hides, skins, wool, hair, carcasses or animal waste products”.

Source: https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/publications/injury-reporting-and-investigation-essentials-employers 

According to SafeWork Aus, “If a notifiable incident occurs the model WHS Act states that:

  • The regulator must be immediately notified.
  • Written notification must be submitted within 48 hours if requested by the regulator.
  • The incident site is preserved until an inspector arrives or directs otherwise. However this doesn’t prevent any action to help an injured person or make the site safe”.

What Are Recordable Events?

Any incident in the workplace should be recorded, however not all incidents or injuries need to be reported to OSHA.

There is some overlap between recordable vs reportable events, as a company should keep a record of all injuries at work. If OSHA requirements define a work-related health incident as reportable, it is also recordable. However, recordable events can constitute any injury, even those only requiring first aid.

Whose responsibility is it? 

Ultimately, it is the business owner who is responsible for record-keeping. But it is essential that the unit manager/authority on site knows what to do and how to report the incident upwards.

Employers must keep their incident records for a minimum of five years. Also, between February and April, they are required to post summaries of injuries from the previous year. Moreover, if requested to do so, an employer must provide copies of injury/illness summaries to current and former employees. 

How can incidents be reported?

It can be difficult to comply with OSHA record-keeping requirements. Especially in the chaotic environment surrounding a serious injury or fatality, paperwork is often the last thing on your mind. All attention is given to the employees and their families. And with the less extreme cases, paperwork can easily be put off and forgotten, or left long enough for any accurate recording to be done.

Thankfully, Beakon’s Incident Management software can provide an essential solution. Developed in partnership with leading multinational organisations, Beakon’s system can be configured to report, investigate, analyse and proactively action issues across all work disciplines. These include fields in safety, environment, quality assurance, product quality and business management.

5 ways to reduce the risk of an incident on your site

5 ways to reduce the risk of an incident on your site

If you manage a construction site, you’ll know that managing risk is a huge part of any project. However, this can be easier said than done when there are plenty of moving parts.

Government research shows that in 2019, 182 Australian workers were fatally injured while working, compared with 144 workers in 2018. Amongst the industries that had the most injuries and fatalities were Transport, Agriculture and – you guessed it – construction.

If you manage a construction site, or look after any aspect of workplace safety for your organisation, it’s always useful to brush up on your incident and risk management skills. To help, we’re running through the top 5 ways to reduce the risk of an incident on your site.

Educate Your People On Incident Risk

Risk increases when employees don’t understand the dangers of their environment, and often the only way to bridge that knowledge gap is by educating them yourself. Realistically, health and safety is one of the last things on the average contract workers mind, but it’s so important. One of the first steps in reducing the risk of an incident on your site is educating your people.

Often an effective learning management system or LMS can be very helpful in keeping track of the modules that people have completed and having a record in one place. Training people on health and safety best practices will help to reduce the risk of an incident on your watch.

Perform Regular Inspections

Having a handle on the level of risk is important, and regular inspections to see how your risk level is holding up is essential. Without constantly checking in and going over the hazards that are present on your site, new risks can crop up and cause issues.

Having a risk register that you can refer back to is very important and helps to remind everyone of incidents that have occured in the past and the potential weak spots where an incident may occur in the future.

Take A Risk Management Approach

On many sites, the policy is just ‘wait until something happens and then enforce safety measures’, however often that’s when incidents occur. Taking a risk management approach may seem boring or over the top, but having this attitude will help you reduce the risk of incidents on your site.

A risk management approach means that you actively seek out the risks and measure the likelihood of an incident occurring so that you can prevent them in the first place. This risk management attitude should have a trickle down effect from the top project managers and stakeholders to the day to day construction workers.

Once You Have Identified Risks, Make A Plan

Once you have identified the risks of an incident on your site, make a plan of attack to ensure that they don’t occur. This safety plan should be well documented and readily available for everyone to access.

A list of preventative measures should be implemented, and you may need to check in with your teams weekly or even daily to make sure that everyone is on top of these risks and doing everything they can to reduce the risk of an incident on your site.

Ensure That Your Tools And Protective Gear Are Up To Scratch

Aside from human error and negligence, one of the main causes of incidents on sites is when there is an error with equipment or protective gear. It is important that your business has an allocated individual to check the safety of tools and protective gear to keep your people safe.

Task Management software can help to ensure that everyone is on top of these tasks and keeps a record of when checks have been carried out.

For more information on how to reduce the risk of an incident on your site, head over to our contact page and get in touch.

 

Risk Assessment Management System: How to Create a Plan That Works 

Sometimes, it stares right at you, sometimes you have to pay closer attention to spot it. Whichever way it comes, the existence of potential risks to your business or organizational setting cannot be denied.  One of the ways safety managers have adopted in tackling this issue is risk assessment software.

However, managing risks in the workplace can be a tasking and challenging exercise. It’s even more frustrating when efforts to attain a safe working environment does not yield the desired result. Getting it right requires that you follow a well-structured plan as outlined below.

Step 1. Recognize Risk 

The starting point to creating an effective risk assessment management system is to gather as many related information as available. Data within this category includes that of your employees, clients and even yourself.

From the acquired data, you are sure to get a chunk of potential pitfalls at each execution of your business or organizational activities.

Step 2. Create a Risk Register

Beyond identifying risks, it is important that you document them in a risk register. This will include not just the identified risk, but also the likely phases of occurrence.

Documentation of your findings makes risk management easy as you will always have a record to fall back on when previous records are needed.

Step 3. Perform risk analysis

Risk comes with a degree of seriousness. Also, there are cases where there are just too many associated risks that attending to all immediately is just not feasible. Hence, the need to analyze all recognized and registered risks.

This requires that you perform a risk analysis matrix which will indicate the likelihood of occurrence of identified risks. Knowing the level of seriousness of each identified risk will help you in designing a scale of preference in order of urgency or severity of the risk should it be realized.

Step 4. Recognize Inducing Factors

Like they always say, there is no smoke without fire. Usually, there are underlying factors leading to risk. These are known as risk triggers. Creating a list of them and attaching them to respectively identified risk will help you spot the risk from afar even before they occur.

Step 5. Suggest Solution to Identified Risks

Not all recognized risks can be flagged off from afar. Some still happen even though you see them coming. However, the good news is that you can water down the effect. So they don’t become so devastating.

Having suggested risk solutions before the actual occurrence of the risk helps you and your team swing to action immediately it occurs.

Step 6. Create an action plan

Make a documented plan of what to do when risks become a reality. When preparing for potential risks and you take a critical look at suggested solutions, there are high chances of a variation in their level of effectiveness.

There is a need to slim down the suggestions to narrow down the list of solutions. An action plan should contain the best of the suggested solution.

Furthermore, an outline of execution plans should be served to all parties involved in the execution stage. This will make them aware of their responsibilities and will spur them to be prepared and rise to action at the point of emergency.

Step 7. Delegate Risk Monitoring to Staffs as Appropriate

You can’t be everywhere all the time. This makes you the wrong person to directly monitor potential risks in your workplace, especially if your business or organization is extensive. It’s best you assign monitoring to staffs as appropriate.

Ensure staffs with the monitoring responsibility are those in the right position to quickly notify you or the right quarters of danger and the documented action plan is subsequently implemented.

Conclusion – Managing Risks with a Far Better Organized System

Designing a risk assessment management system involving a lot of time and energy that could be channeled towards other aspects of productivity. An Improved risk assessment management system is possible with Beakon.

You will have access to a management system built around topnotch software designed to assess and manage work-related risks more effectively. Look up other interesting features and start with a free trial today.

 

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