• Category:
  • Document type:
    Case Study
  • Level:
    High School
  • Page:
  • Words:

7Safe working place


Ensuring safety in work place

Safety is that state of well being where one feels protected from social, political and physical danger. In a work place, employees would be protected from such dangers if their organization has implemented quality safety precautions. Most organizations assume this function due to the time and costs associated with development and implementation of a safety plan.

The government has enacted legislations such as work health act and occupational health and safety act that require employers to provide and maintain safe working environment. This is to ensure that employees are in risk free and safety work places. These regulations require the employer to provide a safety plan that documents all the details about hazard assessment and control methods.

In developing a safety plan, the initial stage is developing a policy for hazard management which describes OHS legislation requirements, responsibilities of the management and staff members involved in the process, steps involved in hazard management process and the implementation of control measures. Policies and procedures of hazard management are normally enacted to ensure employers commitment towards safety precautions within working places for the best of their organization, employees, customers and national regulations.

Risk management involves a described process of hazard identification, risk assessment and controls to be put in place, implementing the controls, supervising and evaluation to make sure the set objectives are met. Thus, according to our hazard management policy, the organization will; develop, circulate and retain procedures for identification of risks, their assessment and control measures; create and provide training programs for all members involved; provide and allocate resources required for controls implementation. The organization will also monitor the execution of the policy and other related procedures and allocate responsibilities according to the policy and procedures.

Task to develop a safety plan cannot be left to human resource alone and thus involving everyone within the organization will enable developing a reliable plan. This is because everyone is given an opportunity to express his or her feelings towards risk management process. Different responsibilities are assigned to different people such as:

The director or workplace support will oversee development and implementation of the policy, conduct training to other members and provide advisory services on policy implementation.

Supervisors and managers will be responsible to attend training and implement risk management programs in the area.

Employees are supposed to give their views during identification of hazards, their assessment and give suggestions on control measures required to be implemented.

Health and safety representative will attend training sessions and assist managers in policy implementation process.

The safety policy committee will be responsible to monitor the implementation of the policy and related procedures.

Since we always encouraged involvement of all members into the process it was suggested that discussion meetings every week during this period would be the best participative arrangement to make sure everyone is satisfied and that legislative requirements are met. This way junior staff will feel free to air their ideas and questions to their satisfaction. Despite suggesting this method as the best, a lot of conflicts were arising due to disagreements that were arising as some members were opposing and others proposing given ideas during assessment. To save time and settle to some point the senior manager heading the meeting is allowed to make a decision on such issues. These conflicts also arise when changes to the plan are put are put in place without members knowledge. To avoid this, the manager is supposed to make it aware to members and let them support the change suggestion otherwise it is foregone if it does favor most of the members (TAFE Frontiers, 2003).

The initial stage of hazard management procedure is hazard identification a process used to evaluate various possible situations in the work place that may cause harm to people working within the organization. This process involves various sources of information and requires enough time to ensure thorough survey is done. Possible sources include: poor workplace plan, risky tasks carried out within the organization or people being exposed to unsafe working conditions, substances or working with dangerous goods. Hazard identification process should be conducted before any industrial processes, substance or tasks are carried out so as to identify any possible illness or injury may be associated with the introduction. Some of the possible hazards identified include cutting areas, flying particles, abrasion areas, chemical burns, noise, radiation, electrical burns and suffocation. This process should be done at least twice to confirm the existence of earlier identified hazards.

The next stage of hazard management is risk assessment which involves consultation with relevant employees who are supposed to fill risk assessment and control forms. This process determines that there is likelihood of the identified hazards happening and thus persons (employees or visitors) are exposed to injuries and accidents. The assessment gives a go ahead to developing control measures for risk identified.

After the assessment stage, there follows development of control measures to mitigate risks within the organization. To achieve hazard control measures a predetermined hierarchy of controls is usually used. The risk can be removed or minimized where the control measure selected must be the most possible option in the hierarchy to minimize risk to the lowest level. Existing controls must be re-evaluated before implementation to determine the most appropriate to be put in place (TAFE Frontiers, 2003). The control hierarchy includes elimination of hazard, substitute of hazard, isolation, engineering, administrative and personal protective equipment. At this stage consultation from all members is as important as in any other stage (Harvey, 2002).

Following the development of control measures, is the evaluation process. All measures implemented should be assessed, monitored and reviewed to determine whether they are effective to mitigating the hazards. These processes involve collecting data on new arising hazards, checking the effectiveness of the existing measures and formulating new measures. This should be done periodically and thoroughly through scheduled inspections, workplace monitoring, accident and injury analysis and testing. All through the hazard management process, managers should seek consultation from health and safety representatives in the work area.

After implementation of the control measures, managers and supervisors are responsible for ensuring their junior staffs are well informed through instructions and training to perform their work in safe environment. They are supposed to know how to use hazard controls put in place and understand the nature of any hazard, risk associated and reason for using controls.

An effective safety plan must meet all the necessary requirements of OHS to be compliance with the legislations such as occupational health, safety and welfare Act and occupational health, safety & welfare regulations 2010. After development of the safety plan, the management of an organization keeps record of all information provided during the process for future reference and evidence (Harvey, 2002). Once all these are done the organization becomes a better place to work since employees’ safety is observed.


Harvey, S. (2002). Ensure a safe workplace. NY: Software Publications.

TAFE Frontiers (2003). Ensure a safe workplace: Diploma of business. Sydney: Australian Training Products.