Duty of care

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Ensuring work health and safety is not just a legal obligation for Australian companies; it’s also one of the best ways to keep your operations running smoothly and minimise risks for your workers. Unfortunately, there are several OHS mistakes that are all too common. In this post, we’ll take a look at five of these mistakes and offer suggestions for rectifying them.


1. Failing to Address Workplace Safety Regularly

Your company’s focus is producing goods or services that your clients and customers need, not talking about health and safety. That’s why it’s so easy to overlook OHS issues and forget to address workplace safety frequently. You may run through safety procedures during work health and safety inductions, but these are often a ‘set and forget’ process.

You can remedy this situation by scheduling regular times to discuss workplace safety with your employees. If you already have regular times to talk about issues outside of your core competencies, consider including some OHS training. You could also hold a quarterly or semi-annual OHS meeting for all employees to review policies and regulations and inform them of any changes.


2. Putting Only One Person in Charge

Depending on their industry, many companies put just one person in charge of emergency preparedness. This is often adequate, but if that one person happens to be away from the office when there’s a real emergency, everyone else could be in trouble.

Solve this problem by creating a team of people who all understand emergency procedures and can locate emergency supplies as necessary. It can also be helpful to pull people from different departments or different areas of the building into this team. Then it’s more likely that everyone will be informed and have a leader available. They can use Vault apps to be notified in an instant if an incident has taken place.

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3. Procrastinating Preparedness

Risk mapping, training, and hazard analysis all take time, and many Australian companies procrastinate these responsibilities. As you put them off, you put your workers in danger, and that’s a big problem.

Prioritise these activities, and look at your premises with a critical eye. Take a step back and examine your policies and procedures with new focus. When you’re in the midst of your daily routine, it’s easy to overlook situations or scenarios that could pose a danger to employees or customers. Think about the potential for liquid spills, falls and other workplace hazards. Stay compliant by using software and apps aligned with ISO and ANZ standards.


4. Failing to Consider Fatigue and Overwork

Another common mistake plaguing Australian companies is a lack of attention to worker fatigue. Fatigue can be caused by a number of factors: long hours, insufficient breaks, uncomfortable working conditions and even uncomfortable temperatures.

Pay close attention to your workers and survey them occasionally to find out how they’re bearing their workloads. You might want to have supervisors ask for feedback about fatigue, comfort and working conditions.


5. Neglecting to Make an Improvement Plan

After looking at your company with a critical eye, you’ll probably find some areas that need improvement. Many organisations do get to this point, but following up by executing an improvement plan often remains neglected.

As you create your plan, make sure you create strategies to mitigate the risks you discover in your analysis, assign someone to be responsible for each part of the plan, allocate resources for the improvement plan and create a timeline by which each item will be accomplished.

Use our mobile health and safety software to help you with your OHS planning and follow-up. Your job will be much easier, and you’ll be able to stay on top of all incidents, investigations and reports. Get in touch with us at Vault to learn more about the software and apps that can help you to make your workplace as safe as possible. You can also sign up for a free demo of our Vault platform.

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