Monitoring WHS activitiesBY Australian Retailers Association
Legislation requires a workplace to keep certain records for a specified period of time.
Other records ensuring health and safety at a workplace should be kept as part of the risk management process and it is important that everyone in the workplace is aware of record-keeping requirements, which records are accessible and where they are kept. Record-keeping and reporting is a good work practice and should increase the effectiveness of the workplace.
Agencies administering workplace health and safety legislation will want to see workplaces manage and measure their own health and safety performance, and act on the results of that measurement. They need to know that records really reflect what is going on in the workplace.
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Monitoring is an ongoing part of workplace health and safety that is integral to every step of the process. Monitoring ensures that the important information is captured, used, and maintained. During this step organisations should look to ascertain that there is:
· There is a consistent application of workplace health and safety across the organisation
· Adoption of workplace health and safety standards and guidelines
· Whether the workplace health and safety processes are still in line with what is required
· Based on results of the monitoring, decisions should be made on potential improvements to workplace health and safety
Ongoing communication and consultation with regards to workplace health and safety is critical in order to monitor the effectiveness. All team members should feel able to communicate any concerns as and when they occur. In addition to that the organisation should appoint someone to regularly liaise with the team regarding WHS issues.
Questions that may be asked of the team include: Do you have any concerns regarding WHS in your department? Have you noticed any WHS issues that have not been dealt with? Is all the equipment you’re using in good working order? Do you feel trained and competent to deal with WHS? Is there anything you think management need to be aware of with regards to WHS? If the organisation could change one thing to make it a safer workplace what would it be?
Making adjustments to improve WHS
Once the team are consulted and a checklist has been completed the organisation is in a position to make adjustments to improve WHS. These adjustments will depend on the outcomes of the consultation and checklist. Adjustments may also be necessary due to legislative changes or in response to safety incidents.
When adjustments are made the organisation needs to ensure the following: The adjustments comply with legislation. all policies and procedures are updated to reflect changes and that the team are aware of the changes and understand their role in implementation. Any training that is required in light of the adjustments should be conducted in a timely manner and management should ensure adjustments are in line with overall safety plan for the organisation.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Australian Retailers Association
Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is Australia’s largest retail association representing Australia’s $310 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. As the retail industry’s peak representative body, the ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.