Find out how to meet your safety obligations and get started on your safety compliance journey.
It can be hard to determine what is required by law to meet your obligations so we have created this document to help you.
The law requires that you meet the following five critical areas:
1. Commitment to health and safety management practices
2. Hazard identification and management
3. Incident management
4. Emergency management procedures
5. Employee inductions and engagement
myosh365 has been designed to address each of the requirements in an easy, time saving manner, allowing you to focus on your work.
Reminders and workflow help you meet requirements. The myosh365 document library provides information at your finger tips based on your location and industry.
Creating a safe work environment is essential no matter what line of work you are in. Not only will this increase productivity and reduce the unnecessary costs associated with workplace injury and illness, it is also one of the best ways to retain staff.
As a business owner you have responsibilities to ensure your workplace does not create health and safety problems for your employees, customers or the public.
myosh365 has been designed to make it easy for you to reduce health and safety hazards in your workplace.
We have outlined clear steps on how to achieve this within the pages that follow. We have also included a checklist that will assist you with these requirements. This can be downloaded from Free Resources.
Safety Manual Requirements
You are required to demonstrate your commitment to safety with a Safety Management Plan.
It should cover the following:-
1.Your Safety Policy and Procedures
2.Other Policies and Procedures for the workplace
3.Emergency Preparedness and Response Plans
4.Safe Work Method Statements
5.Checklists and Inspections
myosh365 provides a comprehensive Safety Management Plan for its users, however you may download a basic plan from our Free Resources in order to get you started. You may edit this and add as required.
This information is all general in nature. You may wish to engage a safety consultant for further advice. Refer to our Global Safety Consultant Directory located on our website under Community.
OHS Policy Requirements
Your policy statement needs to be clear and simple outlining how your business intends to conduct itself with regards workplace health and safety. It will provide a set of guiding principles to help with decision making.
Your OHS Policy must clearly state your health and safety objectives and demonstrate a commitment to improving health and safety in the workplace.
In establishing your own policy there are a few things to consider:
- Is my policy appropriate to the nature and scale of my company’s health and safety risks?
- Does it commit to continual improvement?
- Does it meet industry codes and requirements?
The policy statement can be brief, but it should mention:
- Management’s commitment to protect the safety and health of employees.
- The objectives of the program.
- The organization’s basic health and safety philosophy.
- Who is accountable for occupational health and safety programs.
- The general responsibilities of all employees.
- That health and safety shall not be sacrificed for expediency.
- That unacceptable performance of health and safety duties will not be tolerated.
Dealing with Hazards requires 2 parts.
- part 1 – Identifying hazards
- part 2 – Creating/ or updating a workplace policy for treatment of hazards which is in your provided safety manual
Managing safety and health is as much as part of running your business as finances, taxes, licences, employing staff and production. The benefits will be seen in reducing the risks of: –
- Experiencing the human cost of death, injury or ill health of your staff;
- Suffering financial costs from, for example, work stoppages, broken plant or equipment or the loss of competent staff;
- Meeting workers’ compensation costs and increases in insurance premiums; and
- Facing enforcement action, such as prosecution under occupational safety and health laws.
Risks or hazards will need to be identified in your workplace and lodged. myosh365 mobile enables you to identify and immediately capture and log a hazard. You can do this with or without internet avaialability.
If you are not using myosh365 ensure you maintain a Hazard Register.
Ensure you clearly identify the hazard. Document it’s impact should it trigger, as well as an associated risk rating. A risk rating matrix can be downloaded from our Free Resources page on our website.
help identifying hazards
Consider some of the following points below, in hazard identification. This is by no means and exhaustive list as there may be other hazards within your specific work area.
- How is your physical working environment? (electrical, drowning hazards, fire hazards, explosion hazards, slips, trips and falls hazards, contact with moving or stationary objects, falling objects, noise, heat, cold, vibration, static electricity
- Does anyone do shift-work (including hazardous processes, psychological and fatigue related hazards)
- Plant operation hazards, from cutting, grinding, pressing or rolling. Plant is a general name for machinery, tools, appliances and equipment, including mobile powered machines such as forklifts. (including transport, installation, erection, use, repair, maintenance, dismantling)
- Are there traffic and transport movements at a workplace which are likely to affect and employee?
- Do you use any hazardous chemicals? (handling, use, storage, transport, or disposal)
- Do you perform hazardous manual tasks?
- Are there biological/health outcomes, such as contact dermatitis, infectious diseases including handling syringes containing contaminated blood, allergens e.g. that cause asthma and other illnesses such as Legionnaire’s Disease (caused by failing to maintain cooling towers).
- Do you work in remote or isolated areas?
- Is there violence, harassment, bullying, intimidation or aggression?
- Are there any situations in your daily work which requires the use of protective clothing, to prevent harm?
- Ergonomic hazards, such as carrying or moving heavy objects, or the height and position of workbenches.
Part of identifying and documenting hazards will require you use a risk matrix to determine the potential risk severity.
To identify safety and health hazards, work with your staff through the following actions:
- Organise “walk through” inspections of your workplace – myosh365 has workplace inspections to assist you with this.
- Look at the ways in which different tasks/work activities may interact to cause a hazard.
- Look at past incidents or injuries in your workplace. Look at any information provided by manufacturers or suppliers, e.g. on particular items of plant, equipment or chemicals.
- Talk to other workplaces in a similar line of business. You can do this through our Forum area on our website.
- Refer to any applicable Occupational Safety and Health Regulations and various codes of practice. As a subscriber you may view some of these in our myosh365 Public Library.
In deciding what controls to put in place, begin by trying to remove the hazard completely. If that is not practical, work down through the options as explained below.
level 1 – eliminate the hazard
level 2 – minimise the risk of the hazard
Examples and ways to do this may be:
- substitution – use a non-flammable solvent in place of a flammable one.
- modification -fit roll-over protection and seat belts to a forklift.
- isolation – remove a noisy machine to a dedicated room.
- engineering controls – install cut-out switches, screens and guards.
level 3 – ensure safe work practices and supply personal protective equipment if needed
- administration and PPE
Examples and ways to do this may be to provide training on the hazard/risk, introduce tag out/lock out procedures, and provide personal protective equipment/clothing (PPE). PPE should always be the last option.
Requires you to develop a general policy on how your company deals with hazards.
This will be covered in the myosh365 Safety Management Plan.
definition: A Procedure- ‘The sequence of actions or instruction in solving a problem or accomplishing a task.” A procedure sets out the desired steps to be followed for work activities.
Take each critical hazard identified and create a procedure for each.
You must consult with affected workers when developing procedures.
A procedure is a detailed set of guidelines which describes who, what, where, when, why and how a policy may be followed.
Procedures should be in written clearly and concisely to demonstrate compliance and provide clarity on how to perform the task. They should clearly set out the role of health and safety representatives, and any other parties involved in the activity.
Procedures might just be a few bullet points or instructions. Sometimes they work well as forms, checklists, instructions or flowcharts. You may want to look though the checklists in the checklist module for checklists which may work for your situation as well.
myosh365 has a procedure template located in the Public Library for you to use and save to your own library.
guidelines to writing a safe work procedure
We suggest you include:
- A title
- A date of issue – for easy identification of the most recent version
- Remember to involve the stakeholders whenever possible, so that the documented process is the actual process.
- Ensure document history is documented for every version change.
- Use simple language to explain the steps
- Use flowcharts and pictorial representations so that the reader is clear about the process.
- Show the procedure to someone unfamiliar with the process and have them tell you what they think it says
further help for procedure writing:
- scope and applicability
Describe the purpose of the process, its limits, how it’s used, and any identified hazards. Include standards, regulatory requirements, roles and responsibilities.
- methodology and procedures
List all the steps with necessary details, including what equipment is needed. Cover steps sequentially and address the “what ifs” and the possible interferences or safety considerations.
- clarification of terminology
Identify acronyms, abbreviations, and all phrases that aren’t in common knowledge.
- health and safety warnings
List health warnings in their own section and alongside the steps where they are an issue.
- cautions and interferences
Cover what could go wrong, what to look out for, and what may interfere with the final, ideal outcome.
It is recommended to interview the personnel involved in the process on how they execute the task.
Break up large chunks of text with diagrams and flowcharts. If you have a step or two that are particularly intimidating, make it easy on your readers with some sort of chart or diagram. It makes it easier to read.
Now that you have identified your hazards and completed procedures, you will need to establish a policy for each.
To avoid confusion over the difference between a policy and procedure they can be explained as follows. A policy is a short statement or rule which is introduced to bring change, while a procedure as previously done describes the process in more depth and generally has a step by step process on how to deal with an action.
Policies and procedures go hand in hand and are complementary of each other.
This section will be 2 parts:
- part 1 – will deal with your company specific policies
- part 2 – will allow you to copy a generic set of workplace policies from a template and edit to your own requirements
Some items you should cover
- Alcohol and/or other drugs
- Emotional wellness
- First aid
- Manual handling
- Machines and equipment
- Safety Data Sheets
- Notice Board
- Safety Meetings
- Working at heights
- Training management
- Monthly action plans
Emergency Preparedness Requirements
An emergency plan is a written set of instructions which details what workers and others in the workplace should do in an emergency. They must be easy to understand and tailored to your specific work environment.
An emergency plan must provide for the following:
- Emergency procedures, including: an effective response to an emergency
- Evacuation procedures
- Notifying emergency service organisations at the earliest opportunity
- Medical treatment and assistance
- Effective communication between the person authorised to coordinate the emergency response and all people at the workplace
- Emergency contact details for key personnel in the company such as the first aid officer
- Emergency contact details for local authorities such as the fire department
safety evacuation map
It is essential to include an evacuation map.
- Show the plan of the building
- Identify evacuation points on the map
- Highlight fire extinguisher and fire blanket points
- Identify first aid supply points
- Identify muster points
what types of emergencies should be covered?
The types of emergencies to plan for may include fire, explosion, medical emergency, rescues, incidents with hazardous chemicals, bomb threats, armed confrontations and natural disasters.
External hazards should also be considered in preparing an emergency plan, for example a chemical storage facility across the road.
In preparing an emergency plan, all relevant matters need to be considered including:
- The nature of the work being carried out at the workplace
- The nature of the hazards at the workplace
- The size and location of the workplace, for example, remoteness, proximity to health services, and
- The number and composition of the workers, for example, employees, contractors, and other persons at the workplace such as visitors
Access to the emergency plans, or a summary of key elements of emergency plans, should be readily accessible by workers or on display in the workplace, for example on a notice board.
Visit myosh365 website for free poster templates for emergency numbers. This may be downloaded from our website from the Free Resources page.
As a myosh365 user you can search our myosh library for other emergency resources available for your business.
reviewing emergency plans
For emergency plans to remain current and effective they must be reviewed and revised (if necessary) on a regular basis. For example
- When there are changes to the workplace such as re-location or refurbishments
- When there are changes in the number or composition of staff including an increase in the use of temporary contractors
- When new activities have been introduced, and
- After the plan has been tested.
Schedule an inspection for 12 months time.
An approved code of practice applies to anyone who has a duty of care relating to the circumstances described in the code. In most cases, following an approved code of practice would achieve compliance with the health and safety duties according to the law, in relation to the subject matter of the code.
Like regulations, codes of practice deal with particular issues and do not cover all hazards or risks which may arise.
Courts may regard an approved code of practice as evidence of what is known about a hazard, risk or control and may rely on the code in determining what is reasonably practicable in the circumstances to which the code relates.
Some workplace hazards can cause so much injury or disease that specific regulations or codes of practice are needed to control them. These regulations and codes explain the duties of particular groups of people in controlling these risks. There is a difference between regulations and codes:
- regulations are legally enforceable
- codes of practice provide advice on how to meet regulatory requirements. Codes are not legally enforceable, but they can be used in courts as evidence that legal requirements have or have not been met.
There are a large number of codes of practice available within our Public Library, which you have access to as a myosh365 subscriber, covering a vast array of hazardous tasks and duties for all industries.
A Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) is a document that:
• lists the types of high risk work being done
• states the health and safety hazards and risks arising from that work
• describes how the risks will be controlled, and
• describes how the risk control measures will be put in place.
Please note that the public library has template for you to work from
You will require a policy to deal with your SWMS.
The checklists section in myosh365 offers you a range of commonly used checklists to assist you with your commitment to safety.
We have provided a few of these as resources for you to download from our Free Resources section of our website. myosh365 subscribers will have full access to all our checklists which can can completed using a mobile device.
definition: An Incident is “an individual occurrence or event”
Despite all your efforts to ensure you have your policies and procedures up to date and implemented, incidents may occur. Incidents in the work place are occurrences or events which relate to a person being hurt, injured or potentially injured. Incidents are hazards that have triggered.
An incident will need to be lodged, in some kind of register. myosh365 offers this in an incidents module within myosh365, when an unplanned event happens in the workplace. Note, in some cases incidents may be notifiable.
what is a notifiable incident?
In most cases, a notifiable incident means:
- the death of a person; or
- a serious injury or illness of a person; or
- a dangerous incident
Should an incident of such nature occur, it would be advisable to contact your safety consultant or local governing body as soon as possible for further guidance.
In order to ensure your staff are aware of how to conduct themselves, you may wish to induct your employees or contractors. This will ensure they are aware of your Safety Policy, codes of practices, procedures hazards, and requirements to report incidents.
Information on who to contact with regards OH&S issues can also be provided at this time.
It is advisable that an induction is completed by the employee or contractor in order to comply with your safety regulations and commitment.
This checklist serves as a record that the employee or contractor has seen a copy of your policy document and understands your safety requirements.
insurances and work-cover
As an employer/ business you are required by law to have applicable insurances in place. myosh365 keeps all your documents in one place where you can easily find your information and be reminded of insurance covers coming up for renewal.
Set reminders to warn you in advance of expiration or renewal dates.
training management and certifications
In order to ensure that your workers and business has valid certifications you can store training records and set expiry dates to remind you when certain certifications require renewal.
myosh365 has a library which will give you access to hundreds of documents, tips and articles. The library contains information from various sources around the world on safety.
You may use the filtering options in the library to find documents and information applicable to your requirement, from the type of document you are looking for to the country or region that you require it for if it is regulatory.
Some useful information you may find in here.
- general safety information -including pictograms and posters
- a “what is”section – which describes various safety concepts and acronyms
- toolbox talks– which are a sets of discussion topics for safety talks with your employees
- various industry specific information and checklists
- guidance material
- codes of practice
- published articles on safety related issues
Contractor submission Manual
myosh365 has provided a manual for small businesses who wish to contract their services for specific projects.
This manual provides the basics to cover your OHS requirements. It forms the backbone to your OHS project needs, SWMS and Hazards etc will need to be identified and logged in myosh365. These can then be edited and reused for similar projects.
This manual can be found in the Public Library under templates.