Systematic Approach to Managing Ohs

Table of contents

MODULE 1

SYSTEMATIC APPROACH TO MANAGING OHS ASSESSMENT

Write a detailed report on the implementation of a systematic approach to managing OHS. Your report might be theoretical or based on your specific workplace. Ensure that you include the following: Requirements for record-keeping Sources of OHS information and data, Consultative arrangements OHS action plans, OHS specialists (internal or external) and technical advisors.

Other functional areas

Proposed changes to the workplace Stakeholders Construction Australia is the company that I am employed by. Our company offers services in refractory installation to all major industries. We are involved in the construction and maintenance of boilers, kilns, ovens, incinerators, etc. in power generation plants, heat treatment plants, chemical plants, steel mills, oil refineries, and many more. We conduct high-risk work such as demolition, confined space entry, working at heights, and work at extreme temperatures mainly in major hazard facilities.

Due to the nature of our work, it is vital that we have a system in place to manage Occupational Health and Safety (OHS). A systematic approach to managing OHS allows us to follow a structured framework that ensures primarily, we reduce the risks of injury or illness in the workplace or anyone affected by our activities and that we comply with all relevant laws and legislation. The main elements of an Occupational Health and safety management system (OHSMS) are:

  • Commitment and policy
  • Planning
  • Implementation
  • Measurement and evaluation
  • Review and improvement

These elements are incorporated into the system and involve consultation at all stages with stakeholders and key personnel of our organization.

The basis of this approach is a cycle of continuous improvement: When establishing a more systematic approach to managing safety, it is helpful to understand where your organisation is in terms of OHS maturity.

Four levels of system maturity can be considered

  • Immature (Troubled)
  • Reactive (Responsive)
  • Attentive (Managed)
  • Mature (Value-Adding)

Our company is at a mature level as we have established structures, systems and processes in place. We also have a shared belief that OHS is a critical aspect of personal and organisational performance and focus continually on improvement and ways to reduce risks. An effective OHSMS requires the participation of all parts of the organisation. To gain this commitment from people, senior management takes an active role in leadership, allocation of resources, consultative meetings and regular reviews of OHS.

The first step in the systematic approach to OHS is to develop a comprehensive OHS policy that states the overall objectives and sets out the company’s commitment to health and safety. The policy should be sufficiently clear and be capable of being read by all relevant parties, internal and external. The policy should be endorsed by the most senior person, such as the CEO or managing director.

The organisation needs to determine the key regulatory requirements they must meet and also get an understanding of their major OHS risks and how they will be identified. Objectives, targets and key performance indicators (KPI’s) need to be set. These should incorporate both lead (e. g. number of safety audits conducted) and lag (e. g. number of lost time injuries) indicators. Lead indicators are commonly referred to as Positive Performance Indicators (PPI’s) that focus on assessing how successful an organisation is performing.

Using a combination of both lead and lag indicators will provide the best outcomes. A plan is vital to ensure targets are reached in a systematic way and it should be linked to the organisation’s strategic plan. The plan should allocate resources and timelines and can be used to monitor development of the OHSMS.

We use policies and procedures, inductions, meetings, toolbox meetings, consultation, pre-start checks and regular training and development to deliver all our processes. Our documented policies for hazard identification and hazard/risk assessment, make sure that we remain regulatory compliant through our business activities. Consultation with workplace personnel, OHS professionals, insurers and other relevant group is undertaken to ensure that we develop a safe workplace and mentality. We aim to translate legislation into a language that can be comprehended at all levels.

This allows people to understand and participate with feeling unsure or confused. Beroa has an open door policy on all aspects especially OHS. Consultation is the best tool that we use in our workplace. The changing nature of our working conditions on a constant basis means that we need to know what is going on so we can make sure that we remain compliant and that our systems are working appropriately.

We use the consultation processes with all stakeholders that are involved in our OHSMS, these include but are not limited to

  • Management
  • Administration
  • Clients
  • Employees
  • Suppliers
  • Unions
  • Work cover and other relevant authorities
  • Insurers
  • Public
  • OHS and technical experts

All information gathered from stakeholders is considered and used in the development of our systems, policies and procedures. The applied procedures that our company has in place allow us to constantly monitor and evaluate our performance.

Daily toolbox discussions, training, weekly meetings, management meetings, safety audits and safety checklists are some of the tools we use to monitor and evaluate. Major policies are reviewed every 2-3 years or as required. The nature of our work requires that we retain specific records for specified times in order to comply with legislation. These include:

  • Confined space entry – we retain entry permits for 1 month, risk assessments/JSA for 5 years, training records for the term of employees employment plus 7 years and any notifiable incidents for 2 years after the incident occurs.
  • Health monitoring records – these must be kept for 30 years after they are recorded and 40 years for asbestos related documents. These records must be kept confidential.
  • Hazardous chemicals register- we keep registers of any chemicals that are stored. We list them and keep material safety data sheets, which are readily available to employees or anybody that could be affected by the chemical. We have two methods of record keeping, hard copy and electronic. All documents are kept on both. Within the electronic system we have a sub-system called Timberline.

This system is passcode protected and has restricted access; all personal details and personal health records are kept in this system for confidentiality. Our OHS manager has access along with relevant management. Project files for each client are kept and updated after completion of each project. Documents included include attendance sheets, JSA’s, toolbox meetings, materials and equipment, inductions, training, client feedback, performance reports, safety audits and observations. Employee records such as inductions and qualifications are also kept and updated when needed.

We also keep lists of OHS safety representatives and are readily accessible and up to date. OHS affects all aspects of an organisation. An effective OHS system allows other functional areas to thrive and exploit the benefits. The reduction and elimination of workplace injuries will reduce the cost of workers comp premiums, limit sick days and reduce the money spent on rehabilitation, all this eases the strain of budgeting systems and also allows more resources for training and information of OHS.

Public relations will find it easier representing our positive results in safety and compliance to existing and future clients, public and relevant authorities. It will also reduce the workload of administration allowing them time to work on other aspects of the business. Our OHS system allows our employees to take an active role in all aspects in relation to the system. This gives them a sense of ownership and the drive to make sure that we reach and outperform our goals and objectives.

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