12 ways to make your small business safer
Friday, September 13, 2013/
A great way to keep your business on top of safety is to attend Victoria’s leading safety event, Work Safe Week, in October You’ll hear the latest guidance and handy tips for creating a safe environment for you and your team.
In the meantime, here are 12 key areas to check in your workplace today.
Ensure extinguishers are in place, maintained and clearly marked for type of fire. All fire exits should be clear and exit signs illuminated.
Check that plugs, sockets and switches are in good condition. Floors should be clear of extension cords, and these should be tested and tagged. Safety switches must be hardwired into electrical switchboards.
Check that your chemicals register and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) are current. Chemicals should be handled and stored to MSDS guidelines, and employees who use chemicals must be trained in their safe use.
4. Slips, trips and falls
Work areas should be kept clean, uncluttered and well lit. Employees should wear suitable footwear.
5. Storage and racking
Racking systems must be stable and in good condition, and display and comply with the specified Safe Working Load. Safe access should be provided to storage areas.
Eliminate or reduce noise from loud processes or equipment. Where applicable, make hearing protection available and display signs that it must be worn.
Forklift operators must have a current licence and always wear a seatbelt. Forklifts should be checked daily and regularly maintained. Traffic management plans and signage must be present, and pedestrians should be physically separated from forklift traffic as much as possible.
Mezzanine floors must have safe access and fall protection, handrails should be secure and steps well maintained. Platform ladders must be industrial grade and comply with standards.
9. Manual handling
Eliminate hazardous manual handling. Provide adequate space for work or storage, and trolleys to move items. Ensure that work areas are between knee and shoulder height, and are close to the worker’s body to avoid awkward lifting.
10. First aid
Ensure your first aid box is readily available and appropriately stocked. Qualified first aid staff must be available and known to all employees, and sufficient amenities should be present for all staff.
All asbestos must be correctly labelled and an asbestos register prepared and up to date. Asbestos in poor condition must be removed by a licensed asbestos removalist.
Provide safe access to machinery and equipment and ensure moving parts are properly guarded. Make sure other hazards associated with machinery such as fumes, chemicals and noise are regularly assessed.
Work Safe Week is being held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 21-23 October. One-day events will also be held at key regional centres across Victoria from October 21-31. Attendance is free at all sessions. Register now!
To gain a better understanding of your employer obligations, read WorkSafe’s guide on Managing safety in your workplace for small businesses.