Safety Representatives

Hi All,

Today I want to take you through a safety representatives roles and responsibilities. When ever I train the one consistant question that always comes up is, Am I going to get paid extra for being a safety rep? First things first the answer is no but some companies that have a lot of incidents tend to give performance bonuses if incidents are considerably reduced.

The responsibility of a safety representative does not differ from a general staff member. What the law states is that every person in the workplace has a responsibility to keep themselves and everyone else safe where reasonably practicable. Therefore everyone is expected to report unsafe conditions, addtional risks and unsafe acts.

Where the safety representative is different, is that they have been elected to represent the workforce when dealing with safety issues.

A safety representative shall be trained and once trained will have certain roles that need to be carried out. These roles include the following:

Carrying out safety checks – Area safety checks are to be done in order to ensure that the evacuation routes and doors are free from obstruction and are ready for use. The are checks are also done to try and identify any additional risks that may exist since the initial safety audit and risk assessment.

Carrying out safety equiupment checks – Equipment shall be checked to ensure that the equipment is still compliant and easily accessible.

Attending monthly safey meetings – Monthly safety meetings shall take place and the safety representatives need to be there. this will be the platform for them to voice safety concerns and to contribute to minimise the risk that exists.

reporting incidents and carrying out investigations – Once an incident occurs the incident needs to be reported in order for the correct process to take place. Once the incident has been reported the incident needs to be investigated. thie investigation will include all the details of the incident include all of the activities leading up to the incident

This report will assist in reducing this incident from occuring in the future.

If you have any questions regarding safety representatives or any other safety issues please feel free to contact me via this blog or my email address in the contact us section of this website.

All the best

Guy

Safety in the workplace

Hi All, Compliments of the season and I hope that you had a safe and joyful festive season.

The start of 2013 has been an interesting one. I have found that businesses are keen to become compliant and minimize hazards in the workplace.

If any business owners or managers are interested in following the correct safety process to becoming compliant please follow the steps given below:

A safety audit and risk assessment needs to be carried out. the Safety audit will check the building structure such as evacuation routes, lighting and fire safety equipment. The audit will reveal if the structure and sites equipment are sufficient or if upgrading is necessary. A safety audit should be performed once a year and this can be done internally by a competent person.

The risk assessment looks at all of the activities in the work place and the risks associated with them. The risk assessment shall look at what safety measures should be in place to sufficiently protect the workforce.

Once the Safety audit and risk assessment is completed a safety file shall be created. The safety file will form the base of your safety system and will hold all of your written safety information. The safety file will consist of your safety appointments, the appontments would consist of your fire marshals, safety representatives etc. All of the relevent safety regulations and company SHE plans are to be kept in the file and access to this information shall be granted to anyone who is interested.

Evacuation plans and procedures are to be draw up and kept in the safety file. All of the safety checks, incident reports and master documents are to be kept in the safety file for when you need ot. Once the forms are used and filled out they shall be placed in the safety file as evidence of checks actually being done and of all findings.

Once the safety file is complete training shall be provided to the appointed safety staff. Training shall be provided in fire safety, evacuation procedures, safety representative duties and responsibilities, identifying safety hazards and first aid. Along with the training all of the findings of the risk assessment and the evacuation procedures shall be communicated to all staff.

Once all of the above is completed you and your staff are expected to carry out the following monthly and yearly practices in order to keep compliant. Your safety equipmen shall be checked monthly to ensure that it is still there and that it is unobstructed and compliant.

There should be area and safety checks done to ensure that the evacuations routes are clear, the housekeeping has been done correctrly and lighting and ventilation is still as it should be. A monthly safety meeting shall be held to discuss all findings, concerns and corrective measures.

The fire safety equipment shall be serviced every 12 months. there should be a service sticker on the equipment stating when the last servicee was carred out and when the next service shall be conducted.

A fire drill shall be done a minimum of once a year but in some industries it is recommended to be carried out every six months.

By following all of the above steps you are ensuring that your company is compliant, the risks in your workplace will be reduced and staff will be trained and prepared for the event of an emergency situation.

For any questions or further assistence please do not hesitate to contact me via the contact details supplied on our website.

All the best

Thinks safety

Guy

Safety Procedures and instructions

Hi Everyone,

My topic today is inspired by the last few training sessions I have given combined with the follow up fire and evacuation drill that we facilitated.

What I have found to be the difference between the good and great training sessions have been the the companies that have really put effort into their safe work instructions and procedures.

When looking at an effective safety system each step needs to link correctly with one another and then communicated and trained to the correct number of staff members. With this in mind one of the last steps before training is creating your safe work procedures and safe working instructions.

Being done correctly the procedures and instructions take into account all of the information you have collected, your risk assessments, your safety audits and the activities that are undertaken every day.

The safe work procedures and the safe work instructions are then created with one goal in mind and it is:

Carrying out an activity in the same way every time you do the activity ensuring the same outcome. The outcome is a safe and correct one.

when I have carried out the training on great procedures and instructions the follow up emergency fire drills have been effective and fluent, with the staff confident in the steps they were taking.

Thanks for your time

 

All the best

 

Guy

 

The truth about employees

Hi All,

I was busy doing an audit in a factory last week and I noticed an employee performing an unsafe act. Myself obviously having safety at heart and being contracted by the company to observe and report safety issues. I mentioned to the employee that what he was doing is not safe and he can get seriously injured.

His response was was made quickly and proudly. He said ” It is ok if I get injured at work work will have to pay me” I was shocked but quickly learnt that a number of employees had the same philosophy.

The way to change this thought process and protect yourselves as managers and employers is training and awareness. The truth is, is that if you put in the correct steps and are compliant when an emplyee performes an unsafe or negligent act you have covered yourself and The compensation insurance will be all that is needed to compensate the employee.

Employees need to be made aware of their rites ans well as the employers rites. this in my experience gives employees a feeling of being part of a team with no tip toeing around what could be a tough issue.

As an employer it is vital to keep compliant so in the case of an incident you are not seen as negligent.

Thank you for your time

Keep safe

Guy

Construction safety compliance for contractors

Hi Everyone,

I have been working with a few contractors on various construction sites and I have noticed how much confusion there is with safety complaince.

Being a contractor on a site holds very similar responsibilities to having your own office. You need to be aware of hazards you may face around you and the risks that may occur due to the work you are doing.

There are specific findings and procedures that you need to include in your safety file to start off compliant and then you need to carry out periodic checks to maintain compliant.

You need to conduct a thorough risk assessment of the work you are doing and the tools you will be using. This should be done by a compitent and trained person. This should also be communicated to all of your staff members that will be working on site.

Safety training should be provided for fire and evacuation to one in every 20 people and records should be kept in the training section of the safety file.

A company needs to write up a safety plan and show proof of enforcing and committing to keep the safety standards at an acceptable level. Along with the plan a specific site work plan shall be drawn up and submitted and placed in the safety file.

Safe work procedures and work instructions need to be drawn up this gives the workforce a step by step of how to work, this should minimize the risks of the activities being carried out.

Once the safety file has been approved by the principal contractor safety officer you need to continue with safety checks and assessments. An area checklist shall be done before work starts checking to see that there are no extra hazards in the workspace.

Weekly toolbox talks shall be given and participants shall sign attendance records and filed in the safety file. Incident investigations need to be done with every incident even the near misses.

Monthly you need to carry out safety equipment checks, electrical and handtool inspections, general equipment inspections and a monthly summary shall be handed over to the principal contractor.

Not complying to these steps can result in a fine per finding. By having a compitent person handle the initial training and the safety files for your sites you are able to avoid fines and possible stoppages in work because of non-compliance.

For any assistance please call and I can help you efficiently and cost effectively.

Thanks for reading.

Think Safety

Guy

Safety and OHS audit

Hi All,

I have been busy doing a few gap audits for safety lately and it has come to my attention that a lot of companies try and get away with doing the basics and minimum requirements.

The deeper I go into these systems the more I find that there is a false sense of safety security and the basics are not effective enough to safeguard the company and its employees.

When I do an OHS audit I compare what system is in place and what has been done, to the legal requirements of compliance. While I am auditing I will go through different scenarios according to the line of work and have an idea of the bare minimum that needs to be done to keep realistically.

When doing a general safety audit I shall see what safety equipment is installed, this will include first aid, fire, evacuation equipment and signage to assist employees.

When I mentioned earlier that people get into a false sense of safety security it is when on the serface and at first glance there seems to be a good safety system in place. What people forget is that there are three stages of a compliant safety system:

Stage one is putting the systems in place, this will include the audits and assessments, Stage two would be training for fire, evacuation, safety representatives and first aid and stage three is the consinuous maintenance of these plans. This would include, monthly equipment safety checks, monthly premises safety checks, monthly safety meetings and fire drills.

I hope that this helps simplify and break down the process that needs to be followed to reach an acceptable level of compliance.

Thanks for your time

Think Safe

Guy

Cross department safety awareness

Hi All,

In todays business world many organizaions see each department as a seperate entity. This has its pro’s and its con’s. With regards to safety this seems to be a negative way of thinking as a lot of injuries are occurring with people out of their departments.

It is very important to train staff and make them aware of all of the risks that exist within the company. That way if an office member needs to spend tme in the factory they are mentally prepared with what they need to do to stay out of trouble.

This can be achieved by simple training work shops or training days.

Thanks guys

Think safe

Guy

Construction safety compliance

Hi All,

I work with a few contractors that are constantly on various construction sites. I have discovered that the principle contractors are coming down harder on their contractors to be compliant.

contractors are getting hit with fines daily because they are starting on the wrong foot and not managing to keep their safety files up to date according to the OHS act.

A few simple things can keep you out of trouble and keep your company steadily working without unnecessary interruptions.

Training, checklists, appointments, risk assessments and communicating safe working procedures are imperitive to survive the modern construction site.

She representatives should then be trained to carry out the weekly and monthly OHS functions to keep you compliant.

The safety file is your companies safety bible and needs to be specified per site to be effective. I have seen to many people copy and paste previous files to create a new file and they get fined or worse someone gets injured as a consequence.

Please contact me if you need assistance in safety compliance, it is affordable, relyable and will save you time and money in the long run.

Think safe.

Kind Regards

Guy

Risk Assessments

Hi All,

With the rain in JHB lately it has got me thinking about risk assessments. As I tell all of my clients you dont realize that you do a number of risk assessments every day without realizing. When you cross the road, you look left and right before just leaping into the road, when driving a car you are concious of the indicator or wind screen wipers not working and even blowing on a hot cup of coffee before you take a sip. These are all risk assessments.

My next thought was what makes most people naturally stay away or avoid unsafe acts and the answer is simple. Growing up nature and knowledge has taught us to naturally avoid dangerous hazards.

I have come to the realization that because it is a work environment most people assume it is safe as it is their job and that the corporation has taken the necessary steps to avoid loss or damage.

The truth is knowledge and awareness are the backbone of an effective and safe work environment. If you are an employee or employer insist on discovering what risks may occur in your work space and push people to get involved and get training.

This is a skill you can use everywhere. Please contact me if you need any information of available and relevant training or if you have any safety concerns.

Thanks for your time. Keep safe and think safely.

All the best

Guy