Taking Work Home- Whats the Responsibilities?

  Technology these days is incredible! Back in the day you would either have to leave your work at the office, and dread the stack of paperwork you left for the morning, stay late and finish it all after closing time or bring a big box of files home with you. But with the invention of portable laptops and smart phones, work is only a few clicks away. Although this can be useful for productivity, it creates some difficult issues with WHS legal requirements. If the person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) is aware of workers taking their tasks home, they can be considered at fault if that worker gets injured. It is the responsibility of the business owner to ensure that all offsite working environments are safe according to the business’ requirements for the tasks which are being completed. If you allow work to be done from home, it may be a good idea to have policies and practices in place that outline the safety requirements, just in case anything were to go wrong, you’ll be...

SCREENS ON!

Businesses have used computers for decades, they can make communication, data entry and research so much more effective than any other tools that we have. Technology in 2019 helps workplaces do tasks quicker, easier and more cost effectively. Laptops and smartphones take the workplace to a whole new level, but as the tech increases, so does the amount of time your workers are spending with their screens on. The risk of being computer and desk bound is that workers are having a more inactive lifestyle. Dangers of this lifestyle include the minor risks of poor posture, but also the more concerning risk of heart disease and weight concerns. Even though technology is the issue, it’s also a part of the solution! Wearable health monitors are a great way to keep an eye on your activity rating, and can help create a more balanced lifestyle. Workplace health apps installed on your phone, laptop or web browser have also been increasing in popularity. The Excite team has been using Stretchly for the past few weeks to ensure we’re taking breaks and stretching regularly as we go through our day of digital...

Making your Work Automated- The Benefits and the Risks

Robots are everywhere these days; even in the workplace! By using robots and machines to do tasks that are usually done manually, it means physical labour can be removed from the task, or make the task easier, putting your workers out of harm’s way. New technology has allowed artificial intelligence, drones and machines to do the work that is usually highly physical or tiring for humans. Workplaces like farms, mines, factories or emergency services can be much safer by implementing robotics. If you do have robots or high-tech machinery in the workplace, there are extra risks that you should be aware of, especially if your human workers are around them. Risk assessments should be done immediately once a new piece of equipment is put in the workplace. Policies and procedures should be written about the use and maintenance of the equipment. Every staff member should be trained on the risks, how to avoid them, and how to act if something goes wrong. Finally, checks should be done at least annually, to make sure that the equipment is still in perfect working order, and if it is not, or if a hazard is found, then the issue should be minimised or fixed as soon as...

Keeping Your Young Workers Safe

  Young Workers can be a valuable resource to a business. They’re inexpensive, have high energy, and in a world where technology and media is advancing more and more every day, they are able to bring new ideas to the table that others won’t have even experienced before. Young Workers can be a significant risk when it comes to workplace safety. Over 13000 serious workers compensation claims were for young workers in the 2015-16 period. Young workers can lack experience and maturity, may also take more risks than older workers and be fearful to speak up to superiors. Young Workers will also  likely be   unfamiliar with work health requirements  and potential safety risks.  As an employer it’s essential that you are able to help these newbies find their feet in the workplace. Here is how you can do it.: Safety Inductions are key Let your workers know about all the measures in place to keep them and their colleagues  safe is crucial. For a lot of your young workers, this will be their first time in any sort of professional environment, so they will be unfamiliar with the tasks they are required to do and the equipment they are using. By making sure your worker fully understands their surroundings and knows how to properly use their  tools, you’ll be able to ensure that they can carry out their job safely They need to take responsibility too Give your young workers permission to question and speak up about any risks they may identify, or even if they feel unsafe. Making sure that there is an open dialogue between you and your workers will help to maintain WHS standards.  Giving your young workers  responsibility for their own safety and supporting their contribution will help them take...

What is on the Horizon for WHS Laws in 2019?

Over the past year, Safe Work Australia has been completing a review of the Model Work Health and Safety Laws. The Model Law is the foundation of the laws that most states and territories in Australia will use for their WHS acts.  The review is meant to be released in the early months of this year and can be expected to make changes to the Model Law. Below are three main issues that Safe Work will be looking to remedy with changes to the model WHS law, and therefore, are what might be binding for your workplace by the end of the year. No More Escape! The big topic considered in this report was the implementation of significantly stricter investigation, prosecution and sentencing for industrial deaths.  Using insurance for fines, investigation costs or defence costs for a breach of the WHS legislation resulting in an industrial death will be no more. Fines may increase, with larger fines for bigger businesses or repeat offenders. The new Australian laws would reflect current Queensland laws for Industrial Manslaughter. This means that individuals could face 20 years imprisonment and companies could be fined up to $10 million. These changes will help enforce accountability and reduce workplace deaths. Clarity on Who is Responsible for Workers Recommendations have been made to clarify who has the ‘Primary Duty of Care’ for a worker. This applies to labour hire and other employment arrangements where an employee may report to multiple organisations. This will benefit temp or agency workers, as they have been tend to fall through the gaps of WHS safety conditions. It will be able to...