NEWS

Returning to Work- The Steps to take before your staff enter the office

  As restrictions start to ease throughout the country, many businesses are starting to reopen and see employees and visitors into the workplaces for the first time in months. As you allow you being to return to work, there are a few steps which you should consider putting in place before opening the doors to your workers again. Social distancing adjustments Before your workers start walking through the doors again, you may need to adjust the layout of the space to ensure social distancing requirements can be adhered to. Depending on your size of office you may need to move desks and facilities to allow the 1.5 metre social distancing between your staff. You may also need  to limit the number of staff you have in office each day to allow for 4 square metres per person in the space also, this may mean implementing a rostering system for when staff are in the office and when they continue to work from home. If your workplace deals with customers, ensure you calculate how many can enter the premises at once and if you expect regular customers you can look into implementing signs, distancing stickers and ‘sneeze guards’ to keep both your visitors and your workers safe. Making these calculations and adjustments before you plan to for workers and visitors to be in the workplace is vital to ensure a smooth transition back to business.   Cleaning, hygiene stations and PPE Many things in the office are shared between your workers, desks, tools, kitchen spaces and stationery to name a few. The obvious thing which we are wishing to limit... read more

Working From Home- What Business Owners need to Know

  With the current global climate, businesses are turning to remote working situations to keep their workplace open. Working from home is a great alternative since it allows for social distancing, while still allowing the work that can be done online or remotely, to be done. However, just because workers are not coming into the office, doesn’t mean that work health and safety requirements go out the window. It doesn’t matter if your worker is in the office, on a worksite or working from home, the Work Health and Safety Act applies. If a staff member is injured while working from home, the business can be held to be liable for any damages that the worker may face. This means that owners of a business must still ensure that their staff have a safe environment to work in. Below are 6 tips to assist with transitioning to remote work. Record when your staff are conducting work from home activities. The business can only be held liable for injuries that occur while the staff member was performing work tasks. It is useful to have some sort of system in place to record when the worker is starting and ending work and to record the hours for those workers you pay on a time-worked basis. Have “Work From Home” Policies and Procedures in place. Business owners can only ensure the safety of their workers as far as reasonably practicable. There’s no law saying that you need to check off every single day that each of your worker’s homes are fit for work. However, having guidelines available to assist your workers to... read more

Getting started with Donesafe

To hit the ground running with Donesafe, here’s three things to start with.   LOOK AND LOGO You have your own Donesafe portal, time to dress up Donesafe to your company colours Go to Admin Settings Select Look and Logo Use the creative artist in you to create the best look for YOUR Donesafe   DASHBOARD CUSTOMISATION Go to Admin Settings Select Dashboards Add or Edit an existing dashboard Multiple dashboards can be made for specific user types e.g. Admin dashboard is different to Contractor dashboard Use the Dashboards 101 pdf so you can learn step by step, how to make a dashboard that suits your needs   USERS, LOCATIONS AND ORGANIZATIONS Go to Settings Select either Users/Locations/Organisations You are able to edit and add items through a very straightforward process however you may want to consider bulk importing if you have a large sum of items to import To bulk import, select bulk import Download the user template Fill in the details for each column Save the CSV and Import to Donesafe   If you need additional help, Donesafe has help articles that can be found by selecting your profile icon on the top right of Donesafe and then selecting help. {insert link}   Need training? Excite Safety can provide you with face-to-face training from the basic to the advanced tools of Donesafe – Just email enquiries@excitesafety.com.au for your training needs   Phone 02 9521 3410 or email Excite Safety at... read more

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... read more

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... read more

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... read more

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... read more

Christmas Doesn’t Mean that WHS Turns into Chaos!

Christmas Doesn’t Mean that WHS Turns into Chaos! When you think of the festive season, your mind will generally go to the joys of the time- a nice break, spending time with your family, and the fantastic food that you will feast on.  For businesses however, it may feel like a mad rush to the finish line as you attempt to meet end of year quotas and to complete projects before they close for the year. Retail, travel and hospitality sectors will experience one of the busiest times of year. With the significant strains and stresses that the season brings, thoughts of workplace safety can go side-ward. Over the past decade, almost 25% of all workplace fatalities occur in the lead up to the silly season.  So how do you make sure that your business is kept safe and everyone gets to go home for their holidays? Take Time to Think in the Rush With the holiday season being such a mad rush for many businesses, employee’s focuses will be more on what needs to get done, rather than how to keep themselves safe. The lack of concentration can lead to mistakes being made, and therefore injuries are at a higher risk. WorkCover Queensland says the majority of injury claims they receive over the season are usually from easily preventable incidents such as ladder injuries, slips and falls. While you may have a busy day ahead of you, simply stopping, thinking, assessing the risks and how to manage them before you begin a task can save you a lot more than time. Casual Staff Need to Stay Safe Too!... read more

Fire Safety For Summer

It’s heating up. How do you stay safe during fire season? It’s the end of spring, which means summer is only a few weeks away. While the Australian summer comes with many incredible things- barbeques, Christmas, seasonal fruit- it’s also synonymous with something less pleasant- fire season. As we head into the warmer months it’s important to protect yourself, your homes and your businesses from fire danger. Keep it clean Keeping areas clean and tidy is the simplest way to make sure that fires don’t have the fuel to continue to spread. Clearing any rubbish, plant debris and other fire propellants in a 20 meter radius will help create a ‘circle of safety’ for your properties.  Keeping gutters clean, trees and shrubbery trimmed and all flammable chemicals sealed and secured will also make your home or business instantly safer and less likely to be caught in a fire this summer. Maintain the Equipment You know the ads making sure you check your smoke alarms in your homes. But you should definitely be doing more than that if you’re a business owner. Checking your fire extinguishers are fully charged, accessible and visible. Making sure your fire plan is effective and up to date is also extremely useful to making sure that everyone is prepared in case a fire happens. Knowing where to evacuate to, who is in charge during a fire, and the procedures in place to prevent fires during the warmer seasons are all essential to making your business safe. Do you need to do a fire safety course? Excite Safety does accredited fire safety first attack and evacuation... read more

Common Workplace Safety Mistakes

Every business wants to believe they have the highest standard of workplace safety, and no one wants to be caught out on faults in their OHS policies and procedures.  Safety is vital for a business to run smoothly. There are however, many mistakes that are common in business practice. Whether it be for reasons of effort, time, money or a simply lack of awareness to what is going on. But without the remedying of these issues, there can be nasty consequences.  A simple category 1 breach of the WHS Act 2011 of reckless conduct carries a penalty of $3,000,000 for the company and a 300,000 or 5 year imprisonment for an individual worker responsible. So what are these common mistakes and how can you avoid them? Believing that just because there have been no injuries, that your business is safe. Just because none of your workers have reported injuries, does not automatically mean that your business is safe. You might be fortunate that no one has cut themselves on that sharp bench (Or told you that they have) but that does not mean it will comply with the WHS standards.  Many employees may lie about injuries to save their companies safety record, or simply become ignorant in noticing the risks around the business To remedy this make sure that you and your employee’s eyes are always peeled and that there is an open and easy way to address workplace safety issues. Completing regular risk assessments will allow you to identify any and all potential hazards and allow you to pinpoint exactly how you can fix these issues. Keeping training... read more