small workplaceAs a business owner, you are responsible for maintaining a healthy and safe working environment. You should also guarantee that your business poses no health or safety hazard to your employees and customers.

To dive deeper into your responsibilities, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Your Obligations

As mandated in the Workplace Health and Safety laws, it is your obligation to provide safe premises, equipment and tools to employees. You are also responsible for the dissemination of information, instruction, proper training and supervision of your workplace. You must also provide a suitable working environment and facilities. Failure to comply with these is subject to prosecution, penalty and low employee retention.

Your Management Commitment

To have a safe and healthy work environment, the management should be committed in identifying risks related to work, the probable consequences and the ways to minimize, if not completely, eliminate these. The Australian Code of Practice refers to this process as risk assessment.

A number of tools are available to help you identify and assess the risks. These are as follows:

Take 5 – This is a thorough system for self-observation consisting of five steps:

1. Think through the task
2. Look for the exposure
3. Assess the risk
4. Take precautions
5. Do the job safely

BSPrint.com.au recommends Take 5 Risk Assessment for the prevention of industrial workplace hazards.

Job Safety Analysis (JSA) – This is for complex tasks involving more than one person or task group. The process involves analysing the work task and considering the safest way to accomplish it.

Workplace Risk Assessment and Control (WRAC) – This is the commonly used method in Australia, especially in the mining industry. This approach allows the user to focus on the highest risk. Often accomplished using a flow chart, users can identify the potential major hazards in each step of a work process.

Knowing your obligations as stipulated by WHS laws is critical to the success of your business. Moreover, this will help you avoid unnecessary costs and damages that occur due to untoward incidents in the workplace.