суббота, 23 ноября 2013 г.

The hazards at your work events

Health & Safety Bulletin
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Tips to help identify hazards at your work events
Friday, 22nd November 2013, by Joanna Weekes
In today's Health & Safety Bulletin:
  • Your obligations at work-related functions
  • What types of hazards exist at work-related events?
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Dear Reader,

While health and safety risk can be high at end of year celebrations as discussed in Wednesday’s Health & Safety Bulletin, some simple strategies can keep everyone safe and the business out of the firing line of claims and complaints.

You need to take all reasonably practicable measures to ensure the health and safety of your workers or other people at your company’s work-related functions.

For every function that you put on, you should:
  • undertake hazard identification and risk assessment processes;
  • consider measures and options to eliminate or reduce the risk involved, e.g. use the hierarchy of control; and
  • implement those control measures.
These steps will be easier to undertake if the function is planned by your business well in advance – so make sure that you start thinking about these issues early to ensure you’re covered once it comes time for the event.

What types of hazards exist at work-related functions?

Hazards that may be present at a work-related function can be more difficult to foresee and control than the risks associated with everyday business practices because they tend to be one-off events that you may not have knowledge or experience in.

Different types of functions may create different types of risks and it is important to anticipate and consider these.

For example, activities such as sporting events could lead to serious injury. This is particularly the case if the event is offsite. Be sure that your risk assessment of events like this includes gaining familiarity with the venue and any emergency response procedures needed.

How to identify hazards relating to work-related events

Here are a few questions that you should ask once you know what your function will involve, in order to identify the hazards associated with the event:
  • What location/venue will the function be held in?
  • Are there adequate first aid facilities at the location/venue?
  • Will your workers be consuming alcohol?
  • How will alcohol consumption be controlled?
  • Will you provide food for your workers?
  • Does anyone have special dietary requirements?
  • Are you are going to provide transport or accommodation?
  • Will you provide security at the function or will a third party?
  • Will the function be held outdoors (potential exposure to UV and hot or cold temperatures)?
  • Is there a physical activity involved?
  • If yes, how you will ensure people are fit to perform the activity safely?
  • Are there any activities that are considered inherently dangerous, e.g. rock-climbing?
  • If yes, how will the risks involved be managed?
  • if a third-party provider will be organising the event, how will you ensure that the provider is competent and the activity is safe?
  • What will you do to prevent bullying, harassment and discrimination at the function and how you will respond to a complaint?
Have a look at Wednesday’s Health & Safety Bulletin about how to reduce the risk at your end of year celebrations for more information about this.

If you subscribe to the Health & Safety Handbook, you can also refer to chapter M2 Managing Work-Related Functions that will give you lots more details about the above dot points and how to determine and reduce the specific hazards and risks involved in your work event. Click here for more information about the handbook.

And one more thing before you go…

While social media is undoubtedly a great tool for business, it also poses a number of legal risks you may not have considered.

But regulating the use of social media in your workplace can be tricky, especially when you don't understand all the legal implications.

Portner Press have just published a brand-new 40-page eBook called Social Media and the Law: Managing the Legal Risks for Your Business that explains, in detail, your rights and responsibilities when it comes to managing social media in your workplace.

Click here to find out more.
That’s all for today, enjoy your weekend!
Joanna Weekes
Joanna Weekes
Health & Safety Bulletin

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