пятница, 28 февраля 2014 г.

The safe workplace design

Health & Safety Bulletin
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What safe workplace design means for you
Friday, 7th February 2014, by Joanna Weekes
In today's Health & Safety Bulletin:
  • What safe design means in your workplace
  • Benefits of safe workplace design
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Dear Reader,

It is your obligation under health and safety legislation to ensure (as far as is reasonably practicable) the prevention of risks to the health and safety of people in your workplace.
As part of your plan to achieve this, safe design principles should be used whenever a workplace is constructed or modified.

When workplace design is discussed, it is referring to:
  • the layout of the workplace;
  • the design of plant and equipment; and
  • the construction, maintenance and use of buildings and structures.
It is usually more cost-effective and practicable to eliminate hazards in the design and planning phase than to make changes once hazards are recognised, or have caused an injury.
Your duty to design a workplace safely
Duties owed under the WHS Act and the Victorian OHS Act include those in relation to:
  • the management and control of the workplace;
  • the design of plant, substances and structures;
  • the management or control of fixtures or plant; and
  • the installation, construction and commission of plant or structures.
In Western Australia under the OSH Act, the obligations around design are limited to plant and equipment.
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Some employers neglect design by 'blaming the user' when workplace accidents occur. While workers must perform their work carefully, a poorly designed system makes it much harder for them to do so.
Some other benefits of designing safety into your workplace include:
  • prevention of injury and disease by eliminating hazards at the design stage;
  • improved effectiveness of the work area;
  • increased morale, productivity and efficiency;
  • compliance with health and safety legislation;
  • reduced costs by improved production or environmental efficiency; and
  • innovation (safe design demands new thinking).
In relation to our discussion in Wednesday's Health & Safety Bulletin, it means that as we become more safety-minded and as safety becomes the first consideration when constructing work spaces, modifying current work spaces and tasks or purchasing new plant or equipment, manufacturers and designers will also need to think safety first because employers will expect nothing less for their workforce and workplace.
Always think safety first – enjoy your weekend,
Joanna Weekes
Joanna Weekes
Editor
Health & Safety Bulletin





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