October is National Work Safety Month, a time to focus squarely on the workplace and the measures that should be taken to avoid injuries and fatalities.
With thousands of workplace injuries each year, and over 111 Australian work-related deaths in 2019 to date, instilling safety across workplaces is imperative for any organisation. Whilst the numbers of workplace fatalities have declined from the 190 recorded in 2017 and 148 in 2018, the encouragement of both employees and employers Australia-wide to secure safe and healthy workplaces needs to continue to be driven.
Many of these fatalities (and injuries) could have been avoided with a well implemented Lockout/Tagout system. Lockout/Tagout is an important safety procedure that involves isolating energy sources during maintenance or repair. Used properly in conjunction with a well-planned lockout process, isolation hardware and safety padlocks help ensure employees do not inadvertently energise a piece of equipment while someone else is working on it.
National Safe Work Month and beyond
October 2019 is National Safe Work Month; four weeks of the year campaigned by Safe Work Australia to drive awareness around the importance of workplace health and safety within organisations and industries. Highlighting the duty of care involved in employment, the campaign promotes workplace “Safety Champions”; those instilling best practice work health and safety initiatives. But what do these practices and initiatives look like? And how can you encourage the team to continue to prioritise safety after National Work Safety Month ends? Here are some suggestions.
Behaviour and Culture
Take the time to sit down to honestly review the current safety culture in place. How does everybody rate it out of 10? Discuss any near misses or incidents in the last 10 years that could have been attributed to behavioral issues? Ask for suggestions or thoughts on how it could be improved – get your team’s buy-in.
Has every person received appropriate training? When was the training last reviewed, is it still relevant? Are there any suggestions for improvement? People cannot be expected carry out work safely if they’ve not been properly shown how to.
Procedures and Process
Involving all stakeholders in your organisation thoroughly review the current systems in place. Are all the requirements and currently enforced systems clear and easily understood? Are there any elements of risk that could be improved, or is there an opportunity to improve on efficiencies? Are there any major causes for concern? A clear set of procedures, and an efficient easy-to follow process will ensure consistency in approach and an improved safety record.
Do you have the correct tools for the job? Is safety being compromised for cost? Is incorrect hardware rendering the isolation ineffectual, or increasing the time it’s taking to isolate? Energy sources in the workplace are varied – electricity, hydraulics, compressed air, steam, gas – and it’s important to have the correct hardware to perform effective isolations. Often, inefficiencies in carrying out procedures due to incorrect hardware have a much larger cost than the hardware itself.
Do all the stakeholders in the business have a solid understanding of what is required with regards to legislation and the code of practice? Is there an internal mechanism you can implement to ensure self or peer managed compliance?
Implementing an effective isolation system does not have to be daunting and time consuming. The SafeSite Program by Mayo Hardware is designed to deliver industry complete isolation solutions with ease and efficiency.
The SafeSite Program includes:
Situational Analysis Workshops
Involving all stakeholders ensuring all key requirements and any current systems in place are understood.
Site walk to help identify your exact lockout/tagout requirements.
Through established partnerships with industry leaders we review existing isolation procedures or create new ones.
Master Lock Safety Padlocks & Accessories
Full range of innovative devices designed to effectively isolate energy sources in the workplace.
Custom Key Systems
Ensure that one employee’s key cannot open another employee’s personal padlock.
Customise safety padlocks with company logos or other details to minimise lock pilferage and enable quick and easy worker identification.
Broad range of plant identification solutions including traffolite labels and RFID labelling to ensure you lockout the correct piece of equipment every time.
Our experienced safety team has a broad range of solutions for difficult plant isolations.
Post implementation of your isolation system we provide ongoing “health checks”.
Our National Customer Service team is experienced in lockout/tagout, and able to recommend the correct solution for your isolation requirements.
National Work Safety month is the catalyst for all to champion safety and best practice in the workplace.
For more information on Master Lock safety products, and how the SafeSite program can assist your business please visit the website HERE