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The New South Wales Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000 (OHS Act) aims to protect the health, safety and welfare of employees at work. The new Act enacted in 2000 supersedes the 1983 Act with new provisions that stipulate that employers have to consult with employees on all aspects of health, safety and welfare. The general requirements for health safety and welfare contained in the OHS Act cover all self-employed people as well as employees and employers (Government of New South Wales (2000).
Risk management has been the central focus of many businesses today. Health and safety in restaurants have been widely publicized by practitioners in recent years and businesses need to adopt a proactive approach to ensure that the risks of such hazards in their businesses are kept within their risk appetite.
The food and beverage industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. With such a large number of workers in the industry and irregular work hours, it is extremely difficult for employers to address and solve the many safety issues faced in the workplace (WorkCover Western Australia (2000).
In this report, we will analyse four main risk categories pertaining to restaurants and provide recommendations to mitigate the risks. Risk assessment will also be conducted to assess the likelihood and impact of the hazards on the business. The four main areas to be discussed in this section are:
â€¢ Category 1: Commercial kitchen fire safety
Commercial cooking activities often result in a large number of fires annually and such accidents could have been easily prevented by adopting simple precautions.
According to the Department of Employment and Industrial Relations of the Queensland Government, psychosocial issues are work characteristics that are associated with negative health and safety outcomes. Examples of psychosocial issues include the following:
In the Journal of Occupation Health article published in 2008, great emphasis was placed on the changing work nature and new forms of psychosocial risks have emerged as businesses become more complex and could potentially have a negative impact on employees' health and safety. Employees are vital assets to organizations. These new types of psychological hazards have received widespread attention globally and senior management must take steps to address these pertinent issues.
However, it has been acknowledged that despite having a framework to address these hazards, there is still a broad science-policy gap that has yet to be fully developed. Since the 1990s, the WHO Network of Collaborating Centers in Occupational Health has been working on a program to deal with psychosocial factors and work-related stress. The European Framework serves as a platform for researches to coordinate their efforts to come up with preventive actions with emphasis on evidence based interventions and best practice on an international basis.
Employers should identify psychosocial hazards at the workplace, assess the risks of such hazards, develop control measures to prevent or minimize risk and evaluate the effectiveness of control measures.
Job Description. The job description of employees should commensurate with their skills and capabilities. Job design such as job enlargement or job enrichment should be used with consideration of employees' abilities. Finally, employees should be given a channel to voice concerns about the work environment.
Policies and Communication Channels. Internal channels of communication should be established to enable managers a platform to communicate to staff and keep them informed about what support is available and the ways to access them. Constructive feedback should be provided to workers on a timely basis so that they will be regularly updated about their performance instead of an annual appraisal.
Timely Information. All workers are resistant to changes, hence, employers must provide employees with timely information for them to understand the reasons for the proposed changes and to create "buy-in" behavior. Employees will be more willing to accept changes when their opinions are sought and consulted as they are seen as being valued by the company and have an opportunity to influence proposals. Support from management and the human resource department are of utmost importance at this juncture because changes in jobs would necessitate re-training and counselling.
Recognition and Reward. Employers must develop recognition and reward systems that are achievable, timely, objective and useful. The use of the reward systems must be monitored so as to ensure that rewards are applied fairly and the reward systems should be reviewed periodically to ensure that they stay relevant and remain valued to the workforce.
Finally, the employer should ensure that the different requirements that it places on employees are compatible and detailed information should be provided to clearly understand their roles and responsibilities so as to reduce their risk of uncertainty. Feedback channels must also be in place to provide avenues for employees to raise concerns about any uncertainties or conflicts they have in their role and responsibilities.
Task 4 Notifying, Reporting and Managing Incidents
The most common accidents that happen on construction sites are falls from high areas, motor vehicle crashes, machine malfunctions and electrocution. Construction sites one of the places of work with the highest fatal accident rates. It is vital to identify the risks and provide solutions to prevent occurrence.
According to WorkSafeBC, 151 young workers were seriously injured in workplace accidents in 2005. Thirty-four of the most occurred while working in construction. There were 11 fatalities, five of which were in construction. Accident rates for new and young workers are significantly higher than for mature and experienced workers (Mah, 2007).
Tony is a permanent casual driver and he might not been trained adequately in work safety, thus causing his fall.
Direct causes and contributing factors:
The direct factors that might have caused Tony's fall may be due to wet and unstable surfaces at the work area. It is important to keep the work area clean but presence of leftover cement, spillage of liquids can cause accidents. Tony might not have adequate handles to hold on to while cleaning the chute. He should also be dressed appropriately in safety gear and anti-slip boots.
Other contributing factors might be due to the lack of proper training from the company regarding safety at work. A safety supervisor should be present to ensure safety around the work area. There might not be a proper elevated bay to lift Tony up to clean the chute.
The company should conduct investigation for the accident. There will help to identify risks and proper changes can be implemented to prevent the accident from repeating in the future. If the accident was due to negligence of the company, Tony should be entitles to claim for workmen's compensation and medical expenses (WorkCover Western Australia, 2010).
The company should adopt proper safety regulations for all activities in the work area. It is vital that all staff are trained on safe work habits to prevent unnecessary accidents. Proper safety equipment must be in place to aid staff in their daily operations. There should be regular checks conducted by management to ensure safety standards are strictly adhered to.
A safety committee can be set up to investigate and provide recommendations to improve safety. The members should lay out standard operating procedures on medical emergencies and treatments in the work area. The company should purchase group insurance for workmen to cover against accidents. Lastly, penalties can be imposed on staff who violate safety regulations and incentives given to staff who observe safety regulations in their work.
Follow up Activities
With the safety committee set up and standard operating procedures in place, the members should conduct regular checks to ensure no lapse in standards. According to De Cieri (2008), Tony is eligible to claim workmen's compensation from the company. He should be sent to vocational rehabilitation which serves to help him adjust back to his normal work operations.