The Step by Step Process to a Safe and Healthy Workplace
Weekly WHS Article 20th April 2023
Creating a safe and heathy workplace is achieved by using a step by step process and the SafeWork NSW Code of Practice How to Manage Health & Safety Risks, at page 7, explains how to carry out the essential steps.
The Step-by-Step Process
“A safe and healthy workplace does not happen by chance or guesswork. You have to think about what could go wrong at your workplace and what the consequences could be. Then you must do whatever you can (in other words, whatever is ‘reasonably practicable’) to eliminate or minimise health and safety risks arising from your business or undertaking.
This process is known as risk management and involves the four steps set out in this Code:
Identify hazards—find out what could cause harm.
Assess risks, if necessary—understand the nature of the harm that could be caused by the hazard, how serious the harm could be and the likelihood of it happening. This step may not be necessary if you are dealing with a known risk with known controls.
Control risks – implement the most effective control measure that is reasonably practicable in the circumstances and ensure it remains effective over time.
Review hazards and control measures to ensure they are working as planned.
This process will be implemented in different ways depending on the size and nature of your business or undertaking. Larger businesses and those in sectors where workers are exposed to more or higher risks are likely to need more complex, sophisticated risk management processes.
Examples demonstrating how to manage work health and safety risks in consultation with workers are at Appendix B.” (page 7, How to Manage Health & Safety Risks – Code of Practice)
Risk Management is a Proactive Process
“Risk management is a proactive process that helps you respond to change and facilitate continuous improvement in your business. It should be planned, systematic and cover all reasonably foreseeable hazards and associated risks.” (page 8, How to Manage Health Safety Risks – Code of Practice)
Psychosocial Risk Management
Risk management of psychosocial risks is carried out using the same step-by-step process as is described in the above Code of Practice, How to Manage Health & Safety Risks.
“A PCBU must eliminate psychosocial hazards and manage risks to health and safety arising from work so far as is reasonably practicable. As is required for any other hazard, the systematic four-step process described in the NSW code of practice How to manage work health and safety risks should be applied to address psychosocial hazards.” (page 15, SafeWork NSW Code of Practice Managing Psychosocial Hazards at Work)
The quotations from the, How to Manage Work Health & Safety Risks Code of Practice, are the copyright work of SafeWork NSW and are used under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence (CC BY 3.0). To view a copy of this licence, visit www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/au/
The quotation in the above article from the SafeWork NSW Code of Practice Managing Psychosocial Hazards at Work, which is owned by the NSW Department of Customer Service, and this publication is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence. For more information, visit www.nsw.gov.au/copyright.
20th April 2023
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