There is an imminent need for assessing workplace safety among many establishments in Australia. Accidents are inevitable, and as such, a proactive approach is needed to minimise if not eradicate work-related injuries and diseases. The greater question is if an employer is ready to respond to them.Having a practical outlook on your first aid measures and procedures is a major requirement to keeping your workplace compliant with the WHS Act. An emergency action plan does not only protect your employees but also ensures continuity of operations after a disaster or emergency.
How Important Is First Aid in the Workplace?
Research shows that well over 630 000 workers suffered a work-related injury in Australia between 2009 and 2010. This figure accounts for all types of jobs from all industries and emergency categories.
The Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) Act articulates an outline that covers the scope of first aid – all personnel, including visitors and customers. WHSA compliance is mandatory, encompassing all aspects of the business workplace whether remote, mobile, or outdoors.
Legal requirements call for a strict observation as stipulated under Section 274 of the WHS Act. Furthermore, it compels every company to have a comprehensive action plan for any emergency situation.
These efforts are all in place to ensure the safety and productivity of all personnel. From a business perspective, it directly correlates to brand building and employability.
How To Comply with WHS Compliance
It is important to get acquainted with the most important points of the WHS guidelines on how to become first aid compliant in your workplace.
These are all vital pieces of information that will churn out ideas for an efficient action plan. Keep this record updated as it is crucial for the actions to follow.
Create an Action Plan
- Closely assess your work area, you now have a basis for your course of action.
- Determine all possible scenarios and their corresponding strategies.
- Ensure that these are all aligned with the WHS requirements.
- Consider integrating your crucial evacuation details to the set standards and take account of broader emergency settings.
Your action plan will be valid only if you update it in accordance with the changes that happen in your company.
Some work requires transferring from one place to another. It should be clearly stated that there is a specific plan for each location. Change of staff must be also taken into account and this should be followed by proper adjustments in your emergency plan.
Regularly evaluate your own work. An emergency can strike at any point in time so it’s best to be proactive than to be forced to deal with the consequences.
Designate a Point Person
During an emergency, the lack of communication can exponentially aggravate the situation.
Assigning a point person who will act as a leader in these cases will help convey messages faster and more efficiently. They will act like beacons during disasters and orchestrate order.
Training is not obligatory for this position. But it can help, Supervisors and Managers are your primary options for these roles. There are some instances, however, that some special know-how is required for carrying out an appropriate response. Set the roles strategically among your work populace.
Conduct Drills and Practices
They say that perfect practice makes perfect. Emergency situations are not an exception. When a clear-cut emergency/evacuation plan has been formulated, it is necessary to test it through simulation.
Conduct a drill for every given situation, from an earthquake drill to an employee who had a simple wound.
Make a keen observation of everything that happens during the drills. It will allow you to check for leaks within your plan and give you an opportunity to improve and innovate.
The point person/s should act accordingly and take the lead. Their response to these drills will help measure the effectivity of your emergency plan.
Have A WHS Compliant First Aid Kit
The first aid kit is not just a mere tool to aid in an emergency, it contents can decide the outcomes of life and death situations.
Therefore, these kits must be placed in obvious places throughout the work area. The level and category of work orientation determine what should be inside a first aid kit.
Create A List of Your Emergency Contact Numbers
Emergency contact lists should contain all the local numbers of every phone in the workplace. Part of the objective of the WHS Act is to ensure continuity of business after any given emergency.
It is, therefore, imperative that the list includes the phone numbers of any other key people, stakeholders, and companies like suppliers, employees.
The most important emergency numbers must be highlighted: the police, fire station, local state emergency units, and ambulance services.
First Aid Training and Amenities
Every company or business is obliged to abide by the rules set forth by the WHS Act. It has to always safeguard all personnel in the workplace with full diligence, including other persons that may be affected by its operations.
It is always advisable to remind your employees about the importance of first aid in a workplace. Some of the simple procedures can be put on the walls in the form of first aid visual guides. The best place for these posters is near the first aid kit.