The Australian Workplace Safety Checklist

the australian workplace safety checklist

For construction, transport, waste management, and manufacturing industries, safety in the workplace is of paramount importance. This is because accidents in these industries can result in death and serious injuries. It is up to the employers and their workers to discuss and put in place safety protocols that will help make the work environment safer.

Fall protection gear when working in heights

Falls are the number one cause of death for workers working in high places. Employers should provide height safety equipment for their workers working in high areas with a risk of falls or injury. For roof repair and maintenance, a worker should ensure that the roof has roof anchor points to link their harnesses for climbing. The worker should access the roof from the inside through the roof access hatch. One should be acquainted with and know how to use the different types of fall protection equipment, which include:

  • Fall Restraint systems
  • Personal Fall Arrest Systems and,
  • Guard Rail Systems

Lifting and climbing safety

There are a number of helpful tips for lifting heavy loads safely. They include;

  • Before lifting a heavy object, always test its weight. If it seems too heavy, you should ask for assistance to carry it.
  • When lifting heavy objects, always adopt the correct stance by placing the strain on your feet and not on the back. Bend at the knee and not at the back.
  • Always use both hands to lift heavy loads.
  • Lift loads slowly and smoothly.
  • Always use the appropriate ladders.
  • Make sure that the ladder maintains three points of contact, making it stable and secure.
  • Never climb the top rung of the ladder.

Safety when working on Elevating Work Platforms (EWPs)

While Safe Work Australia has guidelines for inspecting and maintaining elevating work platforms, it is the responsibility of both employees and supervisors to ensure that safety measures are taken into account. As an operator, you must;

  • Use the required equipment, including fall arrest systems, personal protective equipment, and travel restraint systems when operating EWPs.
  • Follow instructions, training, and education on operating elevated work platforms.
  • Report any hazards you may come across.

Safety when handling machinery and tools.

Heavy machinery may require technical training to operate them; otherwise, running them without proper training may result in disaster. To safely handle and avoid injury from machinery and tools:

  • Never approach a machine operator from behind. Always make sure that a machine operator can see you.
  • Use the appropriate tools and machines for respective tasks.
  • Never leave machines unattended when in use.
  • Dress appropriately when operating machinery. Avoid loose and billowing clothing such as ties, scarves, and head wraps as they may get caught in the machine’s mechanism and get destroyed or, at worst, jam the machines.
  • Always make sure that you turn off the machines before cleaning, oiling, or repairing them.
  • Do not insert objects, fingers, or other body parts into moving machines.

Have a fire safety procedure

  • Employers and employees should develop a fire escape plan in case of a fire emergency that everyone knows and understands.
  • Ensure good ventilation when working with chemicals and fumes as the toxins may be highly flammable and cause a fire.
  • In case of fire, find out what has caused it and try to put it out correctly. Never try to put out a grease fire with water as it splashes the oils and spreads the fire. 
  • Always know the whereabouts of fire extinguishers and how to use them.
  • Practice fire drills regularly.

The best way to enforce workplace safety is to create awareness through training and informing employees about the dangers involved in their work. There should be safety officers to oversee safety training and conduct monitoring and implementation of the training to ensure that everyone follows the procedures.