What is workplace health and safety?
Workplace health and safety or occupational health and safety is the management of risks to the health and safety of all employees, clients and all others who come in contact with your business.
Businesses have a legal responsibility to look after the well-being of employees while working. Neglecting workplace health and safety can result in workplace injuries and companies being taken to court.
Hazardous manual tasks
If you work in a trade, you would have likely come in contact with many manual tasks that could potentially be hazardous. Even if you work a less physically demanding job, you still may find yourself from time to time participating in manual tasks, which pose potential hazards, and should therefore be carried out with caution.
Types of hazardous manual tasks:
- Repetitive movements
- Lifting and carrying
- Reaching too high
- Sudden unexpected change of weight
- Operating equipment while fatigued
- Manual handling with lack of training
How to identify and assess hazardous manual tasks
Before you start a manual handling task, you should first assess the risks and hazards involved with the task. Before you start the task, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the task require repetitive movement?
- Does the task require awkward postures?
- Does the task take a long duration?
- Does the task require reaching above shoulder height?
- Does the task require you to react to sudden changes in weight or force?
There may be other questions you can also ask yourself, depending on your industry.
How to eliminate manual handling risks
Consult your employer, employees and co-workers
If you have identified a task that poses a risk to your or someone else’s health and safety, chances are someone else has also identified it and has developed a safe way to complete that task.
If you are a manager or employer and have identified a task, or had a concerned employee come to you with a task that is potentially hazardous, with your duty of care, you need to develop a safety procedure employees can follow when completing that task without putting themselves in harm’s way.
If you are an employer or duty supervisor attempting to improve workplace health and safety of your workplace, you can consult with your employees to find out where they feel there can be additional training or tools provided to help carry out their job safely and effectively.
Personal Protective Equipment
When on duty and engaging in a manual handling task, PPE gear can protect the person doing the manual handling and help them perform their job more efficiently.
Types of PPE include:
- Steel cap boots
- Hard hats
- Safety harnesses
What happens if you ignore workplace health and safety
If employers do not put workplace health and safety policies and procedures in place, or if employees do not follow these policies and procedures, this can lead to permanent or fatal injuries. Injuries from manual handling tasks can either happen suddenly or slowly over time from improperly performing a task.
Types of injuries you could receive from improperly carrying out manual handling:
- Sprains or strains of muscles, ligaments and tendons
- An injury to the back from improper lifting
- Nerve damage
- Chronic pain
- Brain damage
Workplace injuries can cause long term effects on the individual, such as:
- Long term physical pain
- Not able to return to your original job
- Physical disabilities
- Mental disabilities
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
How can you keep your workplace safe?
Employees taking steps to provide a safe working environment can reduce the risk of an employee becoming injured at work.
Outlined policies and procedures
Employers can create policies and procedures that employees can follow and refer to while undergoing manual handling tasks. These can cover:
- How to correctly lift heavy items
- How to operate equipment
- How to operate machinery
Extensive workplace health and safety training should be provided to all new employees. Then employees should receive further training when new policies and procedures are released. Employees should also regularly undergo refresher training to ensure they do not forget key policies and procedures.
While working, all employees should be supervised by an appropriate duty manager. This manager should ensure work is carried out safely and assist employees in manual handling tasks when required. This manager should also be responsible for correcting employees when they are not following the workplace policies and procedures and showing them how to follow them correctly.
Safely Handling TTFS Mesh Fencing
At TTFS, we recommend our customers develop policies and procedures around handling our fence range while in the workplace, in order to avoid injury from:
- Lifting too heavy of a weight
- Unsafely lifting a fencing product
- Dropping one of our products
We strongly encourage our customers to handle our fencing panels with caution by taking the following precautions:
- Developing workplace policies around how fencing should be handled
- Working in a team to lift heavy weights
- Wearing steel cap boots
- Wearing safety gloves
- Wearing hard hats
The Temporary Fencing Shop Safety Policies and Procedures
At TTFS, we have strict policies and procedures in line with the Australian Government standards, to ensure the safety of our employees while handling our temporary mesh fence panels, other products, machinery and equipment.
We put safety first by ensuring all our employees are well trained in their job. We are constantly updating our policies and procedures so when our employees are handling our fencing, equipment and machinery; they have the knowledge to do it safely.
If you are in the construction, events or security industries and require temporary mesh fencing, fence panels, fencing mesh or any other fencing products and accessories, you can count on us at TTFS.