working environments

Safety Culture | Leadership | Valuing People | Duty of Care| Productivity

Health Professionals consulting in Occupational Health and Safety, Human Factors and Ergonomics can provide your organisation with services including workplace assessments for individuals through to tailored initiatives to optimise working environments.

Qualified Members to the following associations offer such services.

Human Factors & Ergonomics Society of Australia Inc Human Factors & Ergonomics Society of Australia Inc
Occupational Therepy Australia Occupational Therepy Australia
Australian Rehabilitation Providers Association Australian Rehabilitation Providers Association

Staff are the number one cost for organisations so it’s important to provide a safe and posture-corrected work environment to ensure retention of quality people. It is an extremely costly process to hire, train and then inadvertently put someone in an environment that can lead to 'strain, pain and claim'. Ergonomics programs help prevent this from happening and offer a significant return on investment.

Valuing people

OHS needs to be an on-going concern of the entire organisation — from top down.

Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) legislation in Australia is tending toward a proactive rather than a reactive approach. Rehabilitation is no longer an adequate tool to address Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD’s) – Prevention is the cure!

This approach requires employers to meet with employee representatives to:

Prevention ensures employers’ general duty of care for the health and safety of their workers is met and in turn, encourages mutual obligation between employer and employee. A proactive approach obliges both parties to take necessary precautions to prevent incidents and injuries from occurring. Employees should be directed and encouraged to self-remedy and/or seek assistance. This can be achieved through implementing ergonomics programs, which encompass staff education, training and policy.

Policy and procedure together with proactive workplace initiatives will lead to improved working environments and productivity.

Ergonomists and other OHS professionals can provide specialist advice and guidance for risk management and proactive development of OHS management plans. The Internet is also a useful resource and is an ideal starting point.

Useful Internet websites include, but are not limited to:

Although requirements vary from state to state, organisations are obliged to adhere to government and legislative regulations. These regulations should be embraced, as they are purpose built to reduce injuries and create a safe working environment. Prevention minimises risk and cost and promotes health and well being.

In order to achieve a safety culture with effective occupational health and safety practices, an employer should have a detailed Health and Safety Policy (for further details, refer to aforementioned websites) incorporating a pronounced People Value Statement.

A People Value Statement is a useful way of demonstrating a proactive approach towards preventing injuries and caring for workers’ health and general well being.

Health professionals trained in ergonomics can assist organisations with programs and initiatives to deliver improvements in productivity and a reduction in cumulative workplace injuries.

Adopting a safety improvement plan and actively involving staff in safety discussions is a requirement that minimises unnecessary costs from preventable accidents and incidents. Additional means to achieving this are detailed in the aforementioned websites. These websites include various checklists, registers and reporting mechanisms for assessing risk, purchasing goods and managing injury effectively.

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