Did you know? The Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act) is currently under review by the Victorian Government.
In particular, plans are afoot to introduce tough new industrial manslaughter laws into the legislation in order to protect workers from hazards and risks within the workplace.
If the Victorian Government successfully amends the OHS Act, it will mean that individuals and organisations whose negligent actions breach the OHS Act and result in the death of an individual, will have committed a criminal offence.
All the more reason to re-evaluate safety at your workplace, including workplace safety signs, physical barriers and emergency procedures!
Industrial manslaughter laws are coming!
This isn’t an unprecedented move – in 2003 the ACT introduced laws that made such offences criminals acts, as did Queensland in 2018. If you ask us, it’s only a matter of time until these laws start popping up nationwide.
Currently, these cases are covered under the OHS Act under the offence of recklessly endangering persons at workplaces (S 32), with extreme cases covered by existing manslaughter laws (as 79 year-old Maria Jackson found out the hard way).
While the details are still being hashed out, all of this reinforces the importance of taking reasonable precautions in order to ensure workplace safety and avoid criminal charges.
Preparing for industrial manslaughter laws
1) Review your procedures and systems
Certain equipment is plain dangerous, end of story. As such, it’s crucial that you develop a safe procedure for your employees.
In order to effectively manage the potential hazards and risks in your workplace, you’ll need to start by following these steps;
- Where are the hazards?
- What kind of risk is posed and how serious is the associated illness/injury?
- What are the most appropriate hazard control method/s?
- How can you keep an eye on hazard control to make sure everything’s working appropriately?
It’s also worth looking at what sorts of physical protections you can put in place to keep your employees safe. For example, you’ll want to install railings in places where exposed machery is present, or install emergency stop buttons in all your machinery and equipment.
2) Communication is key
Once you have identified the potential hazards within your workplace, you need to make sure that everyone on site (employee or visitor) is aware of the potential risk.
It is important to host site training and education seminars/briefs. This way you can be sure that all your workers are aware of the potential danger.
You will need to ensure that your employees don’t forget about safety measures and that visitors are aware of where potential dangers are located. That can include a mandatory safety brief for visitors or guests who find themselves on the floor at your business.
3) Invest in new safety equipment
We aren’t just talking about gloves and hi-vis vests either – even the humblest of PPE and safety equipment are making huge strides in sophistication. Here are a few of the more interesting examples:
- Glasses and goggles that are strong enough to resist bullets
- Boots that can detect hazards
- Apps that turn your smartphone into panic buttons
These are just some of the safety innovations that are slowly making their way into workplaces around the globe.
Even if you can’t justify shelling out for the absolute latest, it’s still worth looking into new safety equipment and PPE which you can integrate into your workplace.
4) Bring your workplace safety signs up to scratch
While quite basic compared to high-profile advances such as “smart” eyewear, you can’t deny that workplace safety signs are a crucial part of the workplace safety equation.
Whether it’s industrial manslaughter that’s on your mind or you’re simply looking for an affordable way to convey the risks at your workplace, safety signs are essential for helping you manage your workplace and communicate emergency procedures.
Signsmart’s safety signs and their meanings
Our team at Signsmart supply a range of important hazard signs for workplaces nationwide.
Hazchem and EIP signs
There are extremely strict safety procedures associated with the storage and transport of petroleum and hazardous chemicals.
For the safety of your team and the public, you need to ensure that your employees follow the correct procedures.
In order to do this, you will need to acquire the correct hazchem and EIP signage. In addition to identifying hazardous materials and cargo, they will provide your team with both handling and storage information, as well as the procedures to follow should spillage occur.
Dangerous goods signs and labels
When the correct procedures are not followed, dangerous goods can cause serious injury.
In the light of the Victorian Government’s plans for industrial manslaughter laws it is more important than ever to have the correct safety signs and meanings!
Site safety panels
Site safety panels are essential to any work site. They quickly communicates the potential dangers that may be present within the work site, and educates the reader on appropriate precautions to take while on site such as mandatory PPE.
If you are about to begin construction or you site safety panel has faded or become damaged, you need to invest in a new site safety panel immediately!
Are you starting construction soon and need you site safety panel fast? Signsmart’s specialty is delivering hazards signs and meanings quickly.
Give us a call, and we can even have a workplace safety sign or custom sign printed and dispatched within a day!
Safety signs for corporate properties
You may think that an office setting is an odd place to need hazards signs – if you ask us however, every workplace needs safety signs, no matter the industry.
Let’s face it, cars are a lot more dangerous than we give them credit for. If you have your own on-site car park, you’ll want to take every reasonable measure possible – it is the most dangerous part of your office, after all!
Consider installing wide-angle mirrors so drivers can easily identify pedestrians, bystanders and traffic around corners. Another good idea is to set a speed limit in your office car park, with appropriate traffic signs.
Need workplace signs, ASAP? Signsmart delivers…
… and we mean that in both senses of the word!
The team at Signsmart specialise in delivering high-quality signage on tight deadlines. Our mission is to make your workplace safer, and if that means we have to work double time to get workplace safety signs to you on time, then we will!
Our signs are 100% Australian made, shipped out from our workshop if Fitzroy, in Melbourne.
We offer our clients a hands on, personalised service. Unlike other sign manufacturers, we understand no two workplaces are identical – as such, our approach to signage needs to accommodate for this.
If you are need in of specific safety signs and meanings our design team can custom make you one.
What’s more, we’ll also work with you to ensure that:
- Your signs use the right colours
- You use internationally-recognised iconography
- Safety signs and their meanings are immediately understandable
- You get the right size of sign
Yes, as you can see there’s a lot that goes into safety signs!
Luckily, we take care of all that for you. All you need to do is give us a call on (03) 9687 3050, tell us what it is you are after and we will do everything else. You don’t need to worry about a thing!
So, what are you waiting for? Contact us today!
You can also visit us for custom site signs in Melbourne: pop into our office at 122 Whitehall Street, Footscray, VIC 3011.