Category Archives: Work Health and Safety

FAQ: Working from home, workplace safety and workers’ compensation.

Question:

An employee has asked to work from home. It is possible from a productivity point of view. What happens in relation to Workers’ Compensation?

Answer:

Having home-based employees is becoming more common due to the changes in flexible hours, technology and productivity. However, having your staff working from home does raise issues that you cannot ignore when it comes to Work Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation.

“When you allow an employee to work from home, you surrender control of their environment and working habits, so it’s essential to take the time to prepare in order to avoid landing in hot water. Fear of legal action shouldn’t deter you from encouraging flexible work practices, but it does mean that you should take measures to protect yourself should a crisis strike.” http://www.businessroom.com/en/Article/Categories/Managing/Workers-compensation-for-employees-that-work-from-home

If you decide to go down the path of allowing employees to work from home on a regular basis, be proactive in your approach:

  1. Maintain regular workplace health and safety training and include home-based work safety examples.
  2. Discuss the protocols for home workplace safety upfront. Make sure your staff members understand their responsibilities.
  3. As the employer, you have a duty of care to provide a safe workplace wherever your employees are based – and this includes their home. Conduct a workplace audit of their home working environment.
  4. Employee workplace safety responsibilities still exist at home so they must identify unsafe situations and report hazards, incidents and injuries. Provide them with specific training in conducting worksite risk assessments and place expectations on them to provide your safety personnel with the outcomes of these assessments.

Ultimately, if your home-based employee does suffer an injury in their workplace (their home!), they may well be covered by workers’ compensation.  However, there are parameters that need to be met for an injury to be considered under workers’ compensation, ie did work contribute to a significant degree to the injury?  Your workers’ compensation process should be initiated to enable a proper and fair assessment of the situation to be undertaken prior to a decision on liability.

Leave a comment

Filed under Aurenda, Occupational Health and Safety, Work Health and Safety, Workers Compensation

Minehealth assessments are no longer required.

From the 12th January 2013, Minehealth assessments are no longer required in the Western Australian mining industry. The Department of Mines and Petroleum has released a fact sheet explaining the details.

Frequently asked questions on health surveillance of mine worker

  From the FAQ sheet – “Two comprehensive epidemiological studies of the database conducted in 2010 and 2012 showed that these assessments neither prevented nor detected ill health at an early stage.  The cessation of the MineHealth system on 12 January 2013 allows the industry to apply a more risk-based approach to health surveillance. Employers are responsible for identifying the hazards in their workplaces, assessing the risks to workers’ health and wellbeing, and eliminating or mitigating those risks. “

“Some mining companies may still require potential employees to undertake a pre- employment health assessment. ”

For the full details and information sheet click here

Leave a comment

Filed under Aurenda, Minehealth assessments, Pre-employment, Work Health and Safety

Work Safe Plan

A WorkSafe Plan is an assessment process that rates safety and health management systems and directs attention to areas that could be improved. It provide a systematic way of measuring how well it is being managed.

The WorkSafe Plan is suitable for organisations of all sizes and can be used to:

  • Provide information on desirable safety and health management practices
  • Identify strengths and weaknesses in safety and health management systems
  • Provide a measure for safety and health performance
  • Implement a cycle of continuous improvement
  • Compare performance with organisations in the same industry
  • Gain recognition for standards achieved in management of the organisation’s safety and health systems

If an organisation wishes to request a WorkSafe Plan Certificate of Achievement, issued by the Department of Commerce WorkSafe Division, an independent, qualified Assessor must complete an assessment and rate the safety and health management system.

If your company or business would like to be assessed against the WorkSafe Plan please don’t hesitate to contact Kelvin Murphy on (08) 6389 8900 or kmurphy@aurenda.com to arrange for a work place Audit.

Leave a comment

Filed under Aurenda, Work Health and Safety

Injury Management Coordinators Course

Aurenda is excited to announce the introduction of our Injury Management Coordinators Course!

This is the first Employer-Focused program offered of its kind. Learn injury management principles from Australia’s Leaders in Injury Cost Reduction.

Aurenda’s Injury Management Coordinators Course will provide participants with insight into the many aspects of workers’ compensation. Attendees will gain skills and knowledge to enable those who have workplace injury management responsibilities to manage their injured workers in line with the rights and obligations contained in the Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 and Regulations.

Audience: Aurenda’s Injury Management Coordinators Course is designed for anyone who has responsibility for supervising or managing injured workers in the workplace. If you are a Safety Advisor, OSH Rep, Return to Work Coordinator, HR/Administration Advisor, involved in Payroll, or a direct Supervisor or Manager, this is an essential program to learn practical skills to proactively manage injured workers and their claims.

Course Focus: Aurenda’s three day course in injury management encompasses a multitude of topics that are relevant to the effective management of workplace injuries.

Day One:

  •     Workers’ Compensation Legislation
  •     Understanding Workers’ Compensation Premiums
  •     Applying a Compliant Injury Management System
  •     Weekly Payments
  •     Insurer’s Responsibilities
  •     Statutory Settlements and Closures

Day Two:

  •     Injury Management Systems in WA
  •     Planning and Developing an Injury Management Policy
  •     Injury Management Procedure
  •     Processing Claims
  •     Responsibilities of all Parties
  •     Develop rehabilitation programs and return to work plans
  •     Identifying alternate, modified or suitable duties

Day Three:

  •     Implementing Return to Work Strategies
  •     Effectiveness of Rehabilitation Services
  •     Communication Strategies in Workers’ Compensation
  •     Case Studies
  •     Managing Complex Claims

Optional Assessment
Completion of assessment for the unit below will constitute partial completion of Certificate IV of OH&S (BSB41407) or the Diploma of OH&S (BSB51307) qualification: BSBHIRM509A (Manage Rehabilitation or Return to Work Programs)

Our inaugural course is only a few weeks away. Be one of the first to enrol!

Duration: 3 days
Course Date: Wed 25 | Thu 26 | Fri 27 July 2012
Course Times: 8.00am – 4.00pm
Course Fee: $1,100.00 (includes GST component in relation to catering)
Registration Form: To download the Registration form Click here.

Don’t delay, take this opportunity of registering your interest at: training@aurenda.com

Leave a comment

Filed under Aurenda, Health and Safety Representatives, Injury Management, Occupational Health and Safety, Work Health and Safety, Workers Compensation, Workplace Injury

Q. A worker has sustained a serious injury in my workpalce. Who do I need to advise?

When someone is injured at work you are obliged to contact the following organisations:

  • If you are a client of Aurenda, contact us on (08) 6389 8989 – we will provide the next steps;
  • If you are not a client of ours, you will need to contact your insurer; and
  • Depending on the severity of the injury, you may also be required to notify WorkSafe WA or the relevant Authority in your state.

In Western Australia, reporting is required for employees who suffer death/ injury/ disease at work or at employer-provided residential premises as described under s23G(2) of the WA Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984.

Types of injuries that must be reported to WorkSafe WA:

  • Death.
  • A fracture of the skull, spine or pelvis.
  • A fracture of any bone in the arm, other than in the wrists or hand, or in the leg, other than a bone in the ankle or foot.
  • An amputation of an arm, a hand, finger, finger joint, leg, foot, toe or toe joint.
  • The loss of sight of an eye.
  • Any injury other than those referred to above which, in the opinion of a medical practitioner, is likely to prevent the employee from being able to work within 10 days of the day on which the injury occurred.

Types of diseases that must be reported:

Infectious diseases:

  • tuberculosis,
  • viral hepatitis,
  • legionnaire’s disease and
  • HIV

where these diseases are contracted during work involving exposure to human blood products, body secretions, excretions or other material which may be a source of infection.

Occupational zoonoses (diseases spread from one species (animals) to humans):

  • Q fever,
  • anthrax,
  • leptospiroses and
  • brucellosis

where these diseases are contracted during work involving the handling of, or contact with, animals, animal hides, skins, wool, hair, carcases or animal waste products.

Leave a comment

Filed under Aurenda, Injury Management, Work Health and Safety, Workplace Injury

Safety saves lives, injuries and money says new study

How often do we say that prevention is better than the cure?  Aurenda has been saying it for over ten years now. Money, time and effort spent on safety and injury management now (prevention) saves you later with fewer lost time injuries, decreased injury claims and – potentially – lower workers’ compensation premiums.

So someone in America has done a study.

The new study, co-authored by Harvard Business School Professor Michael Toffel, Professor David Levine of the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, and Boston University doctoral student Matthew Johnson, examines workplace safety inspections conducted by California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA). It will be published in Science journal.

The study found that within high-hazard industries in California, inspected workplaces reduced their injury claims by 9.4 percent and saved 26 percent on workers’ compensation costs in the four years following the inspection, compared to a similar set of uninspected workplaces. On average, inspected firms saved an estimated $355,000 in injury claims and compensation for paid lost work over that period. What’s more, there was no discernible impact on the companies’ profits.

The cost savings applied to both small (less than $2000) and large (more than $2000) workers’ compensation claims, and the reduced injuries and cost savings lasted for at least four years after the inspection. These findings suggest the inspections had a lasting, across-the-board effect.

“We spent several years collecting data, not just on injuries, which is very important, but also on other indicators to see whether inspections led to problems they are often accused of causing – like whether they increased costs and led to the elimination of jobs. We looked at company survival, employment, sales and total payroll to see if inspections were detrimental to the employers,” said Levine.

“Across the numerous outcomes we looked at, we never saw any evidence of inspections causing harm,” Toffel explained. “If OSHA inspections conducted in all 50 states are as valuable as the ones we studied, inspections improve safety worth roughly $6 billion to employers and employees, ignoring pain and suffering. The overall message of our research is that these inspections worked pretty much the way one would hope. They improved safety, and they didn’t cost firms enough that we could detect it.”

From Science http://www.sciencemag.org/content/336/6083/907

This study was applied to high risk industries, small to large enterprises and the results were the same: workplace site inspections and audits saved the business money in the long run. At Aurenda we say “because injury costs” and here is the proof.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Aurenda, Injury Management, Occupational Health and Safety, Work Health and Safety, Workplace Injury

Keeping it safe – 10 tips to a safer workplace

Safety in the workplace is all about KEEPING ourselves and each other safe.

Here is Aurenda’s top ten tips to KEEPING it safe.

The Workplace

1. Keep everything well maintained

Equipment needs to be maintained in good working order and the staff knows how to use it.

2. Keep it clean

A clean workplace is easier to keep safe
Clean up spills or mess straight away

The Workers

3. Keep everyone  involved

Involvement leads to ownership of safety

4. Keep communicating

The staff must feel comfortable speaking up about something that is unsafe
Managers or bosses need to follow up their concerns.

5. Keep safety equipment on

Hardhat, boots, safety glasses, masks, clothing, gloves, seatbelts,

6. Keep an eye out:

For breaches in safety
Employees doing procedures the wrong or unsafe way

The Information

7. Keep Instructions clear and precise

As if you were reading something for the first time
Never assume workers know how the machinery works safely

8. Keep everyone updated in
Health and safety rep training (Aurenda runs regular accredited courses and refreshers)
First aid training
Changes in procedures

9. Keep alert to:
Legislation  changes  (Aurenda is up to date. Follow us on Social Media channels)
Unsafe procedures
And

10.Common Sense
Let’s all look after each other out there

1 Comment

Filed under Aurenda, Health and Safety Representatives, Occupational Health and Safety, Work Health and Safety, Workplace Injury