Tag Archives: workplace safety

Benefits of an Injury Management Course

Jane Carn is the Workplace Health and Safety and Injury Management Manager at Valued Independent People Inc (VIP).

My background was in care.  I worked on ‘the floor’ in a 24-hour care home in England for six years.  In the last two years I was an Assistant Manager. I worked for two companies and was the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) representative for both.  I had input into the health and safety of both places.  Most of my OSH knowledge is through on-the-floor experience so I am building up my training.

I came from England to Australia so I needed to learn all the different laws and regulations.  I completed the 2-day Occupational Health and Safety Refresher Course at Aurenda to build up my knowledge.  I also completed the Injury Management Course. A lot of knowledge that I now use in this position was covered in the course.  I am currently studying for my Certificate IV in Health and Safety.

I have worked at Valued Independent People Inc (VIP) for about 10 months. VIP is a disability sector organisation that provides support for adults with disabilities and dual diagnosis mental health issues to participate in the community. I am the workplace Health and Safety Manager which includes being the Injury Management Coordinator.  I work with the staff and our individuals making sure they are all practicing workplace health and safety and following manual handling guidelines.

On a daily basis I receive all the incident and accident forms. I investigate them all and where further actions arise from my investigations, I pass them on to the relevant people to address.  I observe the workplaces making sure people are following the policies and procedures and people are happy in their work and write and amend policies and procedures as required. I provide support to all staff and they can ask me any questions. I manage the Health and Safety Representatives in the bases (VIP has four bases) and make sure they are up to date with their health and safety knowledge. I make sure they have access to the current OSH procedures.

In my Injury Management Coordinator role, if someone gets injured at work I follow the procedures in getting them to the doctor, and that is where Aurenda come in. They are the middleman between VIP and the workers compensation insurance company. I send them all the paperwork and they deal with the insurance company. They are there on the end of the phone if I need to ask any questions.

The Injury Management Course was three days full of information. Coming from England, there was no injury management side of things when I was there. I came into a job with minimal knowledge and the course was fabulous. I have been here nearly a year and managed to get quite a few claims through. I also understand what goes on even though I have a lot more to learn.

Aurenda are also very helpful and support me. In the course we went through all the company implications, the process that a claim needs to go through, the input that we need to have with the worker. Aurenda give you a lot of strategies to work with in different cases.

Video of Jane speaking about Aurenda’s courses 

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Filed under Aurenda, Health and Safety Representatives, Injury Management, Injury Management Training, Manual Handling, Occupational Health and Safety, Occupational Health and Safety Training, Workplace Injury

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.

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Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities in Australia 2010-2011

The Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities, Australia 2010–11 Report by Safe Work  Australia found that 374 people died from a work-related traumatic injury in 2010–11. This is the lowest number of work related deaths in eight years.

The following are other statistics from that report. We must remember that these are more than statistics, they are 374 people who lost there lives in tragic circumstances.

As the Safe Work Australia Chair, Tom Phillips said “a single death is still one too many.

  •  220 workers (59%) died from injuries incurred at work; 110 workers (29%) died from an incident while travelling to or from work and 44 people (12%) died as a bystander to someone else’s work activity.
  • Two thirds of the work-related fatalities in 2010–11 involved vehicles. Half of these incidents occurred on a public road while the other half occurred at a worksite.
  • More than a quarter of workers who died were working in or around a truck.
  • Australian workers aged 65 years and over had the highest fatality rate. There were 10.54 deaths per 100 000 workers aged 65 years or over. This was nearly six times the rate for all workers.
  • Younger workers aged under 25 years had the lowest fatality rate of all age groups. There were 0.88 deaths per 100,000 workers in this age group. This was the lowest rate recorded for this age group in eight years.
  • The Agriculture, forestry and fishing industry had the highest number of fatalities with 60 deaths in 2010–11. This was followed by the Transport, postal and warehousing industry with 42 deaths and the Construction industry with 39.
  • Close to one quarter (24%) of all worker fatalities occurred while working on a farm.

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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.

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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.

 

 

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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

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Is my injured worker allowed to choose his own doctor?

Yes, the legislation allows a worker to choose the doctor of their choice to manage their work place injury.  

However an employer retains the right to have their worker reviewed by a consultant doctor. You can refer them to your own doctor and they can choose their own.  So if they don’t have their own doctor, you can refer them to yours or if they choose their own, they would see two doctors. As part of your Injury Management Process, your company should have a nominated Consultant Doctor who is familiar with industrial health injuries and your workplace and its operations.  You can contact Aurenda on (08) 6389 8900 to discuss a suitable medical practice to assist with your workplace injury management.  

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