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Training and communication help WHS match growth

A Gold Coast joinery business is finding some of its key work safety indicators are improving after introducing simple changes to make sure its safety systems kept up with growth.

Australian Joinery Products has found its KPIs, hazard reporting and minor first aid non-conformance have improved since staff were provided training programs and they got more involved in safety decision making.

The cabinet-making business started in 2002 as a one-person operation but has since grown to employ more than 25 people. As the business prospered, safety systems lagged, which is when it contacted the Queensland Government’s Injury Prevention and Management program.

A joint initiative of WorkCover Queensland and Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, IPaM is free and available to any Queensland employer with a WorkCover Queensland policy, regardless of size or business maturity.

The company and its IPaM advisor agreed the two-year IPaM Advance program was the best suited to implement a structured, thorough and tailored approach to improve WHS and keep employees safe.

Systems and hazard reviews were conducted, along with a WHS climate survey. Elections were held for the appointment of worker health and safety representatives. A WHS committee was established and supervisors and leading hands trained on their WHS responsibilities.

A detailed action plan was developed, which included implementing:

  • a documented hazard and incident reporting process and hazard register
  • lock out/tag out processes for damaged or faulty equipment
  • undertaking risk assessments of manual handling tasks
  • developing pre-start checklists for plant/equipment
  • scheduling regular hazard inspections
  • a contractor induction
  • an organisational WHS newsletter
  • an assessment process confirming worker knowledge of induction information, and
  • an injured worker pack to help injured workers return to work.

AJP believes the IPaM program would benefit other businesses too by helping them identify where safety and injury management improvements can be made. Find out how IPaM can help your business.