business clean up

Staying Safe When Repairing Your Business After A Storm Or Flood

In the wake of cyclone Debbie, many Queensland businesses will be spending the next couple of weeks cleaning up the debris left behind. Even in these difficult times, it’s important to stay vigilant in terms of your workplace health and safety. Here are our top tips for ensuring that you, volunteers and your employees stay safe during your business clean up.

ASSESS THE DAMAGE: Begin by assessing the damage caused and what work needs to be done, also ensure that you identify any hazards and note how to remove them in a safe manner. Plan out the order in which work should be completed so no new risks are unintentionally introduced and put measures in place so that if anything does go wrong, you and your team are prepared. Make sure that you have all the appropriate tools and safety equipment and that they are all in good working order.

ORGANISATION: Once you have made a full assessment of what work needs to be done and identified any risks or hazards, you’ll need to organise your work force. Dividing your clean-up crew into teams and assigning team leaders will help make the clean-up process much smoother, with teams being designated particular tasks. Before starting work, ensure that everyone is aware of potential hazards, health and safety procedures, emergency procedures and what to do in the event of an accident where someone is seriously injured.

WATER DAMAGE & FAUNA DISPLACEMENT: Arguably the two most dangerous hazards to watch out for when cleaning up after a flood are water damage to electrical equipment and wild animals that have been displaced due to severe weather. To avoid you or your clean-up crew suffering severe injury due to electrical damage, make sure to call a licensed electrical contractor to assess and repair any damage before beginning work. As for displaced wildlife, make sure your clean-up teams stay vigilant for snakes, spiders and other animals. If you do find a dangerous animal, alert the rest of the team, vacate the area and contact the appropriate wildlife authority. Do not attempt to move the animal yourself as this will aggravate it and could result in serious injury. We also strongly advice against harming or killing any wildlife, remember that humans aren’t the only species affected by severe weather conditions.

For expert advice on staying safe while you clean up your business, contact the team at Tony Lane Consulting today. We’re available 24 hours 7 days.

noise in the workplace

Noise In The Workplace

NOISE LEVELS AT WORK

There are many hazards that need to be taken into consideration in all workplaces, so what about noise levels? Hearing protection is required to be worn by workers in construction and similar such industries, but did you know that noise levels in restaurants and bars can range from 50 to 90 decibels? Under Queensland WHS regulations, employees must not be exposed to any noise exceeding 85 decibels over the course of a standard 8 hour working day. Should employers and business owners regularly check noise levels in the workplace?

Excessive noise in the workplace without proper protection often leads to premature hearing loss which, Worksafe Queensland warns, “can be a contributing factor to workplace injuries and accidents.” A simple way to determine if your workplace is exceeding noise levels is to answer these four questions:

  1. Do you/your employees need to shout to be heard by others at close distances?
  2. Are you/your employees finding it difficult to concentrate at work because of loud noise?
  3. Do you/your employees notice dull hearing when in a quiet space?
  4. Do you/your employees have ringing in one ear or both?

If you have answered yes to these questions, then we would strongly recommend organising a noise assessment for your workplace to prevent further hearing damage. Tony Lane Consulting have years of experience in workplace risk assessments and are available 7 days a week to work with you to implement realistic solutions and strategies tailored to your industry and your business requirements. Contact our friendly team today for an obligation free quote.

workplace health and safety consultant

Top 4 Ways A Workplace Health and Safety Consultant Can Help Your Business

As a business owner, finding a professional work health and safety consultant is just one of many things you must worry about, however, this should be your number one priority. For your business to be compliant with workplace health and safety standards, there are a range of practices you must have in place. For example, providing information and training for potentially hazardous activities, ensuring that first aid is readily available for injured or sick employees and implementing emergency plans, among many others. Learn more about your work health and safety obligations here.

So, you have an understanding of your health and safety obligations as a business owner. Why not take care of your WHS yourself? Well, there are huge benefits to calling in a health and safety expert who has years of experience behind them and understands safety legislation backwards and forwards, but here are our top four:

#1 – Compliance with WHS Legislation

A professional work health and safety consultant will ensure that all your bases are covered and that nothing has been missed.

#2 Keeping Workers Safe from Workplace Illness & Injury

At the end of the day, WHS regulations are there to keep your employees safe and healthy, avoiding time consuming and expensive lawsuits as well as maintaining a productive and happy work environment. A workplace health and safety consultant is able to provide professional, realistic advice to help you achieve this.

#3 Improving the Reputation of Your Company as A Safety Leader

In today’s society, the media is a heavy influence on most people’s thoughts and decisions. Huge companies like Apple, McDonald’s and H&M have had their reputations smeared by the media as a result of their lock of compliance with work health and safety legislation. In terms of WHS, it’s better to be quietly respected as a business that values their employees, rather than be a household name for poor health and safety practices.

#4 Improving Productivity & Profitability

Implementing a streamlined safety management system under the guidance of a WHS expert is a sure-fire way to increase productivity and, as a result, profitability. An employee working in a safe, healthy and comfortable workplace will undoubtedly be more productive than an employee who must take frequent days off because they became ill or injured at work.

If you would like to learn more about how a health and safety consultant can help your business, contact our expert team today via phone or email. We’re available 7 days and travel across Australia to help businesses of all sizes and industries establish, maintain and improve their workplace health and safety.

office ergonomics brisbane

Office Ergonomics

Ergonomics In The Workplace

There are considerable benefits that come with ensuring that your workplace has effective office ergonomic practices in place. For example, an office with a sound ergonomic setup will see less employee injury and increased productivity, resulting in more work being done and higher profits, not to mention happy employees.

Did you know that over 50% of work comp claims are related to MSD (musculoskeletal disorders)? Musculoskeletal disorder has a variety of other, more commonly used names including repetitive motion injury and overuse injury. Basically, a musculoskeletal disorder is anything from carpal tunnel to muscle strain caused by repetition and/or stress of the musculoskeletal system. These disorders are often due to poor workplace setup.

With office ergonomics, you can significantly boost the productivity and happiness of your employees as well as save money and stress. Here are a few of our top tips for improving ergonomics in your workplace:

  1. Encourage your employees to take short breaks to stretch and move around, particularly those who work at computers all day
  2. Spend a bit of money to purchase quality ergonomic equipment; you and your employees will be better off in the long run
  3. Perform regular assessments of your office chairs and other equipment
  4. Ask for advice from a professional ergonomics consultant

Tony Lane Consulting are available 7 days to provide professional, affordable and reliable office ergonomics consultations for businesses of any size or industry across Australia. Call or fill out a contact form and we’ll be in touch within one business day.

Learn more about office ergonomics.

risk assessment and management brisbane

Workplace Risk Assessments

Risk assessment is defined as a systematic process of evaluating the potential risks that may be involved in a projected activity or undertaking. When put into practice in the workplace, risk assessment is generally known as a workplace health and safety (WHS) or occupational health and safety (OHS) risk assessment. For businesses operating in Queensland, a Code of Practice is available to help manage risk in the workplace. The risk assessment process is a fundamental aspect of any business operating in Queensland, as it ensures that you are not only compliant with the Queensland Work Health and Safety Act but also that you are maintaining a safe environment for your employees. There are several formal risk management documents that can be completed within the workplace, such as:

  • Safe Work Method Statements
  • Job Safety Analyses
  • Take 5s
  • Risk Assessments
  • Permits To Work
  • And more

Risk assessments can also be an informal process. These days most business managers will simply observe the overall workplace environment as well as use common sense and experience to make sure that their employees are as safe as possible and performing daily duties in a safe and appropriate manner.

Risk Management In The Workplace

When managing a workplace, it is important to ensure that the most critical underpinning factor of your risk management process is in place; a concrete safety management system. Outlined below is a simple yet popular 4 step risk management process implemented by businesses across Queensland:

  1. Hazard Identification – What could cause harm to your employees?
  2. Risk Assessment – What is the likelihood of one of your employees being at risk of serious injury or otherwise by the identified hazard? What sort of harm could the hazard cause?
  3. Risk Control – What is the most practical and effective measure that can be taken to control the hazard and how can it be implemented?
  4. Review – Are the measures taken functioning as planned?

When implementing measures to eliminate or control the risk to a practical degree, the hierarchy of controls must be followed:

  1. Elimination – If possible, eliminate the factor that has been identified as a hazard.
  2. Substitution – Replace the identified hazard with an alternative that is safer or more reliable
  3. Isolation – Isolate the area in which the hazard is located from the rest of your business. Ensure that no unauthorised employee access is possible.
  4. Redesign – Manipulate the work process to ensure a safe environment for your employees
  5. Administration – Minimise the risk by procedural means (training and work procedures)
  6. Protective Equipment – Acquire protective equipment for employees working in direct contact with the hazard

Risk Management Consultants

Tony Lane Consulting have the experience and the knowledge to help you in identifying and controlling risks in your workplace. Get expert advice on reducing risk and improving your workplace health and safety compliance with Tony Lane Consulting’s expert consultants. Call us today to find out how we can help you.