Workplace Health Safety Environment and Quality Services
NECA SA/NT provides a wide range of Workplace Health, Safety, Environmental and Quality (WHSEQ) support, information and advice to members to assist them with managing their responsibilities in business.
The following outlines some of the main areas where NECA SA/NT can help you manage your WHSEQ requirements:
Interpretation of Legislation
Work Health Safety and Environmental legislation is a patchwork of Acts, Regulations, Codes and Standards. Often the devil is in the detail and sometimes things seem contradictory. To help you understand how to navigate the details of legislation and put them into the context of your operations it is worth giving the WHSEQ Manager a call.
Organising training for small groups can be frustrating and expensive. NECA SA/NT can coordinate training on a number of WHS issues including legislation. NECA SA/NT can deliver the training directly or where appropriate can coordinate that training from one of the registered training organisations who offer courses at a discount to NECA SA/NT members.
Safe Work Method Statements
Safe work method statements are required for all high risk work and are more and more required by clients for even routine work you perform at their premises. Many Principals are requiring that you develop SWMS at tender application stage. A safe work method statement can be developed after you have identified the hazards of the site and your operations and then how you assessed and controlled the risks associated with each phase or step in your work. The HSEQ Manager can assist you in the preparation of SWMS.
There is a legal requirement to conduct a risk assessment on any process, item of plant or substance before introducing it to the workplace. Documentation to support your risk assessments does not have to be complicated but does need to demonstrate that you have done all things reasonably practicable to identify the risks associated with operation of equipment and work process and that you have applied sufficient control measures to eliminate risk or at least reduced risk to an acceptable level. Seek assistance from the NECA SA/NT HSEQ Manager if you need.
Winning large contracts these days can require you to wade through many documents at tender stage. Safety Management Plans, Safe Work Method Statements, Risk Assessments, licenses, permits, and prequalification requirements all add to the confusion. For assistance in this regard, contact the HSEQ Manager.
An independent audit of your WHSEQ systems can be the best way of moving forward and continuously improving. An audit process allows you to steadily progress and set achievable objectives. An audit can evaluate individual WHSEQ systems or you overall WHSEQ programme. Audits can be made against established standards or against you own programme objectives. A fresh set of eyes can make a difference.
HSEQ Management System
NECA SA is able to assist members with establishing their own individualised Health Safety Environment and Quality (HSEQ) Management System which will help members to meet their responsibilities under the new Workplace Health and Safety Legislation 2012 and is independently certified. This industry based system was developed by NECA SA/NT specifically to meet the unique needs of electrical, communications, refrigeration and air-conditioning contractors in South Australia and is suitable to be applied and tailored to each individual member. Containing all of the relevant forms, safe work method statements, risk assessments and tools required, this resource is your best way to ensure that you are fulfilling your requirements under Legislation. If you would like to find out more about the HSEQ Management System, contact NECA SA/NT's HSEQ Manager.
We have developed for members a series of toolbox talks for employees that address a number of hazards and risks including typical situations that may be encountered at the workplace. These toolbox talks are designed to be delivered to small groups providing an ideal environment to have open discussions about WHS issues and conveying your expectations to them.
There are a number of accreditation schemes around that recognise your WHS programmes, environmental initiatives and quality performance if they meet certain performance criterion and format. In some instances, accreditation is necessary to be awarded federal government funded works. Principals are more often asking for sub-contractors to be accredited to some recognised standard as part of the pre-qualification process. While most accreditation schemes require independent evaluation NECA SA/NT can assist in the establishment of your safety, environmental or quality programme in preparation for accreditation.
In the event of a serious workplace incident that results in personal injury or significant asset damage it is important that you conduct a thorough investigation as soon after the incident as practicable. An independent investigation that records the; Who? Why? When? Where? What? and How? of the incident may serve you well in preventing similar incidents, improving your work methods and be invaluable in the event of further actions from the regulator, civil actions or even disciplinary procedures. The HSEQ manager at NECA SA/NT can provide this service.
An independent assessment and report of your worksites can provide you with a ‘point in time’ evaluation of how your WHS systems are being applied in practice. Reports from these inspections allow you to show that you are providing a safe work environment and provide you with guidance about where improvements can be made.
Improvement and Prohibition Notices and Caution Letters
If these are served upon you by a SafeWork SA Inspector it is important that you respond in a timely and appropriate manner. Contact the NECA SA/NT HSEQ Manager as soon as you receive one of these notices. We can also assist in a mediation capacity if you are having difficulties with the WHS or Environment regulators. It’s better to give us a call early in discussions. Improvement and prohibition notices are ‘remedial’ enforcement measures, not ‘punitive’ measures (i.e. they are not punishment). Caution Letter is for a minor breach, where it’s not in the public interest to prosecute.
Workers Compensation and Return to Work
Workers Compensation and rehabilitation and return to work of injured employees can create quite a distraction from your core business. Returning injured employees to their pre-injury condition and activities requires a joint effort between you, the injured worker your rehabilitation provider and the claims agent. No one expects you to be an expert at this function. Getting the process right and knowing what to expect from your claims agent and rehabilitation provider can result in significant savings and reduce your stress levels. Call the HSEQ Manager if you need assistance in this area.
For further information or assistance with any of the above please contact the NECA SA/NT office on (08) 8272 2966 or email our HSEQ Manager, Ben Simpson.