A recently released report by statutory body Safe Work Australia found that there has been a steady decrease in work related injuries and fatalities since 2003. Their 2021 “Work-Related Injury Fatalities” report noted that there has been an overall decrease in all kinds of work-related injuries and fatalities over the past 18 years within Australia, across a wide range of high-risk industries, including transport, construction, and manufacturing. These findings are a positive development for businesses across Australia, as growing concern about developing regulatory compliant, safe business practices has seen organisations across Australia conducting audits of their operational practices to identify potential risks to employees, and then take active steps to mitigate them. This article will discuss how this increased focus on safe working practices has resulted in a steady decrease of work-related accidents across Australia for almost two decades.
Stronger safety standards for high-risk industries have reduced onsite accidents
According to the report, the most high-risk industries for Australian businesses include agriculture, construction, manufacturing, and mining. For example, the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry had 13.1 work-related fatalities per 100,000 workers in 2020. However, this is a statistical decrease from previous years, which could be attributed, in part, to the higher safety standards that many workplaces are implementing.
Achieving regulatory compliance, mitigating onsite risks, and creating a safe, supportive workplace for staff is something that most businesses are concerned about, and they are taking active steps to demonstrate their commitment to safety by certifying to an internationally recognised Business Management System, or commissioning qualified experts to conduct an onsite audit of their workplace to identify risks, and help them develop strategies to control them.
Many companies in high-risk industries are being proactive in this regard, by commissioning a certified occupational hygienist to visit their worksite, to identify the full scope of occ. hygiene risks the business may be exposing its staff to, such as poor ventilation, dust exposure, insufficient chemical handling practices, and so on, and then working with the business to develop clear, effective strategies for bringing the risks to compliant levels, and ensuring they stay there.
Further, many businesses are implementing the ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety Standards, which help companies develop compliant, effective work health and safety practices across their worksites, that promote both physical and mental staff wellbeing. Further, businesses in the accommodation and food services industry can ensure the safety of the food they work with across the entire food supply chain by implementing the ISO 22000 Food Safety Management System, while businesses that operate in loud areas can prevent work-related injuries by having their staff undergo audiometric testing to measure potential hearing loss in staff, or commission a noise assessment of their worksites, to ensure all onsite noises are within compliant levels.
Compliant practices protect your staff and operations from risk
In short, regulatory compliant practices protect your business, and its employees, from a range of risks. Regardless of the industry your business operates in, or the risks it may be exposed to, by working to achieve regulatory compliant practices you are ensuring the safety of your staff, and helping to ensure the decrease of work-related injuries and fatalities continues.
Our specialist consultants are here to help
Depending on the industry your business operates in, it may be exposed to a range of risks that could endanger staff, and threaten the stability of the operations. To get on top of this, please contact our specialist consultants today by filling out this simple contact us form, or by phone on 1300 802 163 for a quick, no-obligation consultation. All you need to do is tell them a bit about your company, including its industry, location, how many staff are typically onsite, and so on, and they can discuss with you what your business should be doing to work at creating a safer workplace, thus ensuring the safety of its staff. Doing so demonstrates a commitment to safety, and shows regulatory bodies that your operations is working to meet its obligations, and uphold its reputation in the process. Doesn’t that sound like a pretty safe idea?
Please click here to read about how internal audits help businesses develop an effective Work Health and Safety Management System.