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Small Biz Matters – a half hour program each week where you can work

ON your business rather than IN it.

Workplace Incidents

With Alexi Boyd from Boyd Office Management Services

There have been a couple of incidents lately involving my loved ones which made me think about Workplace Incidents in general and how important it is for Small Business to be aware of them, and how to deal with them.

There is lots of info on the WorkCover NSW website about this and to quote “The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act) creates a duty on persons conducting a business or undertaking to notify WorkCover immediately after becoming aware that a notifiable incident arising out of the conduct of the business or undertaking has occurred”

So we’re going to look at some examples of workplace incidents and whether in those instances things were handled correctly by either the employee or the employer. Today’s and the next few weeks’ shows are really about highlighting the importance of this topic for small business.

Let me also say this isn’t the “too hot” coffee situation at McDonalds. We don’t want to live in a society where no one takes responsibility for their own actions and absolutely, that view is fair enough but this is about making sure in a serious situation it’s not ignored both prior to the incident occurring and afterwards.

 Part 1 – Workplace Incidents and Near Misses

  • I know a lot of businesses I deal with haven’t yet familiarised themselves with this info, I guess it’s one of the aspects which is pushed down the list of priorities and will be dealt with, should an incident ACTUALLY happen, rather than preparing in the event of one possibly occurring.
  • Because the reality is, when a serious incident occurs not only is the individual affected but also the employer – how are you going to make up for the loss of a worker? How are you going to feel if a near Miss was identified and you did nothing to stop it happening again?
  • What are they and how are they defined? Workcover says A “notifiable incident” means:
    • the death of a person, or
    • a serious injury or illness of a person, or
    • a dangerous incident.
  • You also need to investigate near misses too, to ensure a serious accident can’t occur.
  • Again to quote the WorkCover website: “The reason for investigating an incident or near miss is to determine: the cause or causes of the incident; to identify any risks, hazards, systems or procedures that contributed to the incident; and to recommend corrective action to prevent similar incidents.
  • Incidents should be investigated by people knowledgeable about the type of work involved at the time of the incident. HSRs or relevant workers should also be involved in the investigation.
  • An incident /near miss investigation report should answer the WHO, WHERE, WHEN, WHAT, WHY and HOW questions with regard to an incident.”
  • So here are some examples:
    • Burn incident
    • My incident

 Part 2 – Next Week

  • This week we’ve got Sarah Collison on the show, an expert in the field of workplace rehabilitation to chat about how you can support your staff returning to work after a serious workplace injury.