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What to do when health and safety measures in your workplace fail

by , 15 October 2013
You have a legal obligation to manage health and safety risks in your company. But, what do you do when risk controls fail? Read on to find out...

While you develop and implement risk control measures to reduce the risk of these controls failing, people aren't perfect and systems are open to human error, equipment failures and even natural events outside of your control.

For example:

  • An operator could step into a restricted area to unblock a conveyor and be struck on the head by moving parts of the machine.
  • Ammonia gas could leak from a refrigeration unit and the wind could cause a cloud of ammonia to blow over the school next door.

So what do you do when your controls fail?

The reality is that there will always be events outside of your control. 'The key is to consider the type of emergencies that would happen if your risk controls fail,' says the Health & Safety Advisor.

The Advisor adds that you must develop and implement an emergency preparedness and response plan. The plan must include all the possible emergencies you could experience in your working environment.

Remember, you have a responsibility to provide and maintain (as far as reasonably practicable) a safe working environment for your employees. This includes being prepared for emergencies and having an action plan your company's should health and safety measures fail.

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