Continuing industrial accidents and workplace injuries are calling for organisations to do more and this is where workplace safety training software can help. Managing OHS obligations is a continual and complicated task that requires expertise and effort.
Today, workplace injury includes both physical and psychological injury and employee mental health has gained prominence in the past few years. Terms such as “mentally healthy workplace” and “safe work environment” are now commonplace.
As a foundation, organisations need robust safety systems, procedures, job safety analyses, and risk assessments. Using those systems, they need to assess, mitigate and control risks that may impact OHS. Also, they must train their employees in safe work practices and maintain records of ongoing competence and here is where workplace safety training software can make these tasks efficient and straightforward.
How Do Employers Meet Their OHS Obligations?
The Australian Model WHS Act outlines an employer’s OHS obligations. As far as is reasonably practicable, the primary duty of care requires organisations to provide a safe working environment, by eliminating risks to health and safety.
Workplace safety training software can help to determine, monitor and train to meet OHS obligations. Employers must:
- provide and maintain a working environment that is safe and without risks to health, including safe access to and from the workplace
- provide and maintain plant, structures and systems of work that are safe and do not pose health risks
- safely use, handle, store and transport plant, structure and substances
- provide adequate facilities for the welfare of workers at work
- inform, instruct, train or supervise workers so they can work without risks to their health and safety and that of others around them
- monitor the health of workers and the conditions of the workplace to prevent injury or illness arising out of the conduct of the business or undertaking
- maintain any accommodation owned or under their management to ensure the health and safety of workers occupying the premises.
How Do Industrial Manslaughter Laws Affect Employers?
The introduction of industrial manslaughter laws in Australia is increasing the risks associated with running a business with many examining their processes, evidence of safe practice and insurance needs. Industrial manslaughter laws place workplace fatalities into the criminal arena and subject employers and managers to prosecution.
Currently, industrial manslaughter laws can inflict more significant penalties and prison time on an employer or owner of a firm than health and safety legislation. Many organisations are running around trying to get their houses in order and workplace safety training and records of regular training have become critically important.
How Does Training Help to Meet OHS Obligations?
When it comes to workplace safety, the primary goal is its effectiveness to keep employees and visitors safe. A critical area to meet your OHS obligations is training. Indeed, the aim is always to try to ensure training, in all its forms, is the appropriate response to address the type of work that the organisation performs. At the same time, organisations must provide evidence to regulating authorities that they are making safety their priority.
Workplace learning processes need to involve training not only to reproduce a work technique but also to develop a variety of strategies to cope with unforeseen or atypical situations. To improve relatedness, employers should always try to integrate learning about injury prevention strategies and safe work practices within their organisation’s context.
Organisations need to understand how teams identify and control hazards in practice and determine the level of exposure that they are prepared to accept for their people. To make safety training more impactful, they need to ensure it is reflective of the work environment and use engaging and interactive material.
They should develop the content with concise information on the actual ways they control hazards. Workplace safety training software can take on the heavy lifting to document hazards and control measures and to train the safe way to work around them.
Finally, as part of their OHS obligations, organisations need to improve and continually verify the safety knowledge of their employees.
When delivering training, they must measure and monitor safety knowledge retention. Workplace safety training software that provides robust reporting can help to manage and store training records for analysis in a continuous improvement cycle.
What Role Does Workplace Safety Training Software Play?
The ultimate goal is to eliminate injuries to protect employees and prevent the prosecution of companies according to industrial manslaughter laws. Training around high-risk activities plays a vital part in injury prevention.
What employers need to be aware of is high-risk activities need regular refresher training and the training delivery method impacts knowledge retention. Training that is passive and does not require decision-making is likely to go in one ear and out the other.
However, workplace safety training software that uses an engaging delivery method, for example gaming, quizzes, and micro-learning moves the learning from passive to interactive.
Organisations must have safety systems that are genuinely reflective of their operations and evidence of ongoing employee competence and compliance. Training plays a critical role and proof of competency around high-risk activities is imperative to protect both employees and the business.
Workplace safety training software can take much of the load to help organisations train their employees to meet their OHS obligations.