After workers were injured in an incident onsite where a Safe Work Method Statement identified a risk and outlined a clear control for the risk, that was not implemented as identified, the business has received a fine of more than $200,000 plus costs.
In discussing the case the WA Commissioner noted “although a control measure to mitigate the risk had clearly been identified and documented, nobody at Salini directed this control measure to be implemented or checked whether it was in place. Unfortunately, I regularly see instances where a safe work method statement or job safety analysis has not been implemented as written”
The failure to follow the SWMS resulted in serious and sever injury to the worker.
Learnings for all business
“Put simply there is a requirement to identify risks, to identify controls and to ENSURE that the controls are followed. It is at this last step that this business failed” explains ACAPMAs Elisha Radwanowski.
“Paperwork is part of the solution. But paper does not protect people….practice does. All the policies, procedures, SWMS and instructions in the world will not keep workers safe if there is no active implementation. If the practice onsite does not live up to the paper work, people will get hurt, and business will face penalties” added Elisha.
The Commissioner summed it up himself “it is important that workplaces develop safe work documentation, but it is even more important that they ensure the work is carried out in accordance with those procedures”.
Here to Help
Safety Highlights are things to consider, implement and watch out for in your business. They are provided as general information for you to consider and do not constitute advice. You should seek further advice on your situation by contacting your legal advisor. ACAPMA members can access resources and receive advice, guidance and support from the ACAPMA employment professionals via email@example.com , it is free for members. ACAPMA Membership delivers this and more benefits, see; https://acapma.com.au/membership/ for more information.
Elisha Radwanowski BCom(HRM&IR)