An important part of managing your agency is to ensure the health and safety of your employees and other people who visit the agency. Current Workplace Health & Safety legislation requires all employers to provide a safe workplace for their employees and others such as contractors and visitors. This obligation extends to employees working on behalf of the agency at an external location. Key staff should be familiar with office premises including after hours access, heating and air conditioning and be capable of carrying out emergency procedures.
An area of particular concern for agencies is TV Production. The equipment and activity involved in this specialised area renders agencies and their contractors susceptible to hazardous conditions. If your agency is engaged in TV Production, you and your client and contractors should be aware of these additional responsibilities.
Good risk management is the key to OH&S and it should be a key priority for management. Effective workplace management will provide a safer and better environment resulting in greater job satisfaction and increased productivity. In addition, it minimises the potential damage to property which is a costly and inefficient exercise.
Given the complexity of the legislation, the Communications Council recommends that if agencies are in any doubt, they should seek their own independent advice.
In order to fulfil your agency’s accreditation requirements, agencies need to conduct a health and safety audit of the agency and take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure the safety of their employees.
If you are involved in TV Production, you will need to have an WHS Compliance Program for TV Production.
Agency Workplace Health & Safety Managers should complete the WHS training program
For further information you are encouraged to visit the Workcover website in your state.
New South Wales www.workcover.nsw.gov.au
South Australia www.workcover.sa.gov.au
Western Australia www.workcover.wa.gov.au
For TV Production
OHS Media Services - www.ohsmedia.com
To fulfill your obligation to provide a safe workplace, you need to identify the areas of risk and determine appropriate action to minimize accidents.
As an effective manager of WHS, the following points should be undertaken as part of your management process.
STEP 1 – Responsibilities for safety in the agency
Determine who is responsible for the overall implementation of the WHS plan. You should already have basic procedures in place; talk to management and find out who put these in place or who is best placed to conduct a review of the current situation.
STEP 2 – Working safely
Review the tasks undertaken in your agency. Plan to work safely by identifying risks in the manner in which work is carried out and the hazards associated with this. Use the checklist provided to identify these risks. Then you are in a better position to minimize accidents.
STEP 3 – Involve employees
As part of Accreditation, you will be informing all staff of the agency’s obligations in the program. Included in this discussion should be the WHS requirements and how staff can help the agency comply with legislation and accreditation. Encourage staff to inform management of problems immediately and set up a process by which they can do this effectively.
STEP 4 – Develop procedures
Once you have identified risks, you can begin implementing procedures to deal with accidents, should they occur. Again, staff need to be actively involved in this process and you will find a checklist to help you do this.
STEP 5 – Inform new staff
In the HR kit, you will find details on how to conduct an induction process. It is important to ensure that new staff members are informed of OH&S procedures and offered appropriate training if required.
STEP 6 – Monitor and review
Once you have procedures in place to manage OH&S, it will become easier to maintain a safe workplace for all staff. To do this, regular checks should be conducted and amendments made to address new areas of risk. As part of committing to Accreditation, your agency is required to maintain WHS standards.
Step 7 - Undertake training through the WHS Online Program