Identifying the hazards and managing the risk in the workplace is an essential task for creating a safe environment. The accidents in the organization has to be prevented or evaded to avoid the negative repercussions on the company, for this reason, the safety and risk management plays a vital role (theintegratedgroup, 2018). Every organization is obliged to observe and report expected hazards and take safety measures. To make an organization workplace safer for all stakeholders, WHS (work health and safety) legislation has been made to improve workers compensation arrangements and work health and safety across Australia. An organization must encounter the WHS requirements according to state acts and regulations, otherwise, the penalty would be imposed (business.gov, 2018). For this, a case from Australia has been taken, “Canberra Construction Company.” This discussion will consider the brief about the case, what was the safety aspects leading to the incident, and how, the company responded to the incident. Moreover, measures that could be taken to avoid or prevent the incident would also be discussed further.
Canberra Construction Company
In 2012, a Canberra construction company found responsible for the death of a truck driver and has been fined $1.1 million under new national work safety laws. The Kenosis case was Australia’s first case where a company was penalized, and punished under “nationally- harmonized laws of work health safety” when Michael booth delivered Kenoss Contractors a load of material, he was electrocuted (ABC.NEWS, 2018). At the time of the incident, Mr. Booth was entered to unload his delivery but unfortunately, his bucket touched to the power lines, which were a low line and caused an electrical arc and Mr. Booth loss his life. Kenosis attempt was heard by the court, to hamper the investigation into the death, but was found the conduct of Breach of “Work Health and safety Act 2011” The penalty imposed for breach of safety by the organization is $1.1 million. In the company, the authorities’ officer, who has the power to make decisions, had exercise control and use capital expenditure substantially. Since Al-Hasani (project manager) was not authorized to conduct an official duty, Among Al-Hasani and Kenoss, Kenoss (the subcontractor) was found guilty for breach of the act (canberratimes, 2018). Kenoss subcontractor was O’Meley Truck Hire for whom Michael Booth was working, state that “never had a site induction or attended a safety talk prior to attending the site.” Although the site had a sign of “construction site, keep out” on the gate but the gates were not locked at the time of incident.
SAFEWORK Australia works with the organizations who affect good work safety and health practice. This includes workers compensation authorities, WHS regulators, employer association, and unions, to resolve this issue. SAFEWORK provide appropriate legislation to solve the issues related to health and safety. Safe work Australia act 2008, are responsible for carrying out research and developing national policy when it comes to workers compensation (safeworkaustralia, 2018). Under the “Harmonized work health and safety laws,” The Act industrial Magistrates Court had stated that the obligation of “officer” and identify a major change, which includes appointment of officer who will be responsible for safety at each workplace. In the case, if Al-Hasani would responsible for the safety of sites or was appointed as officer, the death would not have occurred (Austarlia, 2016).
Safety Breaches and how it could be avoided
Safety breaches and the way they can be avoided, the safety breaches that the court found was first, live power lines warning flags were not there, to avoid this situation the contractor could have applied safety signs or no entry area around the live power lines. Secondly, Kenoss poor management – the management of the workplace, placement of power lines, and employees were very poor. This incident could have avoided if the power lines, the work, and the safety measures would have been properly managed (enhancesolutions, 2018). Thirdly, poorly managed work site – the work site was not managed properly according to the work health and safety measures legislation. The power lines should not be lower at the ground that to be without any signs. This incident could be avoided if the site was managed properly, with appropriate positioning of machines, loading area, and other labor work. Fourthly, power lines were live during the work - this was clearly the sign of carelessness regarding the safety of the employees at the workplace. The live wire could have the harm anybody working there. This could have avoided if the power lines were kept off during the work. Fifthly, no locks were there on the gate and were appeared as if the area for dumping material – the gate was not even locked, or a guard was not there to inform the entering vehicle about the compound and risk involved in the area. This situation could have easily avoided by keeping the gate locked, to unable anyone to enter the area with the risk involved (Sadiqi, 2016).
Impact of safety breaches
The safety breaches and this incident had impacted a lot to the company, employees, contractors, and most importantly the driver who died in the incident. The company has a negative impact over its reputation, due to found the poor corporate culture of the company. Company financial position is also hampered, because of large penalty fined to the company. The impact to the employees includes, the loss of job, as the company was not at its operating position for a long time, employee dissatisfaction for the company increased, and they must have felt unsafe to further work for the company. The death of the truck driver has impacted the life of Ms. Walker as well. Legal repercussions have been imposed on the company and subcontractor (Kenoss).
Different measures to prevent the happening
To prevent this incident from happening, the different measure could have taken, that includes:
Firstly, informing the management about potential safety hazards – the risk must be identified and informed to the management, who could be either not at all aware about the risk involved or have limited knowledge. The employees must be trained to actively look for any risk observed or anticipated and inform to the management (Holt, 2015).
Second, emergency action plan, a responsibility for the charge of safety must be given to a person and Emergency action plan must be created for the uncertain situations at the worksite. For this, management could train employees to take immediate actions at the time of incidents like emergency exits, lock-in strategies, and evacuation strategies (Neves, 2014).
Third, appropriate risk management – this involves identifying and hazards control, to avoid any uncertain happening, management must do a risk assessment, where the risk is being identified well before the occurrence and measures to avoid those risks are taken. In this case, the risk of electric shock should be assessed in advance and measures like safety signs, power off the wire and many such measures could have taken, and the death of an innocent would not have occurred (safetyaustraliagroup, 2018).
Fourth, comply with the regulation, the management must comply with regulations and act. To maintain health and safe environment in the organization a company should adhere to legislation, work health and safety act 2011 could have been amended to avoid the incident (Enright, 2014).
Fifth, train employees – the employees must be provided training to avoid the risk, as if prevention measures that employee must take, the employees must understand the risk involved, and the employees must take breaks because fatigue is the major cause of accidents (Bunn, 2015).
Sixth, use of proper equipment, the management must provide proper equipment’s to the workers to prevent risk, for example, use of gloves with electricity work, or use of eyeglasses and many more (Jordan, 2018).
Seventh, the establishment of active health and safety workplace committee – a policy that emphasizes health and safety at the workplace, addressing all possible hazards, conducting meeting considering the relevance of safety, commit the resources like money, time, and personnel to protect the employees (safetyworksmaine, 2018).
Eighth, continuous improvement, the management should improve the risk management process, the environment is continuously changing, and so to the risk, this need management to control risk management continuously that involves assessing of new risk involved in the workplace. The review must be conducted timely to improve the existing system (Winter, 2017).
Employees measure to prevent the incident
If a person is working in this company, he or she could address this issue or prevent the incident by following measures:
First, taking responsibility, it is the responsibility of every person working in a firm to maintain safety at the workplace. Being part of the organization, keeping a check if the safety is not been hampered for the co-workers the incident could be avoided. If the power on were have noticed by any of the workers and he or she had off the switch, the death of a person would not have occurred (Mcllwraith, 2016).
Second, amend to act and regulations - the rules and regulation provided by the company regarding work, health, and safety could have taken seriously, and adhered to those rules, could have avoided the uncertain happening at the workplace.
Third, report any risk anticipated to the superiors - if the employees notice any risk or unsafe condition, this could be reported immediately to the management to take corrective actions and prevent an incident to happen (Sadgrove, 2016).
Fourth, use machines and tools properly – the use of machine and precautions are taken to use those machines must be clear and used accordingly to prevent any accidents.
Fifth, stay sober, if a person is working at a factory or worksite where risk is involved, he should be able to coordinate, exercise judgment, alertness is not compromised, and concentration level is high so that the risk for fatalities and workplace injury do not occur.
Sixth, wearing safety equipment correctly – it is the duty of all workers to wear correct equipment to avoid the risk involved like safety goggles, earplugs, gloves, and many more (Neves, 2014).
To conclude the discussion “Work Health and Safety act 2011” regulates the safety at the workplace in Australia. For this, the case of Canberra Construction Company was taken for the discussion. According to the case, the subcontractor of the company that is Kenoss contractor was found guilty for the breach of WHS Act for the occurrence of death of a driver due to lower power lines. The Safe Work Australia has imposed a penalty of $1.1 million fine to the company. Safety breaches include switched on poor management of the contractor at the worksite; power lines were live during the work; no person was appointed to take care, no safety boards were there, and known risk was not acknowledged. The measurements could have been taken to avoid this incident by proper risk management, regular control over risk, the appointment of the appropriate committee considering safety in the organization, and providing training to employees. The employees are also responsible in an organization for the safety and mitigate risk for co-workers. To prevent the incidents, employees must adhere to rules and acts provided by the organization regarding safety, proper use of tools and machines, equipment must be used correctly, stay sober at the workplace, and informing management if any unsafe environment is observed.
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