Recently in the news, it was announced that the Queensland Work Health and Safety Prosecutor filed three charges against Dreamworld’s parent company Ardent Leisure, for failing to comply with its health and safety under the Work Health and Safety Act.
The Thunder River Rapids Ride tragedy claimed the lives of four people at the theme park on the Gold Coast in 2016. With the maximum penalty being $4.5 million in total, the three breaches relate to Dreamworld’s failure to comply with its health and safety duty, exposing individuals to a risk of death or severe injury.
This unfortunate incident has highlighted the importance of Risk Management. It has led to the state tightening workplace health and safety prosecution laws, as well as introducing new safety regulations for amusement rides.
Risk Management – what does it involve?
The WHS legislation* requires businesses to manage work health and safety risks, and outlines a four-step process:
1, Hazard Identification
It is crucial to examine hazards and tasks in the workplace to identify all potential hazards, especially hazards that may not be obvious at first glance. Workplace incidents and records can also be investigated to help determine the risks involved in the activities undertaken.
2, Risk Assessment
While a risk assessment is mandatory for high-risk activities, it should also be carried out in situations when there is uncertainty or lack of understanding about how the hazards may result in injury or produce risks. Assessing risks can help determine the risk severity, effectiveness of existing control measures, and the urgency of actions required to control the risk.
3, Risk Control
The most effective control is to eliminate the hazard, which should always be the aim. However, if elimination is not reasonably practicable, then the risk must be minimised as much as possible by implementing engineering controls, isolating the hazard, or substitution. Further administrative controls or the use of PPE may also be applied to minimise remaining risks further.
4, Review Risk Controls
There are always changes within a workplace, and therefore, risk control is an ongoing process that needs to be reviewed regularly. The WHS also specify certain situations whereby a review or if necessary, a revision of control measures is required, such as when a new hazard or risk is identified.
Risk Management not only helps to identify hazards and assess risks, but it is also a necessary process that allows you to be mindful of the tasks and activities that you undertake in your business. If you need assistance with a Risk Management Plan, the team at A1 Safety Matters can help. Our experienced and qualified safety consultants can help you develop a comprehensive Risk and Safety Management System tailored to your business. We can also provide training and an implementation plan to help your staff understand the requirements and processes.
Don’t take the chance and hope that ‘nothing will happen’ in your workplace. Get in touch with us today: (07) 5661 9044 or firstname.lastname@example.org