Enforceable Undertakings Produce Positive Outcomes
Incident Alert:- A worker was injured after a forklift ran over his foot; The worker was in the exclusion zone; The result an Enforceable Undertaking.
The building products distributor involved in the above incident entered into an Enforceable Undertaking in 2012 with Workplace Health and Safety Queensland. The case study featured in their onsite traffic management and pedestrian safety project this year.
According to Worksafe.Qld.gov.au – “An Enforceable Undertaking (EU) operates as an alternative to a court imposed sanction for an alleged contravention of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, Safety in Recreational Act 2011 and the Electrical Safety Act 2002. EU’s take the form of a written, legally-binding commitment to implement effective health and safety initiatives. These initiatives are designed to deliver tangible benefits for workers, industry, and community as a whole.”
The company was required to engage a consultant to conduct a traffic management system audit across three states and implement improvements. The consultant visited each worksite and discussed the issues with managers, supervisors, truck drivers, forklift operators and workers. The purpose being to clarify how the operation worked, production capacities, lead times and other business constraints.
Although the company believed it was working safely, there were a number of safety issues – workers and forklifts operating too close to each other; truck drivers not clear about site safety rules, pedestrian walkways not always in the safest of locations and trucks loading/unloading too close to forklifts. Each worksite also had specific hazards that required individual traffic management plans. The results showed the importance of consulting with the people who have to work with identified hazards.
In September 2015 as part of their safety engagement strategy, PBF Australia was invited on-site to present their Injury Prevention Workplace Program to this company’s Brisbane workforce. A powerful enhancement to existing OH&S systems, the program tackled lack of safety engagement with their work force. Consulting closely with the client, PBF Australia identified the safety priorities to be addressed and tailor-made a program to facilitate change.
With lasting impact the principal messages involved:
- Appreciation that unsafe work practices put at risk all the things we value.
- Accept that Safety is a Core Life Value.
- Demonstration of the potentially devastating consequences of unsafe work practices.
- Testimony from a person who sustained a spinal cord injury at the workplace.
During 2016 Workplace Health and Safety Queensland inspectors will visit construction, manufacturing, transport and agriculture businesses to raise awareness of the risks and assist them to implement traffic management processes. For further information you can visit worksafe.qld.gov.au.
To find out more about PBF’s Injury Prevention Workplace Programs click here.