Workplace Health And Safety Audit Essay

Question:

Discuss about the Workplace Health and Safety Audit.

Answer:

The implementation of an internal audit schedule

In simpler terms, an audit can be defined as the process which includes a systematic examination of different process and systems to determine their overall effectiveness. It can be stated that workplace health and safety (WHS) audit is essential for the long-term growth and sustainability of a business enterprise. The WHS audit of Perth Airport has been carried out by analysis of different areas such as operations at the airport terminal, baggage handling, support services within aircraft and air freight transportation services (Zohar 2014). The audit schedule consists of three different components which are the frequency of audit conducted, the scope of internal audit and selection of WHS auditors. The level of risk present in activities such as manual task such as pushing, carrying and lifting the objects at Perth Airport is very high, and this is a primary reason behind conducting internal audit twice in every three months.

The internal audit has been conducted twice in every three months with an objective to determine whether operations and activities are according to health and safety laws or not. The scope of each internal audit was to determine the effectiveness of WHS management system within Perth Airport. At the same time, the audit has supported in identifying the critical loopholes present in the existing WHS management system of the audit (Wirth & Sigurdsson 2013). Based on the information collected through the audit, some recommendations are provided for future improvement.

Nominating workers to carry out appropriate audit

The workers selected for carrying out internal audit are certified auditors from a registered training organization. Furthermore, the workers also have in-depth knowledge and experience of the critical requirements linked with WHS management systems. At the time of carrying WHS audit of Perth Airport, the WHS coordinator has notified the auditor with a schedule of audit along with aim and objectives which need to be accomplished.

The findings of internal audit

At the time of the carrying out internal audit of Perth Airport, the auditor has examined various areas with an objective to identify the health and safety issues with regards to airport operations and other services offered (Shea et al. 2016). It can be stated that the number of workplace injuries in the aviation industry is very high. However, it has been found that in Perth Airport, the number of workplace injuries is not too high and can be considered as moderate. The findings indicate that the practices linked to workplace health and safety at the airport is satisfactory. The analysis of Perth Airport’s key areas is mentioned below as:

  • Manual task – The risk of injuries while carrying out a manual task such as pushing, baggage handling, and moving wheelchairs is very high(Hale, Borys & Adams 2015). It can be expressed that most of the injuries at Perth Airport are being caused due to these manual tasks and this area has been entirely ignored by the management of the airport.
  • Slips, trips and falls – It has been found by the auditor that the injuries caused due to activities such as baggage handling in wet weather and at the time of moving near ground support equipment are also very high (Hajmohammad & Vachon 2014). It is required by the management Perth Airport to take corrective measures to reduce the workplace injuries caused because of Slips, trips, and falls.
  • Fall from heights – The risk of getting injured because of falling from heights can be termed as moderate in context of Perth Airport. The rationale behind this is that the workers of Perth Airport are using adequate safety measures during aircraft access and cleaning.
  • Machinery guarding – The risk of injury with regards to activities such as equipment maintenance, conveyors, ground support equipment, maintenance shed is low as the works are taking adequate safety measures(Glendon, Clarke & McKenna 2016).
  • Safe movement of vehicles and mobile plant- The movement of vehicles within Perth Airport is also quite effective, and the risk of workers getting injured is very low.
  • Hazardous substances – It can be expressed that the risk related to hazardous substances at the workplace is also very high. The airport is required to focus on this area and needs to develop corrective measures to mitigate the risk present in this area.
  • Other risks – It has been found that the risk for workers in terms of infectious diseases while cleaning and waste removal is very high(Feng et al. 2014). The WHS management system of Perth Airport emphasize on using masks and gloves while cleaning but the staff members are not doing the same. On the other side of this, first aid and storage racking are the key areas which have well managed by the Perth Airport.

Communicating the audit findings to workgroup and management

The audit findings have been communicated with the help of channels such meetings and emails. Here, meetings are conducted to carry out discussion on findings with management whereas emails are used to communicate the audit findings to the workgroup. It can be stated that open channels have been promoted where other staff members are encouraged to provide their views and opinions in the process of decision making and strategy formulation.

Recommendations for improvement in WHS management systems

From the entire WHS audit carried out of Perth airport, it has been found that there are various loop-holes present in the existing management system (Ek, Runefors & Borell 2014). It is recommended that the management of Airport should review its WHS management system and should reframe the system by complying it with the workplace safety laws existing in Australia. It is also suggested that the management of Perth airport needs to emphasize on risks present in activities such as Slips, trips, falls and manual tasks carried out by the staff members. All the measures should be taken to ensure the health and safety procedures used by the Airport are effective. It is also recommended that the management of Perth Airport should focus more on providing training and development sessions to employees.

Here, official trainers can be contacted who can provide training sessions to the staff members. The training sessions will allow the workers to understand the strategies which can be used to avoid strains and injuries while carrying out manual tasks. In addition to this, it will also help staff members in getting aware of the baggage handling techniques which can be used in wet weather to avoid injuries. The last and most important recommendation is that Perth Airport should carry increase the frequency of WHS audit.

WHS audit practices are necessary for every organization as through this practice it is ensured whether the internal operations that are carried out within the business are safe or not. Considering the case of AIWT the internal WHS audit of the firm has supported in knowing that all the practices of the company that are carried out internally are not at all safe. Further, change is needed so that so that overall operations can be carried out smoothly and the internal environment of the business is quite safe, and through this, all the employees can easily participate in the business affairs (Dekker & Breakey 2016).


In case if the emergency evacuation drills are carried out on regular basis then in such case some issues are being faced where all the employees are not at all aware regarding how to respond in case of emergency. In order to deal with this issue it is mandatory to deliver training to the workforce so that employees can gain new knowledge and insights through which they can respond appropriately especially in case of emergency. Further, in order to deal with the present issues that are faced within AIWT some core components of the work health safety internal procedure can be undertaken whose main elements are as follows:

  • The first stage takes place with the implementation of an internal audit schedule where on weekly basis internal audit needs to be carried out so as to ensure whether employees are acting positively towards the emergency response programs or not(Carayon et al. 2015). Further, for the same training needs to be delivered so that they can know why emergency programs are significant and what results can be obtained if proper knowledge is present regarding the same.
  • In the second stage nominated workers are competent through training to audit to the proper level. So, in this case AIWT can organize workplace proposal for 2 weeks where they will be taught regarding the emergency response programs and how they have to respond in case of emergency(Antonsen 2017). This will surely lead to development of health and safety culture within the workplace in best possible manner.
  • In the third stage it is required to know about effectiveness of the WHS management system through which AIWT can easily know whether the WHS system developed within the workplace is effective or not and what other improvements are needed so that employees can easily react in the situation of emergency (Beus, Dhanani & McCord 2015).
  • In the fourth stage internal audit findings are recorded and they are communicated to the management. This is the most crucial stage through which top executives of the AIWT can know whether the workplace health and safety practices of the company are effective or not.
  • In the last stage corrective actions are recorded with the overall improvement in the WHS system internally.

So, all these stages can be followed by AIWT for developing its employees so that they can know about the corrective ways to respond in an emergency. Apart from this, it needs to be ensured that all the operations and practices are aligned with the WHS procedures so that every individual can respond positively.

References

Antonsen, S 2017, Safety culture: theory, method and improvement, CRC Press, Florida.

Beus, J, Dhanani, L, & McCord, M, 2015, 'A meta-analysis of personality and workplace safety: Addressing unanswered questions', Journal of applied psychology, vol 100, no. 2, p. 481.

Carayon, P, Hancock, P, Leveson, N, Noy, I, Sznelwar, L & Van Hootegem, G 2015, ' Advancing a sociotechnical systems approach to workplace safety–developing the conceptual framework', Ergonomics, vol 58, no. 4, pp. 548-564.

Dekker, SW & Breakey, H 2016, 'Just culture:’improving safety by achieving substantive, procedural and restorative justice', Safety science, vol 85, pp. 187-193.

Ek, ?, Runefors, M & Borell, J 2014, 'Relationships between safety culture aspects–A work process to enable interpretation', Marine Policy, vol 44, pp. 179-186.

Feng, Y, Teo, EL, Ling, FYY & Low, SP 2014, 'Exploring the interactive effects of safety investments, safety culture and project hazard on safety performance: An empirical analysis. ', International Journal of Project Management, vol 32, no. 6, pp. 932-943.

Glendon, A, Clarke, S & McKenna, E 2016, Human safety and risk management, Crc Press, Florida.

Hajmohammad, S & Vachon, S 2014, 'Safety culture: A catalyst for sustainable development', Journal of business ethics, vol 123, no. 2, pp. 263-281.

Hale, A, Borys, D & Adams, M 2015, 'Safety regulation: the lessons of workplace safety rule management for managing the regulatory burden', Safety science, vol 71, pp. 112-122.

Shea, T, De Cieri, H, Donohue, R, Cooper, B & Sheehan, C 2016, 'Leading indicators of occupational health and safety: An employee and workplace level validation study', Safety science, vol 85, pp. 293-304.

Wirth, O & Sigurdsson, SO 2013, 'WITHDRAWN: Reprint of “When workplace safety depends on behavior change: Topics for behavioral safety research”', Journal of Safety Research.

Zohar, D 2014, 'Safety climate: Conceptualization, measurement, and improvement', The Oxford handbook of organizational climate and culture, pp. 317-334.

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