The client’s problem
A metal manufacturing company identified that their health and safety management system’s effectiveness could be improved.
There was a widely held belief throughout the company that WHS was a reactionary process controlled by the WHS Coordinator. Consequently, WHS initiatives proved difficult to implement. Organised, planned or systematic methods did not have the commitment of all employees and managers.
Metal fabrication and manufacture is a hazardous industry associated with high risk levels, requiring logically planned controls to either eliminate hazards or significantly minimise risk.
The company’s executive management recognised the need to redevelop its approach to safety and decided to operate its WHS programme based on a schedule of monthly and internal audits of each department’s processes.
The CEO participated in audit training, led audit teams and conducted his own audits.
Internal audits followed protocols set down by ISO standards such as 9001 / 19011 and monitored the following major elements:
- Analysis of WHS performance data and statistics
- Communication, consultation, and cooperation
- Emergency planning
- Hazard elimination & risk reduction
- Housekeeping & the workplace environment
- Incident reporting and investigation
- Loss prevention & risk management
- Monitoring health
- Safe assets, equipment, machinery & plant
- Safe systems (methods & processes)
- Site security
Hierarchy of Controls:
Since introducing the internal audit system there has been greater cooperation between managers, supervisors, employees and WHS Representatives.
Performance is now measured by the rates of hazard elimination, injury, rehabilitation cost and risk reduction, with steady improvement observed across all departments & functions.