Safety in the workplace - does your organisation know the drill?
In the event of a safety incident in the workplace, an employer will need to be able to demonstrate that they took all reasonable steps to prevent the incident from occurring.
Most employers will already have policies and procedures in place and ensure that their employees are trained on them. But if an incident occurs at your workplace, will your employees actually know what to do? This is where drills on your policies and procedures can add enormous value to an organisation.
Safety partner, Leveasque Peterson, said, "Drills or hypotheticals are a really good way of proactively managing your safety obligations. They allow your staff to see how your policies and procedures will work in practice and to understand their responsibilities and how to discharge them in a high pressure situation.
"We recently ran a drill for one of our pro bono clients, Lord Somers Camp and Power House. This organisation takes its safety responsibilities and risk management very seriously and wanted to ensure that its employees were fully trained and prepared. Our client found the scenarios really useful in terms of risk management and developing the skills of their volunteers, as well as capacity building within the organisation."
Safety lawyer, Dr Dru Marsh, said that while conducting drills is only prescribed by law in certain circumstances, practising emergency procedures generally could be considered best practice, adding that, "From the regulator's point of view, what is best practice today will be industry practice tomorrow.
"We would definitely advise organisations to devise and undertake hypothetical response exercises to address the highest risk aspects of their activities, both for better preparation and to stress-test their emergency response systems before the real deal occurs."
About Lord Somers Camp and Power House
Lord Somers Camp and Power House aims to create a stronger, more inclusive society through service to others. Their services include a range of camps, programs and activities held in inner and outer Melbourne and the Somers campsite in Victoria. Their programs are designed for people of all ages, backgrounds and communities, and cover youth development, community development, life-long learning and positive ageing.
The camp photo below is reproduced with permission from Lord Somers Camp and Power House.