Document Sample
Accidents Powered By Docstoc
					Follow workplace procedures for
accidents and emergencies

                  Accidents                                          2

                  Accident investigation                             3
                      Incident notification                          3
                      Register of injuries                           5

                  Emergency planning                                 7

                  Fires and explosions                               9
                      Procedure in case of fire                      10

                  Fire extinguishers                                 11

                  Other emergencies                                  12
                      Chemical spills                                12
                      Bomb threats                                   13
                      Occupational violence                          14

                  Summary                                            16
                      Check your progress                            16

Reading: Follow workplace procedures for accidents and emergencies    1

     Accidents are unplanned and undesired events that result in injury to people
     or damage to property, and incidents are unplanned and undesired events
     that have the potential to cause injury or damage.

     Accidents and incidents, including ‘near misses’, can tell us a lot about the
     types of risks that can arise from work activities. Whether or not injuries or
     damage result from an incident, investigation of the causes can be a valuable
     aid to hazard identification and risk assessment. They can also reveal
     weaknesses in a system that was supposed to control the risk.

     For these reasons, it is important to report incidents and keep records of
     them. Some kinds of accidents, incidents and dangerous occurrences, as
     well as some kinds of work health problems, should be reported to

2                            Reading: Follow workplace procedures for accidents and emergencies
Accident investigation

                  The cause of an accident may not be obvious. Investigation may reveal
                  several co-incidental causes, making a chain of causation factors, none of
                  which would have been sufficient on its own to cause the accident. Poor
                  maintenance, inadequate training, poor planning or too much pressure to
                  meet deadlines can all contribute, as can the work environment. The aim of
                  the investigation is not to assign blame, but to understand the various factors
                  that contributed to the accident happening, with a view to preventing it from
                  happening again.

                  Incident notification
                  Notification of work-related incidents to OHS authorities is a legal
                  requirement of both the workers compensation and occupational health and
                  safety legislation. In New South Wales this authority is WorkCover NSW.

                  The following is a list of relevant legislative provisions:
                         Section 44 of the Workplace Injury Management and Workers
                          Compensation Act 1998
                         Clause 32 of the Workers Compensation Regulation 2003
                         Sections 86 and 87 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000
                         Clauses 341, 341A, 342, 343 and 344 of the Occupational Health and
                          Safety Regulation 2001.

                  To read the above sections and other legislation in force go to the
                  Government of New South Wales Legislation home page at:

                  From 1 September 2003, work-related incidents under clause 341 are called
                  incidents. Previously, these incidents were called accidents and other
                  matters. Also from 1 September 2003, there is a new simplified incident
                  notification system in NSW. The types of incidents that should be reported
                         Serious incident involving a fatality or a serious injury or illness.
                          Notify WorkCover immediately by phone and the workers
                          compensation insurer within 48 hours.

Reading: Follow workplace procedures for accidents and emergencies                                3
          Incident involving an injury or illness to workers, where workers
           compensation is or may be payable. Notify the workers compensation
           insurer within 48 hours.

    Serious incident with no injury or illness, but is immediately life
    threatening. Notify WorkCover immediately by phone plus notify
    WorkCover within seven days to make full report using the online form or a
    printed version.

    Incident with no injury or illness, and is not immediately life threatening.
    Notify WorkCover within seven days using the online form or a printed
    version. This form is available at the WorkCover website at:

    These provisions include non-workers, for example visitors of customer at
    the workplace.

    When notifying, you will be asked questions about the incident. Some
    information will only need to be provided when there has been a death,
    injury or illness. This information is marked with an asterisk*.

    Employer information:
          name of employer
          address (street address, suburb, postcode)
          ABN number
          type of industry.

    Notifier information:
          name of notifier
          phone number.

    * Injured person details:
          name of injured, ill or deceased person
          residential Address (street, suburb, postcode)
          date of birth
          phone number
          non-worker category (eg. visitor, customer).

    Incident details:
          date of incident
          location of incident (location, street, suburb, postcode)
          description of how incident happened
          description of injury, illness or death*.

4                              Reading: Follow workplace procedures for accidents and emergencies
                  Insurers may ask for more information.

                  Occupiers of workplaces/employers must keep the following records about
                  the notification for at least five years after the notification is given:
                         a record of the date, time, place and nature of the incident/injury
                         a record of the date of notification and the way in which the
                          notification was given
                         a record of any acknowledgement given by the insurer or

                  These records must be made available for inspection by a WorkCover
                  inspector or an authorised representative of the worker. An entry in the
                  Register of Injuries kept under is a sufficient record of an injury to a worker
                  for notification purposes. The record of any acknowledgement of the notice
                  can also be kept as part of the Register of Injuries.

                  Register of injuries
                  Under Section 63 of the Workplace Injury Management and Workers
                  Compensation Act 1998, employers are required to keep a register of
                  injuries that is readily accessible in the workplace. The manager is
                  responsible for this register of injuries. The Register of Injuries a current
                  record of any injuries suffered by workers, whether they result in claims or
                  not. You should fill in the Register even if the accident is small and seems
                  insignificant. You may need to provide this information in case you have to
                  make a workers compensation claim.

                  Sample of the Register of Injuries
                  Employers can draw up their own injury register. However, it must be
                  reproduced in the prescribed form.

Reading: Follow workplace procedures for accidents and emergencies                                5
    Table 1: Register of injuries logbook

     Register of injuries logbook

     Name of injured worker:
     Industry in which worker was engaged:
     Operation in which worker was engaged at time of injury:
     Date of injury: Hour: am pm
     Nature of injury:
     Cause of injury:

    (Note: Entries in this book should be made in ink.)

6                              Reading: Follow workplace procedures for accidents and emergencies
Emergency planning

                  Employers need to establish plans and procedures to cope with fire and
                  other emergencies. Emergencies can result from events such as leaks or
                  spills, fire or explosions, mechanical failures or other incidents.

                  Legislation which deals with this is contained in the Occupational Health
                  and Safety Regulation 2001:
                         clause 17: Employer to provide for emergencies
                         clause 62: Fire and explosion – particular risk control measures.

                  There should be contingency plans in place to deal with the types of
                  emergencies that might arise. Workers should be informed about these
                  plans, including evacuation procedures. These plans should include:
                         warning, alarm and sprinkler systems
                         first aid facilities
                         available and location of emergency equipment
                         accessibility of lists of emergency organisations with contact details,
                          key personnel with their contact details and responsibilities
                         emergency drills.

                  The purpose of an emergency plan is to:
                         provide written and clearly displayed procedures to be followed in
                          the event of emergency evacuation
                         give specific duties to individual staff members.

                  A plan should be widely displayed on noticeboards, clearly worded and
                  include a floor plan of the building layout. All exit locations and meeting
                  points should be included on the plan.

                  The following information should be considered when following an
                  emergency preparedness procedure:
                         recommended evacuation procedures
                         reporting and appropriate response procedures
                         first aid facilities and services
                         fire fighting equipment.

Reading: Follow workplace procedures for accidents and emergencies                                  7
    Look at the following office floor plan and note that it shows an employee
    the quickest and safest way to exit the building.

          Figure 1: This plan shows an employee the quickest and safest way
                                  to exit the building

8                          Reading: Follow workplace procedures for accidents and emergencies
Fires and explosions

                  Three factors are needed for a fire or explosion to occur:
                           fuel: any solid, liquid or gas that can burn
                           oxygen: from the air and also from chemical reactions
                           heat: flames, sparks, cigarettes etc.

                  If you discover a fire or see/hear an explosion, remember the six steps to
                  1       Sound the alarm immediately.
                  2       Tell everyone to get clear.
                  3       Advise the fire brigade.
                  4       Fight the fire—if you have been trained to do so.
                  5       Evacuate the building.
                  6       Do not re-enter the building until the all clear has been given by the fire

                  For electrical fires, remember to turn off the power.

Reading: Follow workplace procedures for accidents and emergencies                                  9
     Procedure in case of fire
     Here’s what to do in case of a fire.

          Figure 2a: Sound the alarm                        Figure 2b: Tell others

       Figure 2c: Advise the fire brigade        Figure 2d: Fight the fire if trained to
                                                               do so

             Figure 2e: Evacuate                  Figure 2f: Stay clear of the building

10                            Reading: Follow workplace procedures for accidents and emergencies
Fire extinguishers

                  Extinguishers are colour-coded so that you can easily identify them.
                  Extinguishers that contain water, for example, are colour-coded red. This is
                  important to know because you cannot use water to put out fires involving
                  live electrical equipment. You could get electrocuted.

                  Remember that a fire extinguisher is only the first step in fire fighting. All
                  small fires can quickly become big fires—and an extinguisher is no
                  substitute for the fire brigade.

                  The table below lists the main types of extinguishers, their colour codes and
                  their special uses.

                  Table 2: Main type of fire extinguishers

                   Extinguisher       Colour      Electrical         Paper   Fuel    Gas   Toxic   Purpose
                                                                             & oil

                   Water              red         No                 Yes     No      No    No      cooling
                   Foam               blue        No                 Yes     Yes     Yes   No      smother
                   CO2                red with    Yes                Yes     Yes     Yes   No      smother
                   Halon/BCF*         yellow      Yes                Yes     Yes     No    Yes     smother
                   Dry chemical       red with    Yes                Yes     Yes     Yes   Yes     smother

                          *Were recalled in 1995 for disposal. They should be replaced with a CO2
                          or dry chemical extinguishers.

                  Remember: after a fire, don’t put the empty extinguisher back on its rack.
                  This may cost someone his or her life at a later date. Arrange to have it

Reading: Follow workplace procedures for accidents and emergencies                                   11
Other emergencies

     Other emergencies include:
     1       Chemical spills
     2       Bomb threats
     3       Occupational violence.

     Chemical spills
     Many substances used in offices may be hazardous. Users should find out
     how that substance should be actually used (this may be sufficient). The
     next step to take is to develop and implement any control measures required
     as a result of the assessment, if warranted. In most cases, following basic
     precautions outlined in the Material safety data sheet (MSDS) will be
     adequate. For example, it may be necessary to wear gloves and a mask when
     changing certain powder toners in printers.

     To find out more about Material safety data sheets go to Western Australian
     Government’s website on Consumer and employment Protection at:

     The specific page for notes about Material safety data sheets is:

     Reading HAZCHEM codes
     When dangerous goods are stored on premises, or are transported by road or
     rail, HAZCHEM codes must be displayed. These codes show:
             type of hazardous substance
             what to use for fire fighting or to clean up spill
             any reaction risk
             PPE to be worn when dealing with the incident
             if evacuation is necessary.

12                                Reading: Follow workplace procedures for accidents and emergencies
                  The number in the bottom corner of the diamond represents the class of
                  dangerous goods. For example:

                  Class 2         Compressed gases (flammable, toxic, oxidising gas)
                  Class 3         Flammable liquids
                  Class 4         Flammable solids; spontaneously combustible substances; gas emitting
                                  substances (when mixed with water)
                  Class 5         Oxidising agents/organic peroxide
                  Class 6         Toxic substances
                  Class 7         Radioactive substances
                  Class 8         Corrosive substances
                  Class 9         Miscellaneous dangerous goods

                  Bomb threats
                  A bomb threat is usually received at the workplace by telephone. If
                  received, it is important to remain calm as the information given and replies
                  to questions asked by the person taking the call, could be of vital assistance
                  to authorities. Try to keep the caller on the telephone as long as possible. If
                  a telephone bomb threat is received:
                         Take a note of the exact time, voice characteristics (such as accent,
                          impediment and diction), estimation of the approximate age, boy or
                          girl, man or woman.
                         Listen for background noises, music, traffic, laughter or other
                         Try to find out from the caller where the bomb is located.
                         Question the caller as to their knowledge of your premises.

                  Questions to ask the caller include:
                         What time will it explode
                         Where did you put the bomb?
                         When did you put it there?

Reading: Follow workplace procedures for accidents and emergencies                                       13
           What does it look like?
           What type of device is it?
           Why are you doing this?
           What is your name?

     If a written or typed bomb threat is received, the note should be handled by
     a minimum number of people to preserve fingerprints. It should not be
     altered in any way ie not stapled or written on, but placed inside an envelope
     large enough as to not fold it. Take note of date and time received, the
     person who received the note and mode of delivery.

     Suspected devices should not be touched, tilted or tampered with.

     Occupational violence
     In Part 2, Division 3 of the NSW OHS Act 2000, it is stated that:
            All persons must not:
            Disrupt a workplace by creating health or safety fears.

     The OHS Act protects psychological welfare as well as physical safety. It is
     the responsibility of employers to ensure that personal threats of any kind
     are not allowed in the workplace.

     Workplace violence, harassment and bullying
     Violence includes verbal and emotional threats, physical attack to an
     individual’s person or property by another individual or group. The level of
     fear an individual feels and the way they respond during and after a violent
     act relates to their own experiences, skills and personality. Violent acts
           Verbal base in person or over the phone
           Threats of a sexual nature
           Threats of violence
           Ganging up by a group over an individual
           Physical or sexual assault.

     Violent behaviour can escalate from intimidating body language, to verbal
     threats and physical violence.

     Staff need training in how to recognise the possibility of violence occurring
     and how to respond in the event of verbal and physical attack. All workplace
     procedures should be geared towards preventing this occurring in the first

14                             Reading: Follow workplace procedures for accidents and emergencies
                  WorkCover Guide 2000 Violence in the Workplace offers these practical
                  suggestions for controlling violence risks:
                         Provide a secure work environment.
                         Install and use physical barriers and security systems.
                         Remove the motivation or incentive for violence.
                         Ensure effective management including selecting the right people for
                          the job, fair employment conditions, training, employee consultation
                          and regular supervision.
                         Change the method of contact between clients and employees to a
                          remote service — use telephone instead of face-to-face interaction.
                         Limit client interaction to times when there is a safety in numbers for
                          your staff.
                         Ensure that work systems and service do not provoke aggression
                          from clients.
                         Deter offenders by making it known that security measures are in
                         Provide detection measures.
                         Where staff must work alone or in isolated locations, keep in contact
                          with them
                         Ensure that workers can get to and from work in safety
                         Ensure that workers are not alone when dealing with potentially
                          violent clients.
                         Where it provides an additional, back-up safety measure that is
                          necessary and acceptable to employees, provide employees with
                          training in self-defence.

                  Staff training programs should cover specific violence control in your
                  workplace. In consultation with employees, a Workplace Violence
                  Prevention Policy should be developed and implemented.

Reading: Follow workplace procedures for accidents and emergencies                              15

     Following workplace procedures for accidents and emergencies is a
     requirement of the OHS Act 2000 and Regulations 2001. Effective
     management of emergency procedures by employers ensures the safety of
     employees and members of the public visiting the workplace. Workers are
     required to follow emergency procedures. Employees require adequate
     information and training so that they can contribute to their own safety and
     the safety of others. By providing such information and training, employees
     ensure they meet their legislative requirements.

     Check your progress
     Now you have completed this learning object, reflect on the skills you now
     possess. You should be able to contribute to workplace health and safety by:
           Being able to list different types of emergencies and their appropriate
           Identifying legislation relating to emergencies and OHS procedures.
           Following emergency/evacuation plans.
           Following workplace procedures for accidents and emergencies under
            direct supervision.

     Now you should try and do the Practice activities in this topic. If you’ve
     already tried them, have another go and see if you can improve your

     When you feel ready, try the ‘Check your progress’ activity in the Preview
     section of this topic. This will help you decide if you’re ready for

16                           Reading: Follow workplace procedures for accidents and emergencies

Shared By: