Key learning: Village Managers have significant responsibilities and accountabilities for safe work practices.
Last week in Sydney we had Colleen Harris, who is the Metropolitan Chief Inspector for Worksafe NSW, give a presentation on the responsibility of Village Managers – and operators – to provide a safe working environment (Colleen pictured below inset).
You will have a reasonable understanding of the responsibilities as an employer of workers, but you also have some responsibilities for contractors and others visiting or doing work in the village.
This is a serious subject. As the slide at the top shows, in NSW for example, Worksafe inspectors have more ‘power’ than the police when they enter a workplace to demand information etc.
This list gives you a taste of your obligations as a front-line manager:
- The need for WHS to be discussed on a regular basis with staff and sub-contractors
- Ongoing review of safe work practices
- The requirements for Standard Operating Procedures for operation of plant
- Provide safe systems of work particularly in relation to heights, plant and chemicals
- The storing and use of chemicals
- The need for protective personal equipment
- Induction of staff, contractors and volunteers
- Regular instruction, training and supervision to do their work in a way that is safe and without risk to theirs or others health
Remember, at times the common areas, staff offices, bowling green, and even residents’ homes may be considered a workplace by an inspector in the event of a workplace incident.
This month, August, as part of the DCM Institute Village Management Professional Development Program, we cover Legislation in each state.
If you are part of the VM program you can download the WHS checklist as part of the month-end materials.