Showing posts with label Workplace Health and Safety. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Workplace Health and Safety. Show all posts

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Does your business travel overseas?

Smartraveller website screenshot

Does your business travel overseas? Maybe it’s for a short-term conference. Maybe it’s to buy or sell goods for your business. Whatever the need and however routine the trip may be, it is important that your business has a thorough travel plan.

To help with this, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has launched a Smartraveller business travel webpage External Link - opens in new window to advise Australian businesses operating overseas.

The webpage has been created to raise awareness of the importance of travel planning and risk management as an integral element in managing overseas travel, even for short visits to locations considered low-risk.

The new web page emphasises the need for Australians and Australian businesses operating abroad to understand the local threat environment, adopt robust protective security measures and develop reliable evacuation options.

Travel is inherently risky, even short-term travel to familiar overseas locations for meetings and conferences carries risks. The advice encourages employers to consider a wide range of factors in their risk assessments, including transport safety, environmental and health factors.

A range of potential threats confronting businesses operating overseas are highlighted, including violent crime, cyber-crime, involvement in commercial disputes and fraud, extortion and bribery.

The advice does not replace the Smartraveller country-specific travel advisories External Link - opens in new window but provides general information tailored to the needs of the business community. Business travellers, like all Australian travellers, are encouraged to register their travel details with DFAT External Link - opens in new window, subscribe to the travel advice for the country they are visiting and obtain appropriate travel insurance.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

How healthy is your workplace?

How healthy is your workplace? Is your business fostering healthy workplace policies and a supportive environment for your employees?

Australia, like many other developed nations, is currently seeing an increase in the burden of chronic disease. A 2010 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare study External Link - opens in new window found that 96% of working-age Australians had at least one chronic disease risk factor and 72% had multiple risk factors. Many of these risk factors are preventable and small changes to our lifestyle can make a big difference.

The ACT is no exception to this! A 2011 ACT Health study External Link - opens in new window reveals that there is plenty of work that Canberra workers can do to become healthier:
  • 20% of ACT workers reported as being smokers
  • 46% of ACT workers have inadequate fruit and vegetable intake
  • 23% of ACT workers consume harmful levels of alcohol
  • 65% of ACT workers do not undertake in sufficient levels of physical activity
  • 56% of ACT workers are overweight

Do you or your employees fit into any of these categories? 

Why not introduce a Health and Wellbeing program in your business. Programs can range from simple activities that only involve a small investment to a comprehensive program with a more substantial investment for large numbers of employees. 

Examples of what other local businesses have done include Belconnen Physiotherapy Clinic who arrange for fresh boxes of fruit to be available for staff free of charge in the kitchen area; Manteena Pty Ltd allow their staff to have 3 half hour physical activity sessions per week during their paid work time; and ActewAGL provide yearly health and fitness assessments for their staff.

Read more about theirs and other local businesses healthier workplace stories External Link - opens in new window

Benefits for your business could include increased staff morale which leads to better productivity, reduced sick leave/absenteeism, reduced long-term health problems, increased ability to attract and retain new staff and reduced risk of accidents and health-related litigation. 

You can get help with developing and implementing programs, policies and practices into you business through the ACT Government’s Healthier Work service. The service offers a range of free resources and supports including:
  • free phone, email and onsite support
  • a step-by-step guide to promoting health and wellbeing in the workplace
  • resources to support the implementation of healthy lifestyle programs and policies
  • free tools, including an online employee health survey and an organisational audit tool
  • links to workplace health and wellbeing providers
  • training and support mechanisms for workplaces

To find out more about the service, including accessing a range of resources, tools and templates to assist you in successfully developing and implementing a workplace health and wellbeing program visit the Healthier Work website External Link - opens in new window.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Six steps to safety for Small Business

As a business owner or manager you have the responsibility to manage all aspects of your business. This includes looking after the financial affairs of the business as well as the health, safety and welfare of the people in your workplace.

Keeping a small business afloat is not easy. The cost of doing business includes rent, wages, superannuation, regulation expenses, licenses and insurance. Insurance costs are driven by risks associated with your business as well as by claims that are made. A broken window can result in increased building insurance, an injury to a worker can, and very often does, lead to increased workers compensation insurance premiums. But an injury to a worker can also result in significant other costs not covered by insurance.

Whilst incidents may not happen very often in a small business, when they do, they can have a devastating effect. This is not only on the person who gets injured or sick, but also on the business itself. In a small business you can’t afford to lose a trained worker – someone who knows your business, how it works, your standards, your customers, your products. If this happens to be you, what is likely to happen to the business?

To help you start the process of managing safety in your business, WorkSafe ACT has developed the free Six steps to small business safety toolkit. It has been developed specifically to meet the needs of small-medium business and takes into account the limited resources and expertise you may have in this area. The Six steps to small business safety toolkit uses a step-by-step approach and also includes separate checklists and forms to help you apply these steps in a practical way.

The toolkit is designed to meet the requirements of Australian Standard AS 4804: Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems and will give you a framework that can be independently audited, in the same way many organisations have their financial or quality systems audited.

You can download a copy of the free Six steps to small business safety toolkit on the WorkSafe ACT website External Link - opens in new window.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Are you looking to make your workplace healthier?

Healthier Work are now accepting applications for the ACT Small Business Workplace Health and Wellbeing Incentive Program.

The Incentive Program aims to support small businesses in the ACT to kick start health and wellbeing initiatives in their workplace or to extend and add value to existing health and wellbeing programs.

The Incentives Program will provide funding to organisations for activities that promote healthy lifestyle choices for ACT workers by targeting the following key health areas:
  • Increased physical activity
  • Healthier eating
  • Smoking reduction/cessation
  • Improved social and emotional wellbeing
  • Reduction of harmful alcohol consumption
Funding is available for ACT workplaces with up to 50 employees, in the private and community sectors. Depending on the number of employees, you can apply for funding of $1,000, $3,000 or $5,000 for your workplace.

To be eligible for funding, you must have had a visit from a Healthier Work Industry Advisor within six months of the date of applying. To arrange a visit contact Healthier Work External Link - opens in new window.

Applications for the program close on Friday 12 April 2013.

Visit External Link - opens in new window for the full terms and conditions and details on how to apply.