Safe work practices

Safe work practices are the foundation of a safe work place. The development and implementation of safe work practices are usually a local management responsibility.

Safe working instructions

Safe working instructions outline the recommended safe method of undertaking the process or activity. Written safe working instructions are an essential part of a safe system of work and are an important part of an overall occupational health and safety program.

The development of safe working instructions are a local management responsibility. They should be an integral part of the organisational area's induction and refresher training programs. Their management and updating should be part of the organisational area's HWS Plan.

The following guidelines will assist in the development of safe working instructions (safe working procedures, safe work method statements and other related terms).

The following documents may also assist in the development of Safe Working Instructions:

Permit procedures

Permit procedures are used to control access to hazardous locations or manage particularly hazardous work. Their management and updating should be part of the organisational area's HWS Plan

There are two types of permits: "Permits to Enter" (Entry Permit) and "Permits to Do" (Work Permit).

Entry Permit

The Entry Permit gives access to a hazardous location and the ability to carry out low risk work such as checking the operation of plant. The Entry Permit only controls the requirements on the person(s) entering the hazardous location and the hazards associated with that location: for example, unguarded plant, unguarded drops, confined spaces, poor lighting, trip hazards etc.

Work Permit

The Work Permit is separately issued to cover hazardous work such as welding, hot work, electrical work and machine maintenance. The Work Permit also includes activities such as plant isolation.

The development of permit procedures are a local management responsibility. Their management and updating should be part of the organisational area's OHS Plan.

The Permit System Standard (PDF, 43.6KB) must be followed regarding Permit Procedures.

Hazard Isolation procedures

Isolation Procedures can also be called Lock-out, Tag-out or Barricading procedures.

Isolation procedures are used in two ways. Firstly plant isolation (lock out) involves the removal of the energy source from an item of equipment in such a way as to prevent the possibility of inadvertent energisation of the equipment.  The de-energisation must also prevent the introduction of contaminants or conditions through equipment such as piping, ducts, vents, drains, conveyors, service pipes and fire protection equipment, into working areas defined as “confined spaces”. Isolation not only applies to electrical equipment but also any powered equipment .

The second form of isolation involves stopping people from entering a temporarily dangerous area.

The Isolation Standard must be followed with hazardous (plant) isolations. The Standard should be used as the basis of local Safe Operation Procedures.

The Plant Isolation Checklist can be used specifically with plant isolations however it should be adapted to local needs and specific hazardous plant and equipment.

Contractor safety

Please go to the Contractor safety section of the OHS Manual.

Research and work safety assessments

The hazards involved in any research or experimental work must be identified and assessed before the work commences. Please go to Research and Work Safety Assessments (includes working with nanomaterials).

Security, occupational violence and OHS

Deakin security arrangements and advice can be found at the Security webpage.

The Security Guidelines contain advice on the prevention, containment and recovery from occupational violence.

Safe work environment

The safe work environment section of the OHS manual includes information about the prevention of falls, indoor thermal comfort, children and animals on campus etc.

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