Queensland breweries urged to take up safety program


Workplace Health and Safety Queensland is encouraging the state’s brewers to get involved in its safety consultation initiative, IPaM.

The Injury Prevention and Management program (IPaM) aims to reduce injuries in the workplace, and with no charge to participate, it is available to any Queensland employer with a WorkCover Queensland policy regardless of their size or age.

“Advisors work hands-on with Queensland businesses during the initial assessment phase of their program to find opportunities for improvements through a range of assessment activities including systems reviews, workplace observations, worker interviews and focus groups, and worker surveys,” explained a Workplace Health and Safety Queensland spokesperson.

“These activities help Advisors understand the priority risk areas of a business and develop a Business Improvement Plan (BIP).

“Advisors work collaboratively with the business to support them as they implement the actions outlined in the BIP.”

The benefits of the programme are clear, and part of a wider industry push for safety and quality assurance practices in the brewery.

It is one of the major areas of focus for the Independent Brewers Association in its 10-year roadmap which suggested that embedding quality control and management was a key issue for brewers as safety regulations ramp up.

Black Hops was the first Queensland brewery to engage in the IPAM program, and co-founder Dan Norris said that they had launched a Health and Safety Management System and were implementing an improvement program as a result of their participation in IPaM.

“We’ve done a lot with safety since employing our full-time People & Safety Advisor who’s worked closely with Queensland Health and Safety on implementing a Business Improvement Plan over the last 12 months through the IPaM program,” he explained.

“We have a Health and Safety Management System that includes lots of changes including a Return to Work program and injury management to ensure injuries are managed properly and people are given the opportunity to recover before returning to work.

“We also aim to keep injured staff engaged with work while recovering at work and provide suitable duties where possible. Staff that are injured that aren’t feeling purpose tend to take longer to recover from an injury and become disengaged with the workplace.”

Norris said that the business had to put the time and money into making the changes required, and it has been a fair undertaking over the past 12 months.

A Workplace Health and Safety Queensland spokesperson suggested that participating in IPaM can help provide further clarity on existing regulations for food and drink manufacturing businesses such as breweries.

“Breweries may not be aware of all their health and safety obligations,” they said.

“IPaM provides businesses with the opportunity to have an independent expert review their health, safety and injury management systems and apply their experience working with similar businesses.

“Generally, businesses who have participated in IPaM experience greater worker participation and engagement, improvements in safety systems maturity, reduced claims costs and premium rates and better return to work outcomes.”

To find out more or express an interest in participating in IPaM visit WorkSafe.qld.gov.au

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