If your workplace stores compressed gases in cylinders you’ll need to follow the guidelines ofAS4332-2004 – The Storage and Handling of Gases in Cylinders to control all the hazards associated with the cylinders.
To do this effectively your organisation should use a risk management methodology to ensure that you understand each of the hazards and the risks they present to your operations. This blog introduces the STOREMASTA risk management methodology Identify – Assess – Control – Sustain, showing how each of the steps work to ensure your workplace is always compliant with Australian WHS safety legislation.
What is a risk management methodology?
Risk management is a step-by-step process that considers everything that could possibly go wrong at your worksite as well as the consequences of those dangerous events. Each dangerous event or hazard is carefully assessed and then control measures are introduced to reduce the likelihood the event occurring (or minimise the harm if it did).
The STOREMASTA risk management methodology has four steps to ensure that nothing gets missed, and nothing is left to chance. The whole process includes regular reviews to make sure that safety compliance is sustained.
Let’s take a closer look at the four steps which must be completed in order to guarantee each cylinder hazard is identified and suitable control measures implemented.
Step 1: Identify cylinder hazards. How could people, property or the environment be harmed by the gases you use and the cylinders which house them?
Step 2: Assess each of the hazards you identified in Step 1. Consult Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for each of the gases and the relevant Australian Standards to learn if any of the hazards are knowns risks and have known control measures. Create a priority list based on the hazardous events most likely to occur and those that have the most serious consequences.
Step 3: Control each of the risks in the order of priority determined in Step 2. Use the hierarchy of controls to introduce suitable control measures for each of the hazards.
Step 4: Sustain compliance by documenting your actions and conducting regular reviews. Conduct another risk assessment to ensure no new hazards have been introduced (plus check if the control measures are actually working) and then regularly review the documentation as new gases are introduced to the workplace or changes are made to the layout or staffing levels.
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