4 Facts About Safety Compliance
“Safety is not an accident”
It is easy to get distracted by the industry trends and the current business climate. So much so, that we forget or see important things like workplace safety, and deem it as a lesser priority, focusing on financial investment in business growth and expansion.
SafeWork Australia reports that, work-related injury and disease cost our community $61.8 billion a year, with an average cost of $5000 per worker each year and equates to 4.1 per cent of Australia’s gross domestic product.
The Work Health and safety Laws place an obligation on directors, managers or employers (PCBU) to ensure safety in the workplace. To help manage the higher risk activities various standards and regulations apply and must be adhered to. These are laws, which place mandatory requirements to prevent or reduce the risk of injury to a person or property. The Codes of Practice provide guidance, whilst licenses and permits are required for specific processes and tasks to ensure that the workers have specific skills and knowledge and competencies to carry out the high-risk work activity safely.
“ Safety never takes a holiday”
In some cases,
businesses do get away with non-compliance; and avoid penalties and fines for many years. However, these are the lucky ones. What about the unlucky ones: or that unlucky moment when that mishap results in a significant workplace accident. Just in that moment, when someone took their eyes off safety, because they saw it as insignificant. Within that moment, the business safety record is marred. This one incident could ruin its reputation and put it at risk financially.
SafeWork Australia states that: “Small businesses account for more than 95% of all Australian businesses and are responsible for the health and safety of approximately 4.8 million workers. “
Whilst you may not be a business with high-risk activities, the cost of any incident or accident is significant and impacts on your productivity and profitability. This blog post will give you a glimpse of the true cost of any workplace accident no matter how minor. The real cost of non-compliance
“Luck runs out but safety is good for life”
Taking ones eyes off safety is like playing Russian roulette, not only with the business, but also with real lives and these have long-term consequences. These consequences never go away; as injury impacts on people, their family; their income and lifestyle. This also comes as a loss to the business through the fines and penalties, loss of skilled labour, new recruitment and training.
A typical example was a business owner who ran a junkyard for more than 40 years. She was described as having and an “abhorrent disregard for the health and safety of people in her workplace”, and that her brash manner and unique career choice made her notorious in the local community.
A 50 year old worker was killed when Ms Jackson lifted him in a bin with a forklift. “The bottom of the bin gave way, causing the worker to fall through and the bin and steel then fell on him.” At the time, Ms Jackson did not hold a forklift licence and was recovering from a stroke when she was driving the forklift.
Ms Jackson also pleaded guilty to the more serious offence of recklessly engaging in conduct that placed others in danger of serious injury. WorkSafe Victoria fined her $10,000 and ordered to pay $7,336 in court costs and jailed for 18 months.