Confused about your safety obligations?

Confused about your safety obligations?

Know your obligations …

There is often confusion and misinformation around the safety management requirements for small business

Whilst business owners and managers work both in and on the business, they are time poor and desire to maximise and grow the business, yet want meet their WHS obligation; others presume that they are too small and do not require safety knowledge or established safety management system. 

Remember, that you may be a small business, but you are providing goods and services or doing contractual work for other larger businesses or organisations which are higher risk, which in turn exposes you and your business to higher risk.

Due diligence helps ensure compliance …

The SafeWork NSW – WHS Act 2011 requires every business to have safety processes in place, no matter what size; whether a one-man band or micro or small business that may engage sub-contractors or workers. It is important to understand that the delivery of products and services have a human factor, which requires the standards to be met and the guidelines provided in the codes of practice to be followed.  Under the legislation these are mandated to prevent workplace accident and incidents.  Being compliant is necessary not only to protect others, but oneself from fines and litigation.  It is essential to demonstrate your due diligence and ensure compliant with the safety laws.

The Risk Management Process is essential

It is essential that safety requirements are adequate to address the business needs, such as; the inherent risks related to the work activity and the relevant supporting WHS policies and procedures to manage safety in the workplace. Business Queensland outlines the Penalties for breaches to work health and safety law in and easy to read format. Both SafeWorks NSW and WorkSafe QLD have an on-the-spot fine, also known as an infringement notice, is an alternative to prosecuting alleged offenders directly through court, when they identify non-compliance within the business.

Carry out Risk Management processes

The Benefits of a Safer Workplace …

Often Business Owners and managers are concerned about having to manage and maintain complex WHS Management Systems.  I have reassured my clients that it’s not difficult, because WHS Management Systems are developed around the business activities, your business activities. Once we get started and begin to customise their WHS Management System around the business activities and the business needs it flows easily as it addresses the business needs and integrates into the business systems.   Therefore, it’s no more than they already know and understand being the expert in their field of business, with the added safety aspect. (Watch the video below).

Does One-Size fit all?

Work Health and Safety is not a one size fits all, even if it is the same type of business providing the same type of service.  A mistake made by many. There are always variables such as types of client, demographics, workforce, culture and so forth.  All these come with varying degrees of risks and safety issues. 

Are your effort worth you time?

In a bid to be compliant, some workplaces purchase, borrow, lend or even copy WHS documentation and WHS System.  Eventually, they find that these are not a fit for their business because they are too complex; and need modification, which then may lead them to sought professional help.

In some cases, this means a loss in thousands of dollars spent on the purchase or hours of labour spent trying to edit these documents.  In the first place if a business sought professional help it would save them not only in time and money, but the added stress and workload in their bid to be compliant. This has been a big part of the work we do and it’s great to see the outcomes and pleasure when they client see the benefits and the ease of managing safety.  

A WHS Management System is an investment and adds value to the business, so it will only increase the good will of a business, and helps you build a safer workplace.  If you thinking of setting up a WHS Management System or have one that is not cohesive contact us for the free consultation.

Just a few questions: 

Can you wear someone elses shoes?

 Have you ever borrowed someone shoes?  Were they comfortable and supporting your feet?  If you did, they might have been your size, or may have been a little bit too big or small, but fitted.  However, because the shoes eventually moulded to the shape of their foot, whether they walked inward or outward, had a higher arched foot or flat footed, their shoes would been ill fitting, uncomfortable and likely to cause you a sprain or strain with long term use.

Your WHS Management System are your policies and procedures, the laws around how you run your business.  Would you consider having someone else run your home?  So why would you have them run your business and how would it work?.  Countries look to other countries for ideas, but modify them to suit their dynamics and culture. Australia has adopted safety laws from the UK and USA, yet modified them to meet our needs.

Do you think safety is costly?

If you think the expectation of safety compliance is too costly for you as a small business; what then that 15-year-old student who too has to comply with the law and meet the standard requirements. They chose to get a driver’s licences and own a vehicle and to do so there are laws that they need to meet. Both these have a risk factor and the laws are in place to protect you.

If you have any question about safety issue, we are happy to give you a free consultation.  Contact us.

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