Are you aware of your health and safety responsibilities?
One of the most important facets of any business is the ability to manage health and safety issues. Failing to acknowledge these important compliance issues can cost your business in more ways than one, with legal fees or staff injuries awaiting those who don’t play by the rules.
Is your business aware of the current legislature? So far this year, 41 Australians have died at work, according to Safe Work Australia, highlighting the importance of these guidelines.
This should be a fairly obvious statement, but a recent court case proved it is worth repeating. Businesses from any and all industries need to be aware of both the general health and safety guidelines as well as the ones specific to their sector.
A case before the federal court recently found a company guilty of providing incorrect health and safety equipment to businesses under the pretense that they were necessary for compliance. This not only highlights the need to review health and safety guidelines regularly, but also your list of consultants, as this company was fraudulently attempting to make a quick buck off the ignorance of others.
The guilty also falsely represented itself as being a member of a state workplace health and safety agent. The victory for the prosecution was seen as a valuable one by Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Deputy Chair Dr Michael Schaper.
“This is an important outcome, as small businesses operators generally take their health and safety obligations very seriously but can often be time poor and susceptible to telemarketers promoting products relating to workplace health and safety,” he said.
Processes and consultants can be easily kept track of with services such as HRMS for small businesses, to ensure your business does not fall foul of similar events.
Learn from the best
While some companies may see health and safety guidelines as nothing more than annoying compliance procedures, they often tie into the day-to-day work life in important ways.
The Occupational Safety and Health Association in the United States recently held an awards to night to recognise the best performers in this field across the states. Speeches presented by the winners hold some important lessons for integrating these issues seamlessly into the workplace.
“Safety starts with listening. We have incorporated all people involved in specific laboratory equipment tasks and construction projects in the development of a Job Hazard Analysis. We listen to each person’s concerns and input relating to the task at hand,” said EHS Specialist at Johnson Controls, Greg Price.
This highlights the need for the consideration of all employees when planning these measures, in order to provide a comprehensive scheme that caters for all staff.