Why do you need a safety management “system”?

Every pay day, do you just hope you remember the right hours worked by each staff member and the correct amounts they are owed, and pay your staff according to memory? I doubt it. It would not take too many mistakes before a cranky workforce made it clear that it was in your best interests to have processes in place to get it right every time.

Do you rely on your memory to make sure you order the correct stocks and supplies in the correct amounts? Probably not. Even a couple of days of holding up production would hurt your business.

Successful organisations have systems in place for many aspects of their business. Important processes and activities are not left to chance.

But what about safety?

Your business needs to comply with the WHS/OHS laws in your jurisdiction. There may be many aspects of your business that present risks to your workers and you need to be on top of them all. How do you do that and run your usual business activities at the same time? You need to get a system in place.

A system should assist your business in understanding your hazards and risks, eliminating or minimising risks from hazards and ensuring engagement and participation from your workers.  A system does not leave safety to chance. You have ways of managing all the other important aspects of your business – so why not health and safety?

Determining what your system should look like can be difficult if you are just starting out in this area. How much do you need to document? What records should you keep? How many procedures, policies, signs and training programs do you need? This can be difficult to determine without guidance. Just as many businesses are familiar with Standards for maintaining quality and environmental compliance within their business, there is also a Standard for safety management systems. Following the guidance provided by a standard can prove very useful when setting up a new system.

Join me for a live online event on February 13 when I will talk about why safety systems are important, what should be included in a successful system and how you can use a Standard to assist you to build a system to suit. We will also discuss AS45001, the new Safety Standard. And the event will be interactive, allowing you to ask questions in real time. Register now to make sure you remember!

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Annette Alexander is a Senior Advisor – Safety and Workers’ Compensation Services for Ai Group in Queensland. With almost 25 years’ experience in work health and safety, Annette has performed WHS roles for mineral processing, manufacturing and fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) businesses, government bodies, and the banking and finance sector. Annette has worked in large and complex multi-site and multi-state organisations to advance their health and safety outcomes.

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