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How Good is Your Reporting?

Claims Dashboard - EXAMPLE (3)Better management reporting is the key to a business verifying WHS compliance. The ability to produce timely and accurate reports forms a foundation to the elements of the due diligence process.

Yet many organisations do not invest in proper reporting systems. Instead relying on “ask and receive” reports built from disparate sources of data and often created manually by management.

Even many organisations that do have safety management systems in place are not able to generate reports on lead and lag indicators or benchmark against others in their industry. In turn the strategic risk is poor management decisions on important WHS matters.

One of our consultants was shocked recently when told by a major manufacturer client that they had no way of reporting to the board of directors on their WHS performance. “We have just used the same paragraph in the board report that says to our knowledge we comply with all known risks. No-one has ever asked us about it”. As you can imagine the consultant was engaged to develop a suite of reports and audits.

The theory of exercising due diligence into practice requires continual application of:

  • Knowledge or learning of WHS matters
  • Understanding the nature of operations in the business and attendant risks and hazards
  • Implementing resources and processes
  • Refining controls and measures through improvement cycles
  • Responding to exceptions and anomalies
  • Verification of the provision and use of resources.

2010-09-08 19 09 35 (2)Due diligence reporting is a powerful and proactive management tool that will help to foster the careful and systematic identification and assessment of specific workplace hazards and the drive behaviour to prevent injuries and illnesses at work.

If you are an officer (PCBU), how do you easily measure your performance to the stated aims of the Safety Plan?  How do you benchmark against past performance or against others in the same industry?  If you are reporting to a board or executive group, how complete and consistent is your WHS compliance report?

The elements of due diligence are outlined in section 27 of the WHS Act. Under the Act an officer is responsible for setting up a well-documented system for identifying, reporting, and responding to all actual and potential hazards in the workplace

But unless your safety management system has a report generator in place for monitoring and auditing health and safety programs on a regular basis how do you or your board of directors know if you have complied with due diligence requirements?

Whether an officer has acted with due diligence depends on whether he or she took all reasonable steps in the particular circumstances. If you rely on others to meet day to day compliance targets you must be able to demonstrate the reasonableness of that reliance. The best way to demonstrate this is through a system of reporting.

Remember the adage – what gets reported gets done.

Safety Concepts now offers a web-based business intelligence and reporting solution for any sized organisation. We now distribute a proven BI software that is used by more than 9000 organisations across Asia and America. If you would like a free trial of this software please email us on info@safetyconcepts.com.au or call 1300 773801.

 

 

About the Author

Safety Concepts is an online resource providing up to date insights and covering issues in the field of Workplace Safety.

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