Does your compliance walk out the door at 5pm?

Time imageMeeting your requirements under the Occupational Health and Safety laws requires that you have a safety system to comply with current OHS legislation. Many large businesses rely on systems used to control and monitor safety that in a lot of instances have been in place for some time. These safety systems may have grown by pure volume of work and number of employees but not necessarily grown in its ability to provide the levels of competency required to comply with the law in its present form.

The standard AS/NZ 4801 specifically outlines an organisation’s requirement to meet certain standards for Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSMS) but it does not specify the system to use.    A lot of companies do not have the luxury of a team devoted wholly to OHS and the responsibility will often be given to an officer of the organisation, or shared among a functional department usually the people currently responsible for HR.

If you have a paper or manual system, how can you be confident that your systems are working when it comes to safety?  You know that you have a system in place and that one of your employees has the responsibility, but who else knows what that responsibility is?  Say you have a company that has an administrative area and a manufacturing plant or warehouse where the staff work in shifts.  It would be fair to assume that the OHS would be a role within the administrative area and any manual system of safety will have left with that employee at the end of their working day.

There are definitely huge benefits to a computerised safety system.  It is immediately more attractive because it is an easy way to record incidents in real time and from any locations, but it will deliver so much more in the long run, depending of course on the system you chose.   I have found that an online system of safety is that one step better because it is so accessible to all employees and is not dependant on office hours.

Incidents can be logged remotely and anywhere you have access to the internet – be it phone or laptop etc – you have access to the system!  So instead of making sure your staff fill out their form and have it faxed and received before the safety person leaves, they can remember it and just log in on their way home on the train.  Data retrieval, reporting, and logging of incidents can be carried out from anywhere at any time. Plus any new improved versions are automatically updated as they are released.

Choose your system carefully, make sure that it can be tailored to suit your organisation.  Take care to choose a system that has depth and provides the features that will be available to your business as it grows.  With an online safety system you would no longer have to worry about your compliance walking out the door at 5pm!



About the Author

Joanne Wallace is our resident "Safety Guru". Joanne has provided advice on safety management for the past 10 years and written hundreds of articles on safety issues and tips. Joanne has experience in many industries ranging from manufacturing, food processing, timber milling, retail, office and wholesaling providing her with knowledge and experience managing risk and injuries in these industries.

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