Not Every Business Owner is an OHS Professional

Michael Smith shares an article for the non-OHS professional, in particular business owners on OHS issues. Michael is from Be-Sure OH&S Services who assist companies to integrate occupational health and safety into all business activities – saving the company time, money and the headache associated with making sure the workplace complies with OHS laws.

Are Australians too laidback about safety in the workplace?

What kills 3 people globally every minute?

Integrating OHS into BusinessIt’s not car accidents or even wars, it’s the global death toll from health and safety problems in the workplace. It’s staggering to think that OHS has such an impact on Business and Society at large, especially when most, if not all of these fatal accidents and illnesses are preventable.

So knowing all of that, why are Australian Business Owners and Employees so complacent about safety in the workplace?

Is it because they figure the safety “police” (aka WorkCover) have so few Inspectors, they aren’t going to get caught for their misdemeanours? Or is it because they bury their head in the sand and plead ignorance? Do they think it’s never going to happen to them?  Or is it the old “I’ve been doing the job this way for the past 20 years” chestnut? Or is it simply that they don’t know where to start?  Who knows??? There are many excuses,  but 137 fatalities in 2006/7 testify to the fact it does happen all too frequently in NSW workplaces.

Truth is implementing OHS in the workplace has a positive business impact. Safe business is good business and can increase morale and productivity, help retain your best staff, improve your Workers Compensation Claims and improve your public reputation with customers and the community, resulting in more business and improving the bottom line.

Workplace death, injury and disease are preventable and the benefits of prevention strategies significantly outweigh the cost.

So as a business owner where do you start? It can be a daunting task ploughing through the various Acts, Regulations, Codes of Practice and Standards to figure out what you actually need to improve safety in your workplace and reduce accidents and illness. The key is allocating resources with experience in OHS and a real passion for improvement.

Thank you Michael.

As many successful business owners know, there are only so many minutes in a day to get the job at hand completed. It can be a challenge to run the day to day business activities and get the behind the scenes business in order as well. To complete it all successfully one would need to be a jack of all trades. That is why many business owners outsource to a bookkeeper rather than spend hours entering account details into a computer – getting the job completed in half the time with double the efficiency. It’s also the reason a business owner would pay a courier to deliver a package across town rather than jump in the car and deliver it. And why learn html or css when you can ask a website developer to put your website together?

On the subject of OHS you might outsource to give your staff a new approach or a fresh look at OHS. A new focus might be all that’s needed to steer them away from complacency in this area. However, when outsourcing make sure the company you choose starts from where you currently are. Begin with a Safety Audit to determine what you’ve got in place and where you can improve. And above all – make sure the OHS company keeps it all simple, easy to implement, and tailored specifically to your needs.

Michael says the Be-sure approach is to work with individual businesses to provide simple, practical and affordable OHS solutions which measurably improve the workplace through compliance and reputation.

About the Author

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

Comments (2)

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  1. Rodney Brammer says:

    Great story Michael. If I was to make one comment regarding the starting of OH&S within a company, it is a good opportunity to have a committee formed by the workers to assist the OH&S of the business. This will assist the company move forward with safety by having the staff on the floor assess and implement the safest way to undertake tasks and address health issues.

  2. John says:

    I like Michael’s approach about keeping it simple. Too many OHS professionals think you have to always make it sound really academic otherwise the client doesn’t think he is going to get value for money for the service. This is not true of course because we are not there to make anyone’s life difficult just help them learn more about safety within their own business and in the end help them save money whether from being fined by the inspectorate or by reducing compensation claims and hence lower premiums and helping provide a better culture all round. A safer workplace is a better workplace.

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