Safe Work and the Legal Minefield

It’s a simple fact that most employers don’t realise the legal minefield they operate in where Workplace safety is concerned until it’s too late.
Once hit with a massive penalty or insurance claim the reality of not managing the intricacies of occupational health and safety hit home with often devastating effects.

Complacency is a big contributor

Complacency is a significant contributor to the blindsiding of one of the most important management processes in today’s business environment.
The longer an operation runs with no significant Workplace safety incidents, the more complacent owners and managers seem to become.

Old School Culture

Of course, there’s also an ingrained culture in many workplaces which continues to relate health and safety in the workplace to the “old school”. In the “old school”, hazards were encountered all the time, but you took them in your stride and got on with the job.
The “old school” is a point in time (now long past) where you were responsible for you.

Old School Workplace_1

Old School Workplace_2

What’s Changed?

What has changed the modern workplace so much?
Why does it seem like someone else, namely the employer, is now responsible for every aspect of an employee’s safety?
There are at least two significant changes to health and safety in the workplace that contrast to yesteryear.

  • Government intervention in the workplace with laws governing almost every aspect of an operation
  • The realisation by skilled lawyers that very few business owners know their obligation under those laws or adequately manage occupational health and safety. Consequently, there’s an almost unlimited opportunity for easy pickings.

Both the above changes have potentially catastrophic implications for the business owner or manager. We can endlessly debate whether these changes are right or wrong, good or bad. It matters little if you agree with them or not, they are a reality, and they must have a place in the management process.
It is an easily proven fact that today’s business owners and managers are facing financial and emotional pressure at a rapidly increasing rate.

Businesses with Great Track Record Still Vulnerable

Even an operation that has run smoothly for many years without a significant incident is vulnerable.
Using the approach of, “It hasn’t happened to me so it never will”, is nonsensical. After all, would any sane person say, “I’ve never had cancer; therefore, I’ll never get it”?
Would the belief that “I’ve never had a car accident, so I will never have one” make any sense?

How can a business last the distance and reduce the risk of losing a court battle over health and safety in the workplace? It’s simple! All that’s needed is a way of managing the many aspects of Workplace safety. Owners and managers must find a way that offers a court of law proof that they understood their obligations and took pains to ensure their proper implementation.

At Simple WorkSafe, we cannot guarantee a business owner that they’ll never need to deal with an accident or injury. However, we can offer a way that “links and syncs” the many aspects of health and safety so that it becomes manageable and provable.

Check our Simple WorkSafe’s health & safety management system here.

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