Safety First

Paul Egan

The motto “Think Safe Work Safe Home Safe[i]” applies to our working (and private) lives.  There are multiple and significant benefits in the management and maintenance of the best and most up to date OH&S policies within a company.  Many may see it as a cost to the business and a burden, but just as the insurance premiums paid protecting of the business assets which give financial compensation for loss when a catastrophe occurs. However, most see that if you are uninsured for asset protection you may lose your business, so the cost verses risk is often worth it and most businesses would not consider being uninsured.  Then consider the OH&S environment and ask if you understand this area as well as you should. You have an insurance consultant, how about an OH&S advisor (internal or external)?

We are in a way fortunate to have a body like WorkSafe. They set the bench marks for us and in my view make it easier to understand what is sometimes the obvious issues that need to be addressed, including the statutory obligations. For example, the requirement to have collaborative consultations with all parties concerned with a work place. The consultation process is essential to ensure that the solutions do not cause greater problems due to one part of the operation not being informed or included in the discussions prior to the introduction of the final solution.  Consultation often leads to better solutions that are accepted more readily, implemented with fewer hiccups and avoid dead ends and redo’s.

This headline “Dreamworld operator didn’t know emergency button was within reach, ride failed twice before accident” taken from the ABC[ii] reporting of the coronial inquest on the water ride accident in 2016 sent a chill through me. This report must send a message to all employers about the consequences that may arise through inadequate safety system reviews, training processes and safety procedures (both mechanical and procedural).  It will take some time before the results of the coronial inquiry will be made available.  I make no comments as to the particular case except to say that any loss of life is a tragedy that affects so many and if it can in any way be prevented it is our duty to do so, no matter what the cost.

The headline and article did make me think about the risk analysis we all need to undertake at all levels to ensure we, our workers and visitors are kept safe.  I urge all employers, employees and contractors that I am associated with to undertake the appropriate level of risk assessment at their work place.  It is a prime responsibility I emphasis in all our OH&S documentation and it is followed up by action not just words.

Lastly “Think Safe Work Safe Home Safe” for the sake of us all.

[i]Promoted message of WorkSafe NSW
[ii]Courtesy of the ABC online headline 18 June 2018


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