This is a huge question to ask and one that is not going to be comprehensively answered in a short article here. This article is the first of a series where we will present a systematic, pragmatic and sustainable approach to answer that question.
However, it is most certainly worth considering this question because it should concern every Board of Directors, every person who is an Officer of a company or any small business owner in Australia.
Clearly, there is a legislative obligation to provide a ‘safe place of work’ in Australia, but there is more. Riskcom believe that there is a moral obligation. We believe that it is this obligation and the need to make it real to organisations that will help us further improve safety performance.
Whatever motivates you to meet this most basic obligation of providing a safe place of work, one point is certain, you will most likely need to re-think your understanding of what safety is compared to how you do now.
What do I mean?
Well, the first point is to realise that safety (and let’s just assume that by safety, I mean achieving a state that does not result in harm to an employee) can only be sustainably achieved if safety is understood to be an outcome of your business system. It is not something that can be easily retrofitted like a new set of wheels on your car.
Your business system is simply the system that you have developed to deliver your ‘product’. Your ‘product’ could be selling in a retail outlet, building infrastructure, mining gold, providing health care, selling Real Estate and so on. Delivering your product is what we refer to as an ‘Organisational Critical Outcome’ and to do this, you will monitor costs, quality, profitability etc. So, if you successfully produce your product, but lose money in the process, one could assume that is not a successful outcome.