Is your workplace safety management system up-to-date? This is one of the first questions business owners should be asking in 2018. Why? Because the existing workplace safety legislation is changing.
The Work Health and Safety and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2017 was passed in October 2017, and it will significantly change the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld). Business owners need to check health and safety procedures and insurance policies now.
The new Industrial Manslaughter laws carry extremely high penalties, including up to 20 years in prison for an individual and a fine of $10 million for a corporate offender. The government said the new laws were needed due to the number of workplace fatalities that were taking place.
Indeed, even in recent weeks, the number of Queensland fatalities has risen. A German backpacker died on a Gold Coast farm whilst a worksite accident at Yatala claimed the life of a man in his 20s.
The best way to ensure your business complies with new legislation is to implement an ISO safety management system. There are a few systems to choose from, including AS/NZS 4801, ISO 45001 Safety Management System (Australian Standard) and OHSAS 18001:2007 (International Standard).
Implementing an ISO safety management system will reduce work-related injuries, prevent accidents and improve productivity. It will also help organizations comply with all legislation, regulations, and Codes of Practice.
Organisations that have already implemented an ISO safety management system say it is well worth the investment. All businesses depend on the occupational health and safety of their employees. Failing to provide a system or comply with legislation has very serious consequences.
At best, poor safety performance generally results in increased operational costs and downtime. At worst, it can result in serious injury, death, fines, and imprisonment. The simple solution is to adopt a safety management system and manage OHS issues through a well-written system.
ISO Safety Management System
An ISO safety management system will protect you, your employees and your customers by helping identify and control health and safety risks.
The first step in meeting your new legal obligations in Queensland is to talk to safety consultants Brisbane. It is crucial to choose an organization that offers experience and expertise in ISO management systems, such as Standard Consulting.
Safety consultants in Brisbane will work with you to tailor-make a system that is specific to not only your industry but also your particular business. It will ensure all aspects of the organisation are included and that all potential risks are identified.
With this set of policies and procedures in place, it will be easier to manage workplace health and safety and to stop accidents before they happen. Not only will your employees be safer, but you will probably find they become more productive. This is because they can see you are putting their safety first. You will notice that absenteeism also drops.
Boost Your Reputation
Organisations that implement an ISO safety management system also experience a boost in reputation. Customers are more likely to buy from an organisation that puts safety first, whilst other organisations only want to do business with a reputable company. This is especially important if you are establishing a brand.
Several studies have found that workplace safety influences customer satisfaction. Organisations that take steps to improve workplace safety find that customer service also improves. This, in turn, leads to increased customer loyalty.
It makes sense. If your organisation has a high level of absenteeism, customer service will suffer. Keeping your employees safe, productive and enthused will pay off.
Benefits of Safety Systems
There are other savings to be had, too, including insurance premiums. You will also be more eligible to bid for public body tenders.
An ISO safety management system is suitable for organizations of all sizes, across many different industries. It would be a mistake to think that you don’t require workplace safety procedures because you are a small business or office-based.
Of course, there are some industries in which very strict safety policies are required, such as mining, construction and agriculture. It may surprise you to know that more workplace fatalities occur in agriculture than in the mining and construction industries combined.
SafeWork Australia says 43 people died during 2017 from accidents in agriculture, forestry and fishing industries.
When we think of workplace safety we tend to think of things like accidents. However, there are other potential dangers to consider. With summer well and truly underway in Queensland, one factor to consider is how the heat affects your employees.
New guidelines have recently been released by SafeWork Australia. They offer practical advice on managing the risks associated with hot weather, as well as treating a worker who is suffering from a heat-related problem.
An ISO safety management system covers all these potential risks to ensure nothing is overlooked. So, if you are only going to invest in one new management system in 2018, workplace safety should be number one on your list.