Imagine you are a sub-contractor, site manager or company director. What would be the first thing to go through your mind, if someone called and asked you that question?
Most of us walk around with a little niggle in the back of our mind, regarding filing and keeping records. What if something happened and a WHS audit was required? Are all sub-contractor certificates and safety records on file and accessible? Could I easily put my hands on each job file, or site report?
Company Directors and Site Managers are liable for the safety of the site or workplace. Liability is one consideration, but our first thought if something went wrong, would likely be our responsibility to each person and whether all had been done to prevent any incident.
A positive safety culture is good for business, not only from an ethical standpoint, but also in terms of productivity and efficiency. Decisions around work safety are usually motivated by one of three arguments: legal, moral or financial.
Irrespective of what most drives our thinking, investing in improving your safety culture makes good business sense. Here’s why:
Historically, when measuring health and safety performance, organisations have tended to focus on the reactive monitoring of adverse events, such as injuries, cases of ill-health and dangerous occurrences. However, the absence of any incident might only prove good luck.
It is therefore widely regarded as good practice, when measuring health and safety performance, to combine reactive monitoring of failure events (lagging indicators) with more proactive monitoring of adoption of processes designed to prevent failures in the first place (leading indicators). Measurement of safety culture and proving established daily safety records is one such leading indicator.
Attitudes to work safety have changed over time, much the same as our attitudes to drink driving. If, when you read the headline of this article, you expected the response would be good news, you are not only an optimist, you probably also have strong safe work systems in place.