The Real Cost of Safety
Safety compliance at some workplaces is rare. Business owners generally comply with tax laws, payroll laws, project specifications, building standards etc. But when speaking to business owners (who Encompass Business Solutions (EBS) do not consult to …. as yet) what we hear is, ‘safety compliance is a load of bullshit paperwork’ or ‘these days safety requirements are ridiculous’ or the worst one, ‘as a business owner, I will risk it and see what happens’.
To put it bluntly, this bullshit safety compliance has seen a reduction of workplace fatalities by 41% since 2007. As described in a Safe Work Australia report:
The best part of being a safety consultant is that some businesses really want to make a difference, they want to ensure employees and everyone around them are safe and go home the way they came to work. These businesses do spend the time and money to ensure all aspects of safety are implemented and it evident when businesses review their annual safety statistics.
EBS service many businesses with thousands of employees and our team have only attended 2 incidents this year. This is a credit to the businesses EBS consult to and their passion and commitment for safety.
Some of the obvious strengths of these businesses are;
Managers and Directors are passionate about safety and ‘walk the talk’,
They regularly hold toolbox meetings to raise awareness of current and emerging safety topics,
There are safety boards containing information on safety topics,
There are first aid kits, spill kits, evacuation plans, emergency personnel details, simple, basic but highly effective,
There are positive injury, accident and hazard reporting cultures with a system of no blame, no shaming and no deductions in pay for reporting all actual and near miss incidents ,
There are no tolerances for bullying and harassment, from anyone towards anyone, this is what I call simple respect for one another,
There are clear lines when it come to unsafe work, ‘if its not safe, don’t do it’ and employees will not be punished for their decision/s,
There are budgets in place, not only set for accounting services, rent, building or plant and equipment maintenance, but for safety and health monitoring.
The cost of safety can be high
In a medium sized business, you may spend a minimum of $10k a year on safety initiatives and implementation. But the cost of an incident at the workplace is far greater.