THE ultimate purpose of business is to be profitable; offering its clients outstanding value in products and service with the aim of getting repeat business and referral? For a business to work at its optimum it has to maintain the business systems, which includes Work Health and Safety (WHS).
Having a well-developed WHS management system that is designed to address the specific business needs, provides a management tool and operational guidance, that helps to prevent constant operational disruptions, which impact on operational expenses that detract from company profitability.
How do we keep ahead and not only try to avoid things going wrong, but also try to ensure they go right?
The process of reviewing performance and maintaining the WHS management system assists in preventing deviation or deterioration over time; which is important to business continuity and progression. Where customised policies and procedure are established and faithfully followed they help promote and maintain consistency, efficiency and effectiveness allowing the business to achieve its goals, strategies and objectives. This can also be beneficial where the company needs to refute allegations of legal or regulatory violations on compliance.
Often there is a notion that once a WHS management system has been established there is no need to review or update it until there is a new WHS legislative model. This is certainly not the case and it is no different to any other business process or system. It is critical to review and monitor the performance of the WHS management systems regularly to maintain currency, and to help ensure accuracy and completeness and meet the standard requirements. In addition, to ensure that everyone has the same understanding of the system and is educated on the implementation process, which can then lead to the desired outcome.
The important questions to ask consistently are:
❏Am I compromising the business and workplace safety through poor quality management or a lack of commitment?
❏Are the WHS policies and procedures reflecting the goals for the business?
❏What actions or steps are required?
Policies and procedures are only as effective as they are able to be applied; and need to be reviewed and/or updated.
Faith Eason is an expert in work health and safety