Every workplace, regardless of industry, has some degree of risk for the employee, as well as for the company as a whole. The goal should be to make the workplace as safe as possible, which is why the government has certain rules and regulations in place that need to be strictly adhered to. There are some companies in the Sunshine Coast who do the bare minimum, while others will have a risk assessment performed to see where they can improve, and whether there are other safety concerns that should be addressed that do not fall under the regulated standards.
Some companies choose to perform their own risk assessment, as they feel that they are best suited to understand the specifics of their employees and workplace. The question here is whether their final result and observations would stand up to scrutiny or fall short of what the industry does as a whole. It is often not until something bad happens within the workplace that companies realise that the risk and safety measures that they have in place are simply not good enough. It is then that they decide to call in the pros, which is leaving things a little too late.
The problem with risk assessments is that there are several different standards to choose from, not all of which may be right for your business. Some assessments are created using verifiable data, while others are nothing more than opinion from industry professionals. With this in mind, it’s fair to say that risk assessments can differ wildly depending on which standards are chosen to work on, which may result in your company not being as safety conscious as you believe it to be. Should you pick the standard that is the easiest to attain or the one that actually delivers as safe an environment as possible?
The latter would be the obvious answer, but in fairness, it can be tough to know which one is right for your company. There are businesses out there who believe that they are doing the right thing, but who are eventually found to be lacking when their risk assessment is reviewed by professionals. Again, these companies may not be aware of how inadequate their assessment actually is until they encounter a major health and safety issue in the workplace.
Companies that have skated by in the past with weak risk assessments may now be forced to face the music, as the ATO is beginning to serve notices to those companies that they feel are not doing enough. If you are in any doubt about the strength of your company’s risk assessment, assuming that one has been done, then you need to talk to a professional auditor about getting up to par. You should want to do so for the safety of your employees, but may also now be in a position here you are forced to make the necessary changes.