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                        Benefits of Safety Management

                        Safety management is a consideration that should be made by all businesses. But with the inherent risks involved, it is particularly important for businesses dealing with plant and machinery to implement safety management systems. While it may seem overwhelming to consider what should be included in the safety management system and then implement it, there are plenty of benefits to safety management systems that outweigh the negatives. These benefits include reduced injuries and incidents, reduced likelihood of prosecution, more efficient business processes and improved customer service.

                        What should be considered when developing a safety management system?

                        First, let’s look at what needs to be considered when developing a safety management system, and implementing it. Risk assessments are the fundamental building blocks of all modern safety systems. Workplace Health and Safety legislation in every state and territory of Australia, along with Commonwealth safety legislation requires employers to follow:

                        • Hazard identification

                        • Risk assessment and;

                        • Risk control

                        For details of State & Territory Legislation & Guidance information, head to our Safety Legislation guide. This detailed information shows there are specific plant safety requirements for each Australian jurisdiction. These specific requirements are automatically built into your Plant Assessor risk assessment.

                        Because plant and machinery is involved in a statistically high proportion of catastrophic incidents, subject to a higher percentage of prosecutions, and subject to specific risk assessment obligations and specific controls in all jurisdictions relative to other hazard areas, a more finite, structured, manageable, thorough and well documented system of plant and machinery risk assessment is a foundation stone in any proactive safety system. Hence, developing a safety management system, and then implementing it, is an excellent way of not only ensuring safe machinery, but also illustrating diligence in exercising the duty of care.


                        Reduced injuries and incidents

                        One of the benefits of safety management systems being implemented is a reduced risk of injuries and incidents. Amongst an employer’s worst nightmares is the idea of a fatality or catastrophic injury in their workplace. The personal grief suffered by workmates, friends and the family of an injured or deceased staff member is the most one of the most difficult aspect of any fatality or major injury.

                        To hopefully avoid this situation becoming a reality in your workplace, it is critical to ensure a comprehensive safety management system is in place. With a safety management system implemented, the risk of incidents occurring is likely to be reduced. As a result, there is also a reduced likelihood that your staff will suffer injuries or be involved in a fatality.


                        Reduced likelihood of prosecution

                        In addition to the grief that can be associated with an injury or fatality involving a worker, there is also the possibility of an extended regulator investigation into the incident, and possible prosecution. These lengthy and expensive proceedings are both gruelling and highly demanding on directors, management and staff. At the end of the investigation, there is a possibility of prosecutions being recorded which can result in severe penalties for the duty holder including hefty fines or even long stints in gaol.

                        All incidents, prosecutions and most prosecutors are different, so it is difficult to predict a standard line of enquiry when it comes to determining whether a duty holder has been diligent in the management of safety within the workplace. However, legislation and prosecution history in every jurisdiction in Australia clearly shows it is common for prosecutors to focus heavily upon the diligence or otherwise shown by a defendant, and this diligence is often best illustrated by evidence of proactive risk assessment and control.

                        More efficient business processes

                        In the same fashion that an obvious safe system of work contributes to the feeling and appearance of professionalism, the procedural aspects of a safe system of work are highly likely to result in better business processes.

                        Consider the regular assessment of machinery and plant, for example. By assessing the risks and hazards associated with a piece of equipment or plant, you are considering whether anything on the machine may be faulty or need rectification. When you monitor these things carefully and on a regular basis, there is a good chance you have been maintaining the machinery well over time. Well maintained plant is more likely to work more efficiently and reliably on the job. With machinery and plant that you are confident is safe, reliable and efficient, there could be a lower possibility of problems with the machinery, meaning less downtime on the job. This downtime could cost you the chance to win more tenders and contracts and consequently, affect your business’ overall financial position.


                        Improved customer service

                        It is increasingly common for customers to include safety as a key criterion when deciding between suppliers. Implementation of safe systems of work around plant and equipment is obvious for both employees and customers. Many customers attend suppliers’ premises to pick up goods or attend meetings, and are hence subject to on-site risks similar to employees.

                        It is quite clear that suppliers who have good safety systems in place appear, and generally are, more professional. These are the businesses that have such attributes as clearly delineated walkways and exclusion/danger zones and traffic management, clear instructions to visitors, well maintained and presented plant featuring appropriate safety features such as reverse beepers, safety decals and safety beacons, and clear and consistent operating procedures.

                        All of these things add to both the consistency and reliability of the service received, as well as giving a client a feeling of professionalism and care for employees, contractors and visitors.


                        How can Plant Assessor help?

                        Plant Assessor can help you to identify, assess and monitor risks that could be present among the plant and equipment being used at your workplace. This can help you to identify any risks and hazards that could pose a threat of injury or fatality to your staff and hopefully prevent any catastrophic incidents occurring at your business. By doing this, Plant Assessor could help you to potentially avoid prosecution in the event of a catastrophic incident and assist in improving business processes used in your workplace, making your business more efficient and improving your customer service.

                        For more information about how Plant Assessor can help your business implement a safety management system, contact us for a discussion or to request a demo.


                        Disclaimer: This information is intended to provide general information on the subject matter. This is not intended as legal or expert advice for your specific situation. You should seek professional advice before acting or relying on the content of this information. 

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