I though that you might like a change from me, so I have asked a WH&S expert from our team to write this blog.
In 2010/11 – 374 people died due to work-related traumatic injuries.
Australia’s Lost-time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) paints an unsettling work health and safety scenario – one week or more was lost per million hours worked.
Worse still, we are only now up to March – 30 lives have been lost in Australian workplaces so far …
But how could these statistics be of any possible relevance to SMEs? We’re not the same as the big gun industries – we don’t hazard the same risks! They have agriculture, mining, forestry and construction – that’s sowing, tree felling, mine blasting – the big stuff!
The truth is that SME workers frequently face very real workplace risks – given that 99% of Australian businesses are SMEs – this situation cannot be ignored.
OK, natural protective mechanisms, typically built into the culture of large (200+ employees) organisations by natural evolution – think how higher staff volume might equate to greater information capacity and, therefore, to greater necessity in supervising work practices:
think about the complex safety management systems – the policies and safe operating procedures
the hierarchy of control, the complexity of infrastructure – the representatives – the systematic ways of controlling or eliminating risk, and their continuous development
the huge diversity of Safety Employees; advisors, managers, coordinators, analysts, strategy and risk professionals; there are many more
Now think of the barriers to building a safety culture for SMEs…
the typical capital-raising constraints that so often result in low investment in safety practice
the severe time constraints on business owner/operators, who often take the view that ‘our safety management system will just have to wait’
Think of how the post-GFC economic conditions severely dampened SME business confidence – we couldn’t help but focus on the bottom line, just to stay in business- and we still can’t!
Greg Baynie is one of our HR Partners and our resident expert in W&HS, call him today for an obligation free discussion to understand your risk and exposure.