The dangers of internal compliance checks and the need for ‘TRAFFIC COPS’

As a Director of a Safety and Emergency Management (SEM) company our key focus is how to make organisations and people safer. A default of this process is doing any works in a time efficient and cost effective manner.

Over the years we have noticed that companies generally employ a ‘Safety and Compliance Officer’ or the like. They do this to meet the minimum requirements and improve safety across the organisation. At Safe Response we advocate this and recommend at least one office holder within a company to be responsible for the health and safety of their workers and visitors.

What we have observed time and time again is an overloaded Safety Manager who often finds themselves caught up in the internal politics of the business. This changes the officers perspective from objective to subjective based on the current trends of the business. We often communicate to companies that solutions don’t always need to be expensive and labour intensive. And that safety managers often need to play the role of traffic cops to effectively direct the best possible solutions. On occasion we have found businesses doing the following:

  • Running internal training (Fire, Safety, First Aid). This has a number of drawbacks. On face value it appears to be ‘cost saving’. Under the standard you must employ an ‘Emergency Planning Consultant’, take the latest industry changes to Fire and Safety for example which is a person who has acquired through; Training, Education, Qualification and Experience the knowledge enabling him/her to advise on human behaviour, fire safety systems, evacuation methodology, emergency planning preparedness and response and the development of the emergency plan. In most cases any safety manager does not have sufficient time to manage these skills and qualifications alone, but often this is the case. When your insurance provider is scouring your organisation after an event this information becomes key evidence in determining the outcome and the penalties can be severe.
  • Constructing safety plans and documentation from open sources without a working knowledge of the Australian Standards and the laws in which they fall under. This goes without saying but often we find attempts to construct evacuation diagrams and plans based off the best guess. As the saying goes ‘you don’t know, what you don’t know’. The last thing we advise is that you attempt to do this yourself as it is only asking for trouble. We employ a draftsman and Fire and Safety Advisors to do this for our clients and it always saves them money in taking people off the floor in an attempt to do it themselves.
  • Shaping Emergency Management strategy based off budget restraints and a best guess that they are safe from the previous training (usually lapsed or dated). The law is direct about the minimum requirements. This is why we advocate engaging with an expert to advise you on the suitable program to install within your business.
  • Failing to communicate to their insurance provider on the level of SEM provided within their workplace (often short changing themselves from potential discounts and benefits). Depending on your provider you may be entitled to government rebates, funding and even insurance discounts and added benefits for providing a safe place of work for your workers and visitors.

The list goes on, unfortunately each time we come across situations like the above, we are facing an uphill challenge. In nearly every case once we can prove that engaging an external professional company is not only more efficient and cost effective but we also manage to prove that staff enjoy external providers that understand the business. We always taylor unique solutions based from real experience and decades of training.

Today more than ever people are aware of their obligations. The issue is effectively mapping the right solutions so that when the time comes you are covered and you can continue to operate.

Talk to us for more information.

Leave a Comment