Every industry and business needs to develop a sound and suitable OHSMS (Occupational Health and Safety Management System.) This moves the OHS off the shelf and into the active, everyday workings of a workplace. In short, this means the approach is integrated, a part of the machinations of a workplace and inseparable from other aspects of daily work-life on site.
The Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission for the Australian Capital Territory has developed an OHS Risk Management Model with six foundational principles that may well be applied beyond the territory to businesses and organisations nationally . These can operate as a functioning template and guide for businesses and industry and outline the main requirements that need to be covered for a Risk Management model to be ever-changing and evolving, optimal, efficacious and over-arching.
Six Principles of Risk Management
- Senior management leadership and commitment
- Active involvement of each individual in the workplace
- Effective communication through consultation
- Provision of Appropriate Information, Education and Training
- Hazard Identification, risk assessment and risk control at workplace level
- Development and implementation of Appropriate OHS Management Information Systems
Most importantly, an OHS Risk Management strategy must be driven from senior management level, because it is this level that is primarily responsible for the critical decision-making in relation to company or business future direction. This view is also legislated for across the states. (For example in the ACT Section 27(1) of the ACT Occupational Health and Safety Act 1989 states that “an employee shall take all reasonable steps to protect the health, safety and welfare at work of the employer’s employees.”)
Senior management is therefore key and pivotal to actively show commitment to a culture of risk management that translates to active steps and procedures in a given workplace.
The SRCC has also offered a ten point HOW TO plan that shows businesses how to implement the strategy fully and clearly:
- Recognize and acknowledge managers’ responsibility and accountability for providing a safe and healthy workplace for employees.
- Ensuring compliance with the agency’s duty of care obligation in the workplace
- Developing and promoting a vision of what is to be achieved in OHS performance and providing the necessary resources (human and financial) to achieve that vision
- Encourage staff contribution to, and ownership of OHS issues within the workplace
- Educating managers on OHS issues and their impact on the organisation through mediums such as conferences, internal newsletters, Management Information systems reports
- Providing regular and timely direction and advice
- Fostering a culture of continuous OHS improvement
- Implementing regular OHS internal audit programs
- Examining how risks have been previously managed in the organisation, and comparing this to best practice within the public sector
- Taking an active role in hazard identification, risk assessment and risk control within the workplace
Drug and Alcohol use and misuse and education will always need to be addressed as a component of any risk management system and any OHS approach in the workplace. When developing an appropriate risk management strategy for your individual organisation, seek out the advice of a reputable and leading AOD test supplier such as CMM Technology. A quality approach to testing and testing procedures and technologies that are developed in consultation with employees can assure you of increased workplace safety and help to engender a culture of staff contribution and ownership of OHS and risk management issues. Call CMM Technology for expert advice on your testing and screening requirements. +618 9204 2500
 The Principles of Effective OHS Risk Management. Australian Government, Comcare. http://www.comcare.gov.au/_data/assets/pdf_file/0017/41363/The_principles_of_effective_OHS_risk_management_OHS_61_Dec05.pdf