2 minute read

The Safety Game Has Changed

The Safety Game Has Changed

Health and Safety can be seen as a tick the box or compliance exercise. A lot of assumptions around health and safety exist – commonly we hear “PC gone mad!”, “What ever happened to common sense?”. In reality, it is the doing that matters in health and safety.

Every health and safety activity should be about keeping the person on top of the ladder safe. To do this, you need to demonstrate three key points: • Leadership • Engagement • Risk management.

All Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) must look after the health and safety of themselves, their workers and anyone who visits their work site. Building contractors and their subcontractors both have this responsibility.

Where there is more than one PCBU working on the same work site, there are overlapping duties. This involves working together, sharing safety information and ensuring work is completed safely for all. By consulting (talking and listening) cooperating (negotiate and agree) and coordinating (planning and working together) keeping workers safe becomes easier. This can be referred to as the three C’s.

A business cannot contract out of its duties and should show evidence so far as reasonably practicable of the three C’s activities with other businesses, so they can all meet their joint responsibilities.

Health and safety is everyone’s responsibility, from the bottom to the top. It’s the doing that matters.

Businesses don’t need to duplicate each other’s efforts, but should:

• Have relevant, up-to-date knowledge of workplace health and safety

• Understand the nature of the business and its operations and associated health and safety risks generally

• Ensure the business has appropriate resources and processes to eliminate or minimise risk

• Ensure the business has processes for receiving, considering and responding to information about incidents, hazards, and risks.

‘Engagement is important’

Health and safety is everyone’s responsibility, from the bottom to the top. It’s the doing that matters.

PCBUs cannot rely on the fact that their business or the contractors they have engaged have a health and safety management system in place. They will need to understand:

• How that system works

• Take steps to make sure it is working.

This can only happen if all contractors working on the site are on the same page and understand their health and safety duties, responsibilities and the process to be used on site.

This is harder to do than it may at first appear. The real-world challenges of changing work practices, implementing new policies, and embedding different behaviours can result in large gaps between what a PCBU wants to happen and what actually happens day to day on site.

Working together to close these gaps, and keep them closed, is the goal when it comes to making effective health and safety happen.

The HazardCo Advisory Team Our Health and Safety Advisors empower you implement and use our system effectively, with the goal to help ensure everyone gets home safely from work each and every day.