How SMEs Can Develop Their Safety Culture and Manage Their Safety Costs

Small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) grow at a rapid rate. When you are experiencing fast growth and development sometimes safety processes and procedures are not the first priority or even understood. We have recruited in the Workplace Health and Safety field since 2002.  This means we’ve enjoyed watching our clients evolve over time. Many of our clients have built robust in-house safety cultures and are now enjoying the fruits of their investments.  They are experiencing consistent WorkCover premiums and a reduction in workplace incidents.

Others continue on this journey and still have some work to do. Businesses often have competing priorities and budget restraints. They may need organisational change and safety prioritised at the most senior level.  Unfortunately it is often only after an incident that Workplace Health and Safety comes to the forefront of strategic decision making.

We understand that now might not be the right time to employ someone full time, and we can help you with a specialised contractor to set you on the right path. This may be a good choice and a key first step in helping you develop your organisation’s safety culture.

In this blog article, we have collected the arguments for recruiting Health and Safety expertise. We believe it can actually save you money in the long term.

Workplace Satisfaction

An experienced Workplace Health and Safety profession will identify hazards and potential risks. This makes your workplace safer and less likely to incur workplace accidents. Employees are unlikely to be climbing over clutter or hurting themselves. This makes your company a better place to work. 

An improved workplace increases employee productivity. Improved working environment and productivity, in turn, positively impacts employee retention rates.

It is a Legal Requirement

Legislative requirements for Workplace Health & Safety have become broader over time. This legislation is complex and each Australian State and New Zealand have their own idiosyncrasies, policies and procedures. We would argue that, particularly for rapidly growing organisations, this is difficult, if not impossible to navigate, without appropriate safety expertise.

How can you be sure that you are meeting all of your responsibilities? How can you be sure you are managing all the risks?

Efficiently manage your Workers Compensation Costs

This is because specialist staff can help reduce your rate of workplace injuries.  Their expertise can assist you to minimise workers compensation premiums by minimising claims costs. In many instances the cost of the salary of a talented and experienced safety professional will pay for themselves. Some companies pay millions of dollars in premiums and a claim only increases your premium and associated expenses.

It Reduces your Consultancy Costs

To date you may have relied on external advice on health and safety issues and for help in drafting policies and procedures. Your consultant may even help with your governance and reporting. Taking advice from an external party has its costs and benefits. We would argue that nobody will understand your organisation as well as an employee. Only a dedicated Health and Safety manager can promote a safety focused culture from the inside.

But what are my obligations?

To eliminate unsafe behaviours and an unsafe working environment. This is achieved through Training and Consultation, supported by appropriate Policies and Procedures.

More information can be located on the Safe Work Australia website or your local state regulator’s websites.

Why Now:

The case for investment in Health and Safety for organisations is clear. Your employees have a legal right to a safe workplace. They should all return to their families at the end of the day. If you need help building your business case for in-house safety expertise, then this comprehensive research paper from Safe Work Australia will help. It discusses why the case for investment should be considered above and beyond financial cost benefit analysis.

Once your business case is approved, please get in touch with us at Safety People Australia!

If you are looking for talented and experienced Workplace Health and Safety professionals then we can help.  We have developed a strong reputation for providing quality recruitment services. We focus on the niche fields of Safety, Insurance and Risk. We invite you to follow our LinkedIn Company page to see available roles and industry news.