Twenty years ago the term OSH would have been followed by Kosh B’Gosh, as people automatically recalled the popular kids’ clothing advertising slogan.
Now, the risks for businesses not fully across their Occupational Safety and Health obligations are real and expensive.
Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA Risk Services Senior Consultant Rachael Lincoln advises small businesses on how best to meet their health and safety obligations, with on-site visits.
She says most small businesses need help to get a plan in place and will outline the essentials at the HR Link quarterly briefing on June 26.
“Firstly, working out what their risks are and what a reasonable approach is to reduce the risk,” says Lincoln.
“There is a balance between doing everything humanly possible so workers don’t get hurt and not doing anything at all – the trick is to find that balance.”
Lincoln says many small business owners believe that spending money on OSH is an unnecessary expense.
“That is the wrong approach,” says Lincoln.
“It is difficult to estimate the economic value and the benefits may be delayed or variable but, among other things, studies show that money invested in OSH show a net benefit in lowering compliance costs, reducing staff sick days and costs associated with incidents.”
Not having an OSH strategy in place had a number of risks, including forking out for compensation claims, repairs and legal advice, said Lincoln.
“Poor OSH performance is a significant predictor of low levels of employee engagement,” she says.
“If you fail to manage OSH and wellness, your business will be four times more likely to lose talent in the next 12 months.”
Lincoln is one of a team of CCI specialists who offer Workplace Health and Safety Check-ups.
The experienced consultants can recommend on issues including:
- Health and safety legislation compliance
- OH&S documentation
- Risk management strategies and
- WorkSafe WA Inspectors’ priority areas
► Lincoln will present more information at Tuesday morning’s HR Link Quarterly Briefing. Don’t miss out, get your tickets here.