Work health and safety (WHS) is a very important topic of conversation among senior managers in all companies across Australia today. Management clearly has a responsibility to ensure that all employees can enjoy working in a safe and healthy environment at all times. But how is this goal achieved? And what exactly is management’s role in workplace safety? In this article, we will answer these questions and more, to provide you with a clear overview of the topic.
We will also offer a solution for companies that wish to start a new WHS programme but do not have the knowledge or expertise to do so. Even with no in-house specialists, you can implement a highly effective programme that delivers outstanding results.
How Management Can Promote Better WHS
Management is in a position to have a significant impact on WHS outcomes in Australian companies today. Among the many ways in which management teams can have a positive impact on WHS, we believe the following are key to any successful workplace safety improvement programme:
- Promoting workplace safety as a key corporate goal – Senior managers need to ensure that all employees are aware of the organisation’s commitment to WHS. This can best be achieved by creating a written statement concerning the company’s stance on WHS issues, which can then form part of your core corporate philosophy documentation. These actions will demonstrate a strong, lasting commitment to health and safety in the workplace, on behalf of your organisation and its management team.
- Defining and publishing clear WHS targets – By setting clear organisational targets for WHS, management can make sure that every employee is aware of what is expected of them and what they need to do on a daily basis to comply with corporate WHS policies. Organisational WHS goals should be both realistic and measurable so they can be achieved and verified on a continual basis. Some companies may find that monthly competitions, with prizes awarded to employees who excel in WHS matters, are a great motivational tool when trying to raise awareness of and increase participation in, workplace safety improvement programmes.
- Providing and distributing sufficient resources – Having established the guiding principles of workplace safety at an organisation level and set clear corporate goals, management is responsible for providing and allocating the necessary resources to support their WHS programme. When putting together a budget for your organisation’s WHS programme, you should allow for the purchase of capital equipment as well as the cost of training, PPE and employees’ time. Providing all the necessary resources will not only ensure that your programme runs smoothly, but it will also serve as yet another reminder of your organisation’s unwavering commitment to health and safety in the workplace.
- Assigning responsibility for WHS targets in various areas –To ensure that your WHS guidelines are followed uniformly by all members of staff, you should appoint WHS supervisors in each department or area of your organisation. These supervisors will be responsible for monitoring overall WHS performance in their department as well as individual efforts. The most important aspect of management’s role in workplace safety at the level of individual employees is to foster an inclusive environment in which everybody has a part to play and everybody has access to adequate education and instruction when needed.
By taking all of the following steps, your management team can ensure that it plays a leading role in the promotion of better WHS for all employees.
Expert assistance with a new WHS programme
If you lack the in-house expertise to set up an effective WHS improvement programme, we recommend contacting a team of experts to help you get started. As highly experienced and fully qualified work safety consultants in Perth, we have helped many companies in WA to implement effective workplace safety improvement programmes and would be delighted to provide your organisation with the same service.