A huge portion of Australia has essentially been shut down for the last six months. Gyms, cinemas, hairdressers and so many other business’ that people used to visit every day have either been boarded up completely until they have permission to reopen, or have been operating in a heavily modified capacity, with new restrictions in place concerning the number of customers allowed into the premises at the one time, a strict time limit regarding how long they can spend in store, and so on. This has caused a significant impact to many organisations’ ability to operate, leading to discussions about how to best prepare for business’ return to ‘normality’, or at least some semblance of normality.
Companies are now faced with the dual challenge of ensuring that their premises meets the government’s health and safety requirement regarding business’ being open for trading, and providing potential customers with the peace of mind that comes from knowing that the company has actively understood the health risks and concerns that come with reopening, and has taken active steps to ensure that their business is meeting government requirements, by providing customers with a safe business premises to visit.
The implementation of a structured, cohesive Occupational Health and Safety Management system provides business’ with an effective strategy for addressing Work Health and Safety concerns, such as ensuring their office is hygienic and COVID-Safe, that there are adequate hygiene facilities onsite for both employees and guests, that staff and visitors are made aware of their own responsibility in ensuring a safe physical environment whilst onsite, and so on. One of the central benefits of implementing an OH&S Management system is that it allows your organisation to bring structure and cohesion to an otherwise confronting task. By working with your organisation to address its OH&S requirements in a structured, logical manner, your organisation will be able to understand the entire scope of its OH&S responsibilities, develop a plan for meeting them in a logical manner, work at applying this plan across the board within the organisation, and conduct regular reviews of its existing systems to ensure that they continue to meet the companies OH&S responsibilities.
The International Organization for Standardization has recently developed an internationally certified, proven successful, set of OH&S standards and practices, that should be the first port of call for business’ wanting to make their premises safe, healthy, and productive, for staff, customers, and visitors. The ISO 45001:2018 OH&S Standards provides business’ with easy to implement, effective work health and safety practices and guidelines, that they can apply across their organisation, to work at developing an efficient safety management system that ensures the wellbeing of staff, customers, and all onsite visitors, at all times.
The standards can work with your business management, to ensure that your operations is both COVID-Safe and compliant, by providing benefits to the business, such as:
- Identifying potential health and safety issues that the organisation was not even aware of, through a gap analysis, which analyses where the business is at now in terms of OH&S practices, and then looks at where it needs to get to, and then works on developing a clear plan to get from Point A to B. Business’ attempting to conduct an occupational health and safety gap analysis of their organisation without a cohesive structure in place to guide them through it risk overlooking or downplaying potential OH&S risks. That is, an issue could potentially arise from something they never even considered a risk, leaving them to attempt to mitigate its effects on the business, while also upholding their reputation as a safe organisation to deal with. Business’ that work with this internationally certified OH&S standard stand the best chance of identifying and mitigating all potential OH&S issues, before they can impact operations.
- Providing strategies to help train staff on their OH&S responsibilities, such as practicing good personal hygiene, wearing protective masks and other clothing, and providing them with a clear chain-of-command structure on what to do in the event of a potential incident, who to report it to, strategies on remaining safe, and so on.
- Developing a post-implementation reviewal process, to ensure that the organisation continues to meet its OH&S requirements. Occupational health and safety policies may change due to new government laws and regulations, and it is important for business’ to stay on top of these changes. Doing so means that they continue to meet their legal requirements, as well as demonstrate to the wider community that they are a safe, reputable business to deal with. A regular auditing procedure will ensure that your business is continuing to meet its social, moral, and legal OH&S requirements.
COVID could also mean Companies Obediently, Vigilantly Identifying Danger
Over the next few months companies across Australia are slowly going to start returning to ‘normal’. This means that staff will begin returning to the workplace, and customers will gradually begin to visit the business’ they used to frequent. The business’ with the highest chances of attracting, and maintaining, customers are the ones that work at demonstrating that they have identified the scope of potential COVID-19 risks, and are taking active steps to ensure that their premises is COVID-Safe.
Through the implementation of an internationally certified OH&S management system your business stands the strongest chance of giving staff, clients, and customers the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your premises is a safe and supportive environment.
To find out more about how your organisation could benefit from applying these OH&S standards, then please give Anitech’s safety systems consultants a call today on 1300 802 163. By giving them a brief rundown of your organisation, and its OH&S requirements, they will be able to discuss with you the ways in which this OH&S Management system could be tailored to your operations, in order to strengthen its OH&S practices, and maintain the confidence of the general public. What could be a safer business strategy than that?
Please click here to read more about how an OH&S management system makes workplaces more productive environments through strengthening their health and safety practices.