Everyone wants clarity. We want the comfort of knowing we are doing the right thing or that we are meeting the targets we and others set. Workplace safety is no different but it has been complicated to an extent that clarity is unachievable and so uncertainty has come to dominate.
Occupational health and safety (OHS) consultants are often asked by business, small business in particular, “just tell us how to comply”. Once upon a time this could be done but now the best a consultant can do is say something like “I reckon you’ll be okay, ……. if you follow through with the commitments needed, and keep your state of knowledge up to date, and take out as many liability insurances as you can, and become a member of an industry association ….and……..and…..”
The cult of “reasonably practicable” has been a major cause of this uncertainty but even prior to this was the move in Australia in the 1990s from a prescriptive regulatory structure to performance-based.
OHS compliance is now at the stage of the “best guess” or an “educated guess”, if one is lucky. Continue reading “Focus on Safety and compliance will come”