Even before the implementation of the Work Health and Safety Act in 2011, Australian businesses have taken workplace hazards very seriously. From government and agriculture to mining and manufacturing, industries everywhere are increasingly under pressure to manage workplace health and safety.
Although the serious claim rate has recently decreased, hundreds of thousands of serious workplace injuries are happening every year, according to data from Safe Work Australia. Yet, many organisations are reluctant to invest in HSEQ solutions that might help their cause.
Let’s take a closer look at why that might be and what businesses stand to gain from deploying a proper HSEQ management system.
Debunking misconceptions around HSEQ investment
The truth is that investing in a quality HSEQ management solution can ultimately become a substantial driver of growth for any company. However, many organisations have a tough time seeing beyond the immediate costs associated with deploying a new system. What’s more, they’re often blinded by a few common misconceptions:
1. WHS is just a requirement
Firstly, workplace health and safety (WHS) is most often mandated by compliance, whether it be by a governing agency or an industry regulator. For this reason, some businesses view their WHS procedures merely as regulatory requirements rather than something they want to develop and improve over time. And when these critical activities fall by the wayside, workplace risks are inevitably soon to follow.
In fact, according to a study by the Australian Council of Trade Unions, many workers feel confident that they could raise an issue of workplace safety with their employer, but 54% are aware of an existing, unresolved risk that could result in serious harm to a coworker or themselves.
These findings, the report suggests, indicate a “level of box-ticking by employers.” Although they’re willing to meet their minimum requirements by receiving complaints, they’re unwilling or incapable of acting on them to implement meaningful changes. Consequently, the organisation exposes itself — and, more importantly, its employees — to potential injury, illness or even death.
2. The status quo is good enough
The second most pressing misconception about HSEQ software is that it’s unnecessary. HSEQ software is often considered the last piece of the WHS puzzle. Before reaching that point, businesses will have already made a massive investment in assembling a health and safety team, creating policies and implementing procedures.
But at the end of that process, organisations need a system to manage all of those moving parts. Rather than dedicating more resources toward an HSEQ solution, businesses believe they can manage it using basic spreadsheets or pen and paper.
The problem? These methods aren’t designed for health and safety. They’re manual processes that are prone to error, time-consuming to complete and produce few — if any — meaningful insights.
Why HSEQ software should be viewed as an asset, not a cost
Yes, investing in a proper HSEQ management system does cost time and money. But when you compare the short-term price of the solution to the long-term cost of an unsafe workplace, it’s plain to see why HSEQ is worth the investment.
Let’s take a closer look at the direct and indirect advantages of an effective digital solution:
Automating manual processes: Manually filing a report and completing processes can be a very time-consuming ordeal. Digital solutions not only automate those procedures but free up time for employees to focus on other activities that drive value to the business.
Fewer workplace injuries: It’s no secret that workplace injuries are extremely costly to any business. In fact, the median compensation for a serious injury is over $13,000 per claim. The ability to spot potential hazards immediately, implement solutions and prevent injury is enough to return your investment multiple times.
Fewer legal fees: When workers get hurt, so does your business — it’s that simple. And one of the many ways the organisation suffers is by paying legal fees, fines and other costs associated with the aftermath of an injury. HSEQ software helps organisations avoid incidents and costly fees.
Reputational damage: Just one bad incident can reflect poorly on the whole company, which could impact your ability to find partners in the future. Digital processes help you avoid situations that could damage your brand and mitigate risks more proactively.
Staff retention: Nobody wants to work in an unsafe work environment. If your workplace isn’t safe, you’ll have a difficult time attracting or retaining talented employees. An HSEQ management system gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to safety by detecting and responding to risk as quickly as possible.
If leveraged correctly, an HSEQ management system like Lucidity isn’t just an asset — it’s a competitive advantage. With the help of an end-to-end integrated solution, you can move from reactive to proactive risk management while driving value directly to your bottom line. Better yet, you can reinforce your commitment to health and safety and realise the potential of a truly safe workplace.
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