How to improve your trade business WHS with Keep It Simple Group

Knowing your workplace health and safety requirements is important for every tradie business to ensure compliance and create a safe and happy work environment for your employees. Having good safety systems and procedures in place can give business owners piece of mind and help avoid costly legal consequences if a serious accident occurs.

changes in workplace health and safety [0:00:29s]

Workplace health and safety hasn’t changed much over the years but expectations for businesses, councils, governments and contractors have increased. There isn’t a lot of education available on workplace health and safety measures for businesses which is causing a massive issue because business owners don’t really understand what they should be doing to stay compliant.

 

understanding workplace health and safety [0:01:55s]

Lack of understanding is one of the biggest issues for businesses when it come to workplace healthy and safety. Shayne believes that the Australian government has failed in providing education on what it means to be in business from a work safe workplace health and safety point of view. This has lead to him creating a course for small business owners to get a fundamental understanding of what safety is from a business owner’s or business manager’s point of view.

 

workplace health and safety for tradies [0:05:34s]

Workplace health and safety is crucial for every business, especially in the trades. Some businesses are compliant with safety regulations because it is mandated by their clients, while others do not prioritise safety until an incident occurs. It is important to build a company that is focused on awareness, education, and training for workplace health and safety.  

Having proper systems in place for workplace health and safety will add value to your business both legally and financially and it doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming if the right systems and procedures are put in place from the start.

 

The law hasn't really changed a great deal in that time but the expectations of businesses, councils, government, tier one, tier contractors, that's probably the piece that's changed the most. You might have once been able to skate through with the basic SWMS to do those kind of jobs, now there's a much higher requirement on businesses to show their compliance and of course as with all things with the government, all the fines have gone up as well.

IMPORTANCE OF WORKPLACE HEALTH AND SAFETY [0:10:01s]

The Small Business WHS Course aims to fill knowledge gaps which will help businesses comply with legal requirements related to workplace health and safetyIt covers topics such as risk assessments, emergency procedures, incident reporting, and legal obligations related to workplace health and safety. 

The online course includes video modules, quizzes, and practical exercises to help tradie business owners apply what they have learned to their own workplace. The course can be completed at your own pace and you will receive a certificate upon completion.

Shayne tells us that implementing proper systems for workplace health and safety can improve employee morale, reduce absenteeism due to injury or illness, increase productivity, lower insurance premiums, and enhance a business’s reputation. He notes that prioritising workplace health and safety is not only a legal obligation but also a moral responsibility towards your employees.

 

legal consequences of not having proper safety measures [0:10:43S]

Legal requirements for managing risk in different states of Australia are fundamentally similar and there are some serious implications of not having proper safety measures in place. 

Several states have manslaughter laws in place, which means that if a fatality occurs due to lack of safety measures, the responsible person could end up in jail. Businesses may face severe consequences after a serious incident, including damage to their reputation not to mention stress on the business owner.

Shane has seen many businesses go out of business because they cannot handle the stress involved after a serious incident.

Having someone seriously injured at work is something different to anything that anyone would have been would have been through in other aspects of their business because you're talking about someone's livelihood, and possibly the rest of their life, being affected and it's hard to quantify what that really looks like

importance of saftey measures [0:13:15S]

Safety is as much about making people think before they act as it is about having all necessary systems in place to protect staff and businesses. It’s a given that accidents will happen, and it’s important to be prepared for them to protect your businesses from serious consequences.

Having good systems in place can help level the playing field between businesses and prevent cowboy operations from undercutting legitimate businesses.

 

 

course contents [0:16:24S]

Shayne tell us that he course is designed to help small business owners understand workplace health and safety in a simple and straightforward way, with no complicated legal jargon. The modular structure of the course makes it easy to follow and complete within an hour and 45 minutes. Legal obligations of owning a business are discussed, including your duty of care.

Risk management is a big topic in the course, broken down into several parts such as SWMS, JSA’s, JHA’s and hierarchy of controls. Documentation requirements for WHS policies, processes, procedures are discussed along with incident management planning.

 

 

training for supervisors and managers [0:20:47S]

It is important to provide training to supervisors and managers on what it means to be a supervisor so that they are clear on their roles and responsibilities.

Keeping records of training is crucial for compliance purposes and the same goes for documenting interactions with employees, as it can help in case of an emergency or if anything goes wrong.

Technology can be used to make this documentation process easier, even providing you with reminders for when things are due or expire.

 

understanding worksafe [0:24:20S]

It’s important to understand the role of WorkSafe and where they fit into the process. The role of WorkSafe in ensuring safety compliance and there are two main types of people you might meet from WorkSafe: those who randomly inspect sites, and those who investigate incidents.

Businesses should have a good relationship with their regulator, and calling them out for a visit can provide peace of mind that systems are working well. Being proactive about safety compliance is key, technology is your friend for staying up to date and being able to provide any information WorkSafe may require.

 

 

understanding your health and safety obligations [0:28:07S]

Business owners cannot avoid their obligation to ensure a safe workplace. As a business owner, you are responsible for the health and safety of your employees and contractors. 

Being proactive about health and safety is essential because accidents can happen at any time. Putting systems in place is similar to getting insurance; it ensures that you’re prepared if something goes wrong. Even if your company acts safely, having a system in place ensures that everyone stays informed, trained, and compliant.

Business owners who want to outsource health and safety management can seek assistance from companies like Keep It Simple Group. If you prefer to manage health and safety yourself, Shayne recommends using the course’s contents to get started and determine where you stand regarding compliance.

 

Stuff is going to go wrong sometimes and so safety is as much about trying to make people think before they act as it is about making sure you've got all the systems in place to make sure that your staff, your business, you are protected if something does go wrong.

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SAFETY AND QUALITY [0:33:43S]

Safety and quality fit very closely together. Doing quality work means doing it safely because you plan and have everything in place. Producing bad work with low-quality standards makes a business more likely to be unsafe because corners are cut, things are done without planning.

It is important to educate consumers about the balance between getting something for the right price and getting the right work done. Getting dodgy work done can have detrimental effects even if it’s only a small price difference. Getting the cheapest company rarely gives you the best quality or safest outcome.

 

EDUCATING YOUR BUSINESS ON SAFETY [0:36:31S]

Keep It Simple Safety has a mission to provide education on business safety by getting their course out to as many business owners as possible.

Shayne offers a special deal for TradiePad customers and partners where you can access the Small Business WHS course here for free! The self-assessment is key to knowing where you stand in terms of safety. Shayne believes doing anything is better than doing nothing, and the self-assessment will give you a to-do list or action items list at the end.

Keep It Simple Safety also offer a free initial conversation to discuss where the business is at and where it wants to go. Completing the course and doing a self-assessment can be a great starting point for this conversation. The self-assessment helps identify areas where the business is doing well and areas that need improvement. This information can be used to determine what steps should be taken next.

We all know running a business is not easy, so it’s important not to feel guilty or freaked out about seeking help. It’s better to ask for help than let guilt stop you from making improvements that could benefit your business.

As soon as you put employees on you've got to worry about your duty of care which is part of the legal framework and duty of care is really about making sure that you're doing your due diligence as an owner, or a manager, of a business and making sure that you have all of your things in place.

EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENTS AND HR [0:41:08S]

HR and safety are often overlooked aspects of running a business but are crucial for success. Many businesses do not understand employment laws and regulations, which can lead to legal issues down the line. It’s important for businesses to have proper employment agreements in place and seek expert advice if needed.

Just like with accounting or legal matters, it’s important for businesses to seek expert advice on HR and safety matters. That way you can focus on what you do best and delegate other tasks to the experts.

 

MEET THE SPEAKERS

Shayne Connolly - Keep It Simple Group

Shayne helps tradies manage their WHS compliance with the use of software without adding more overheads to their business.

CLINTON COWIN - TradiePad MD

Clinton is driven by a passion to help the construction and field services industries evolve through the use of technology and education.

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