Based on our experience one of the first questions a WorkSafe inspector will ask you after an accident is,
“What did YOU do to prevent this accident from happening?”
This can be a pretty challenging question if you do not have a sufficiently good, fully documented system to demonstrate clearly what you, the people around you and your organisation have done. Saying things like, “I told them to be careful,” or “they should have used their common sense,” or “he/she is an experienced worker and should have known better” and other platitudes such as these won’t impress the inspector or the lawyers.
To be absolutely certain that you have covered all the bases and that you are indeed bulletproof from prosecution is obviously impossible, but there are several things you can do to give yourself and your organisation a good chance of survival.
First, make sure that all your firm’s top (including directors), middle and lower management, supervisors and leading hands know what their duty of care responsibilities for safety are and how to discharge them – if they don’t know they and the firm are very vulnerable to prosecution and for top management, gaol time.
What next? Well, I strongly recommend that you must have a properly documented Safety Management System which lays out clearly what the organisation does for safety, who does it and when it is done.
The best Safety Management System model to use is Australian Standard AS 4801/45001.Follow this model to give yourself a chance of defending yourself and firm against prosecution and charges of negligence.
If you want to know more about having your own Safety Management System to help bulletproof yourself just give me a call for a chat; 0412 602 742.
Please, Do it Now
This material is advisory only and is not legal advice therefore before acting take professional legal counsel.