“A ship is safe in the harbor, but that is not what ships are built for.” (John Augustus Shedd; 1928).
Just as a ship must take calculated risks to be productive, workplaces must also manage risks effectively to be productive.
So what is the difference between good risk management and negligence?
The key lies in effective consultation with workers to identify hazards, particularly before they cause harm, implement appropriate controls and review those controls for effectiveness.
Assessing the likelihood and severity of harm for each identified hazard will also help workplaces to manage multiple risks, prioritising them and directing resources to those that may cause higher levels of harm.
Safer workplaces are achievable. Ask us how.
I was out walking on the weekend and saw 2 glaring examples of fall risks, less than 100 metres apart. The first image is of a pool construction site. The contractor is balancing on a very narrow ledge in front of the fence, approximately 2.5 metres above the ground. Whilst fall protection is not required in South Australia for potential drops that are less than 3 metres, there is still a duty of care to have safe systems of work. Moments before this photo was taken, the worker was leaning out mid-air over the upright reinforcing rods. OUCH!!
This second photo is of a homeowner doing some maintenance on the front of his home. His feet are approximately 4.5 metres above the ladder feet. The ladder feet are placed on a narrow step and the top of the ladder is not secured. Note he is not wearing any fall protection. A sideways or backwards fall for this enterprising homeowner could very well be fatal, given the terrain and hard surfaces below.
Take the time to look after your own safety. A life changing accident is no good for anyone!