Leadership: Ensuring a voice at the table

24 Jun 2020

Leadership: Ensuring a voice at the table

Management and safety departments within organisations have long known about the duty to consult, cooperate and coordinate under the WHS Act. Primarily, this focus has been on the workers and health and safety representatives. What has not been given the attention it deserves is the duty to consult with other duty holders including designers, manufactures and suppliers.

As many organisations strive to become more resilient, sustainable, competitive and more adept at continually improving what they do, the adoption of language and principles from high reliability organising (HRO), resilience engineering (RE) and Safety II theories, are appearing in management plans and other organisational documents.

Implicit in these theories is the need for business processes to be integrated. Organisations by their very nature are interdependent entities that must work together to succeed. Integrating safety across business systems will be essential for the high performing organisations of the future.
As more qualified generalist OHS Professionals establish themselves into Australian organisations, those organisations will be better equipped to systemically and systematically manage their occupational health and safety risks to prevent work related fatalities, injuries, diseases and ill health.

My presentation will explore how OHS professionals can support and encourage their involvement in the planning and design phases of projects, in the context of a newly formed organisation with team members from a range of different backgrounds and experiences.
Keywords: safety II, engineering, HRO, RE, risk, safety integration, PDCA, culture, safety perception, safety in design.