Assessing Your Council’s WHS Systems & Safety Culture

October 21, 2019

In the 2018 Local Government Risk Report for Australian Local Government, Aon delivered the results of a national risk survey of the sector. Health and safety concerns have all leapt higher (moving up 2 spots to #3 in the top 10 risks) as Councils count the risk and cost of human impact. But many Councils however are missing the chance to take simple steps to reduce human risks – it’s an opportunity to grasp.

The health and safety of workers is of paramount importance to Councils. Poor controls can not only impact the safety and wellbeing of staff, but could result in legal, financial and reputational impacts. Ultimately, this can affect the ability to deliver services to the community. The role diversity and location variables are key factors that shape and impact the shared safety culture prevailing at Councils.

Centium can conduct a paired WHS Systems Audit and Safety Culture Assessment.

What does each ‘arm’ entail?

A WHS Systems Audit assesses compliance against Australian Standard AS/NZS 48012001 delivering an understanding of how Council’s current WHS practices and processes against current legislation and codes of practice. We perform testing to evaluate the operating effectiveness of current key WHS controls, identify areas of good practice as well as opportunities for improvement in relation to controls and the efficiency of processes.

The Safety Culture Assessment we conduct utilises the Hudson Model of Safety Cultures – but we’ve gone much further. Centium have developed a proprietary method for enabling whole-of-Council engagement and testing against 10 key areas of focus mapped back to the Hudson Model of Safety Cultures. It is a well observed phenomena amongst Councils that even great WHS policies and procedures can have low levels of application and uptake. Therefore, testing the safety culture is able to look at factors such as leadership, norms and behaviours enable us to present strategic action projects that inform and complement a compliance audit approach.

The result? A set of agreed management actions derived from the WHS Systems Audit supported by a series of developmental programs focused on improving safety culture in order to embed improvements and new ways of working.  For more information, please get in touch with us.

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