Evidence isn’t just for TV shows like CSI.
In our experience of court rulings, we find that judges often impose a much heftier fine on a business, when there is no evidence of safety documentation in place, and no regard given to the safety of the workers and the general public at their workplace.
As a business owner you know that good record keeping is important, but probably dread the thought of adding more paperwork! However, here at Safe-R Outcomes we make this all really easy.
Here is some background on why having evidence like safety documentation is so important…
Quite often we are asked ‘Do these documents cover me?’ We know what business owners are looking for us to tell them, that yes having documents covers you, but unfortunately we can’t. You can be doing all the right things as far as reasonably practicable and have all your documents and licences etc in-place, but if something goes wrong you could still be questioned, sued or have your site shut down during an investigation.
Do not let any company or person try and tell you that you are covered, as this would not only be incorrect advice, but would also put you and your business at risk!
What safety documents do is help ensure you are meeting your legal obligations and provide evidence you are managing safety as long as the work is being completed, as per the law and what is in your safety documents.
So if you can provide evidence that you have supplied your workers with the right documents you can help reduce your exposure to fines, site closures and civil litigation.
The easiest way to do this is by emailing your workers and subcontractors your safety documents, and by having them sign a register to say they have read the document, understand it, and agree to abide by the content.
- A Safety Plan or manual in place that all workers and sub-contractors have read and agreed to (on a register)
- Regular safety checks that are recorded on a checklist
- Regular safety meetings with all your workers and sub-contractors (with a signed attendance register by all attendees)
- Implemented the safety practices that are stated in the documentation into the day to day operation of your workers
- Done your best at keeping up to date with the latest changes and expectations
Having your safety documents in place allows you to show evidence that you are aware of your obligations in regards to workplace safety. Like many things in the law, ignorance is not a defence. You can’t tell an inspector, a judge or an insurance company that you didn’t know about workplace safety, it’s part of your job as a business owner to know these things.
If something goes wrong it’s not enough to say “We are a very safe company that follows all legislation” if you have no proof, it will not hold up in court and an inspector will definitely not believe you.
That’s how our easy to use documents and training help you. They provide that paper trail that allows you to confidently know you have the evidence you need.
If you’ve ever had a worker who did something they shouldn’t have, and when confronted, claimed they didn’t know they weren’t allowed… a signed register or an email receipt is irrefutable evidence.
While it may seem overwhelming, over the top or just too time consuming, having evidence really can save you time and money in the long run.