Compliance alone will not keep workers safe


Focusing on permits and signs does not protect workers and often leaves actual health and safety measures forgotten in the rush to complete paperwork, Besafe Training General Manager Jason Braithwaite says


We have a culture of paper health and safety, but proper measures like assessing risk, putting in place appropriate controls and ensuring they are enforced do not get the attention they deserve.

There is a lot of data and information to help improve how work is performed and that actual freak accidents – the ones nobody saw coming – are incredibly rare.

When a workplace accident occurs, it is usually because of a failure of assessment, process or practice.

There needs to be some real education of directors and management around understanding their obligations, as well as of workers.

Cultural shift

Workplace accidents will continue until there is a significant cultural shift in health and safety regarding both attitudes and practice.

The general workplace approach to health and safety is still too blasé. There’s a lot of lip service but very little practical application.

Visible regulation 

Legislation around health and safety is too loose and characterised by sweeping statements but little direction on putting it into practice.

We need more vocal and more visible regulators. The data that we get from Government is out of date by the time it gets to us, so that needs to be more real-time because right now it is a lagging indicator.

Better education

Health and safety training should be done for the benefit of worker safety instead of the current tick-box culture.

There is too much emphasis on paperwork and less so on skills and proper health and safety practise.