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What Is An Occupational Health and Safety Professional and What Do They Do

Most employers and employees are aware of terms such as “workplace health and safety” or “occupational health and safety”. There are professionals who are trained and experienced in the field of occupational health and safety, but what do they do exactly and should you hire an industry professional for your business?

What Is An OHS Professional?

Occupational health and safety is a requirement of every Australian business, no matter how big or small. All business owners need to comply with the laws and regulations that govern their industry, to ensure a safe work environment for employees and anyone else visiting the premises.

An OHS professional may be employed by a government department to make sure local businesses are complying with OH&S standards, or they could be someone employed by a company or business to oversee risk management and compliance management for that particular enterprise.

If your business has the budget for it, you may consider hiring a full-time compliance manager to guarantee that your business, and your employees, remain compliant with regulations at all times. Your compliance manager will be well versed in what’s required and ideally have experience in your particular industry.

Staff Training In Industry Compliance

This is a key area where your compliance professional will come in very handy.

Not only is it important for employers to understand OH&S requirements, but every single employee should be aware of the rules and regulations as well. If they have no idea, how can they be expected to remain compliant with the law?

Your OHS professional will be able to compile reports that detail OH&S requirements, so that every worker is fully aware of what’s required and can abide by the rules. Training sessions can also be implemented to teach everyone involved what to do so that your business never finds itself on the wrong side of the law.

An Industry Professional Will Create a Safer Work Environment

The entire idea of having a professional workplace health and safety employee on your team is to create a safe work environment where everyone feels secure and the risk of an accident or injury is minimal. While you want to be compliant so you don’t get in trouble with the law, the top priority should be the safety of everyone who works at or visits the premises.

Your compliance manager will strive to ensure this is the case, by identifying anything that poses a potential risk or could cause an accident. The compliance professional will be aided by staff members in establishing what is deemed risky and needs addressing.

It’s vital that the manager confers with members of staff, as it’s the individual employees involved in certain roles who will best be able to identify potential hazards in the job role that they perform. The risk and compliance manager won’t be fully aware of what’s involved in every single facet of the business. Only the workers really understand this.

So, not only will a professional help make the work environment much safer, but they must also be willing to liaise with everyone who works there for a comprehensive overview of business operations.

Armed with this overview, the OHS professional can then develop strategies and plans to reduce risks in the workplace and therefore negate potential hazards before accidents can occur. If your operation is a sizeable one, it may be well worth employing a full-time risk and compliance manager to oversee all of this.

Specialised Software For OH&S Compliance

There are software companies that create risk management software for specific businesses. Workplace Health and Safety software is also available, which has proven to be particularly useful for risk managers and compliance professionals.

All details of compliance requirements for your business can be input into the software. The program can analyse your business operations and pinpoint problem areas. Incident reports can also be easily submitted to governing bodies via the software.

This is a powerful and modern technology that really helps to make compliance management so much easier to implement. So, professional software to aid your professional compliance manager is something to seriously consider investing in.

The Wrap

The first step in ensuring your business is compliant with regulations is to understand what’s required of you as a business owner. Employing a compliance professional could prove to be one of the best investments you’ve ever made.