A Crucial Step Towards a Safer Workplace – What is WHS?

Any wise goal-setter will ensure they review and assess where things are at mid-way through the term, an essential move to identify if things are going well, needing changes, and if they look to be on track for successful and timely competition at their due date.

To ensure the effectiveness of WHS initiatives, it is crucial to regularly evaluate and review the goals set at the beginning of the year. In this blog post, we will explore the significance of reviewing work health and safety goals midway through the year and how it can help organisations stay on track.

Reviewing the goals need not take a long time, it could be as simple as setting up a couple of meetings with relevant stakeholders and discussing where the Action Plans are at. These meetings should be documented as evidence of undertaking the activity and of goal status.

 

The Benefits of Completing a Mid-Year Review

There are many benefits to maintaining a high level of workplace safety, from retaining staff, to boosting overall employee productivity. Below, we will outline the steps you can take to fulfill your responsibilities:

  • Assessing Progress and Performance
  • Identifying Emerging Risks and Challenges
  • Engaging Employees in the Process
  • Enhancing Compliance with Legal and Regulatory Requirements
  • Leveraging Technology and Innovation
  • Comply with the internal WHS Management System
  • Developing a Continuous Improvement Culture

 

Assessing Progress and Performance

Reviewing WHS goals midway through the year allows organisations to assess their progress and performance in relation to the set objectives. By comparing the actual outcomes to date with the predetermined goals, you can identify areas of success and areas requiring addressing.

For example, a goal may be to have completed Basic WHS training for all employees by September, and to date (July), the training has not yet been written or arranged, there would be concern that the goal may not be on track. Looking back to any Action Plans that were developed to achieve the goals will identify who/when items are due to be completed and assist with tracking.

 

Identifying Emerging Risks and Challenges

The work environment is constantly evolving, and new risks and challenges may arise unexpectedly. By conducting a mid-year review of WHS goals, organisations can identify emerging risks and challenges that may not have been apparent during the initial goal-setting phase.

For example, several team members assigned to a critical goal may have left the organisation, leading to the goal being stalled. Consideration must be given to the prioritisation of that goal, and if the due date should be adjusted, or alternative team members assigned to take over. Reflection on all goals and any new/predicted risks and challenges will be beneficial in ensuring the strategies and action plans are still suitable.

 

Engaging Employees in the Process

The success of any WHS initiative depends on the active participation and engagement of employees. Reviewing WHS goals mid-way through the year provides an opportunity to involve employees in the evaluation process. Seeking their input and feedback can help identify potential gaps or areas where improvements can be made.

Engaging employees fosters a culture of ownership and accountability, encouraging them to take an active role in maintaining a safe and healthy work environment.

 

Enhancing Compliance with Legal and Regulatory Requirements

Work health and safety legislation and regulations are continually evolving. By reviewing WHS goals periodically, organisations can ensure their compliance with the latest legal and regulatory requirements.

This review process helps identify any gaps in meeting the prescribed standards and enables businesses to implement necessary measures to align with the updated regulations. Staying ahead of compliance issues mitigates legal risks and demonstrates a commitment to employee well-being and organisational responsibility.

 

Leveraging Technology and Innovation

The digital age has ushered in a plethora of technological advancements that can significantly enhance WHS practices as we recently wrote about. Conducting a mid-year review of WHS goals provides an opportunity to explore and incorporate innovative technologies and tools into existing processes.

For example, businesses can leverage data analytics to identify patterns, predict potential hazards, and develop proactive safety measures. Goals set 6 months ago may now benefit from a new technology or AI tool that didn’t exist back then. Adopting new technologies can improve WHS outcomes and streamlines processes, leading to increased efficiency and cost savings.

 

Comply with the internal WHS Management System

If the business operates under a WHS Management System, there would be a section within the system that discusses the requirement for management to review any goals, KPIs, strategies, plans and initiatives on an ongoing basis.

A WHS Strategy and Action Plans would fall under this category, so to demonstrate compliance with the internal WHSMS, the mid-year review is essential. Management demonstrating their commitment and compliance with the business’s WHSMS will encourage broader employee respect and compliance with their WHS obligations.

 

Developing a Continuous Improvement Culture

Regularly reviewing WHS goals reinforces the concept of continuous improvement within an organisation. By reflecting on achievements, identifying areas for improvement, and implementing corrective measures, organizations create a culture that encourages ongoing evaluation and adaptation. This culture fosters a proactive approach to WHS and establishes a foundation for long-term success and sustained improvement.

 

Summary

Incorporating work health and safety goals mid-way through the year is an essential practice for businesses committed to the improvement of WHS. The mid-year review process allows for an assessment of progress, identification of emerging risks, engagement of employees, compliance with legal requirements, utilisation of technology, and development of a continuous improvement culture.

By prioritizing regular evaluations, businesses demonstrate their commitment to employee well-being and ensure the effectiveness of WHS initiatives. In doing so, they contribute to a more productive, safer, and healthier work environment for all.

 

About Employment Innovations

Employment Innovations is one of Australia’s leading providers of employment services designed to increase productivity and ensure compliance. Its services and solutions include all the tools that every Australian small to medium sized employer needs – including workplace advice, workplace safety, legal services, payroll solutions, migration, human resource management and HR software.

 

Disclaimer

The information provided in these blog articles is general in nature and is not intended to substitute for professional advice. If you are unsure about how this information applies to your specific situation we recommend you contact Employment Innovations for advice.

 

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