While a number of Australian organisations are genuine about creating high standards of safety and preventing loss and harm, this is not always reflective in the overall company strategy and in employees’ behavior, according to OHS&E risk management specialist, Kevin Berry.
The most important criteria for building a sustainable OHS&E culture is leadership accountability that is driven from the board and CEO, said Berry.
“Everyone recognises the importance of people, brand and reputation – and the money – so overall, we are all moving in the right direction,” he said.
Speaking ahead of the Safety Conference in Sydney, Berry said that OHS&E needs to be aligned with the overall company strategy in order for it to contribute to a company’s long-term success.
“To achieve this everybody must understand OHS&E benefits the business commercially. It can’t be an add-on, it has to be an intrinsic: ‘it’s just the way we do business around here,’” he explained.
Berry, who employs an OHS&E change management process called “Empower 7”, believes that organisations often want to improve their OHS&E culture – but often do so in a reactive manner.
“The irony is that the same organisations which want to improve the OHS&E culture have very clear strategies around commercial objectives, but don’t apply the same problem solving strategies to improving the OHS&E standards,” said Berry, who heads up OHS&E risk management consulting firm, KBC.
“We believe that using a framework that clearly defines ‘where we need to get to’ and ‘how we are going to get there’ can only increase the prospect of success.”
Berry will be among 70 speakers at The Safety Conference presented by the Safety Institute of Australia at the Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park, from 26-28 October. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org , visit www.thesafetyshow.com or call 03 9654 7773.