We all know what Russian Roulette is: the practice of loading a bullet into one chamber of a revolver, spinning the cylinder, and then pulling the trigger while pointing the gun at one’s own head. It’s incredibly dangerous and quite frankly, reckless! But many business owners are playing Russian Roulette with their risk management and safety practices every day. You know the drill “safety is just a waste of time”, “I don’t have time to worry about safety – I’ve got a business to run!”. With current legislation tightening the requirements – and penalties – for business owners around safety and risk management, it’s a dangerous game to play.
But the game is played far too often, and the victims are the workers. And ultimately, your business.
A professional, well managed business must protect itself and its workers from harm. It just makes sense from a moral, monetary and business sustainability perspective. Risk management should be practised in business every day. There are risks that businesses need to identify, assess and control, not only for safety, but financial, inventory, technology, market and staffing levels. Safety is one more risk that needs to be managed.
Easier said than done I hear you say. But risk management is not a complicated process. We do it every day unconsciously. Crossing a busy road, we are identifying, assessing and controlling the risk. All it takes is four questions:
- What can go wrong?
- What are the consequences if it does go wrong?
- What can I do to prevent it?
- Are my preventative controls effective?
Effective risk management reduces the likelihood of incidents happening and softens their impact. Pro-actively searching for, and controlling hazards in your business means there is less chance that your workers are going to get hurt. And as a direct result of that, your workers are more productive, the costs associated with incidents (medical costs, rehabilitation, increases in insurance premiums, time out of the business for you and your worker, employing additional staff….the list goes on) and your potential exposure to liability, investigation and prosecution are greatly minimised.
Put the gun down. Russian Roulette is not the game for you.
Would you like a free 30-minute strategy consultation on safety in your organisation? If so, please reach out to me via phone, email or the Safety for Life website.