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Pay attention people, all hell could break loose with your staff and you may not even know it! Ok I may be exaggerating a little but the thing is you could have a potential problem so stop now and read on…

Here’s the issue, you figure the people you employed will have some common sense and do the right thing in your business, know their skills, apply them well and be a productive part of your business community. But wait, what if you learned they may not have so much common sense after all, don’t feel bad (just yet) many people seem to fall into this category…

The specific issue this time is OHS, lets set a scene to explain why. You explain the OHS system when you employed a person and figure they will remember to let you know if an incident happens, even if it is a minor one or even if it has the possibility of happening. But over time they forget.

Lets go a step further, the staff member in question, ¬†twists quickly in the course of ¬†doing their job, no lifting of an object… just a twist, lets say to change direction while walking… In an instant they feel some pain in their back, a strain or sprain of some kind.

They think to themselves, “I wasn’t doing anything at the time, and even though I am at work there is nothing to report.” well not true, they have an injury which took place at work, not due to work but AT WORK. Therefore it should be reported. In this case however it wasn’t.

The issue becomes greater as the person decides the next day to take time out to se a Doctor as the pain is worse and needs to be seen to. Their Doctor is busy so they go to another, see a long waiting list and decide to give it a miss, they have missed a day of work and will see if they can sleep it off. The next day they return to work still a little sore from the ordeal.

Chances are it may never turn out to be an issue for the person or the organisation, but what if it did.

Lets say the person does have an issue, and on advice they get legal advice, the solicitor tries to pin down what took place and the OHS records at the business show nothing reported, then they close the book and say “Sorry it’s doubtful there is any case for the company to answer as there are no records of an incident taking place, was there a witness? No, oh well then there is nothing to make your story stick…”

Interesting story, but in real life such a situation can be tragic for the employee if they can not pursue any action, tragic for the company if they lose an employee or end up with one who may be able to only do some of their original duties, which could be tough all round. Or imagine they just spread the word your organisation is lousy for not looking after people, more mud, and some will stick.

The moral here is to keep training and reminding your staff to be highly aware of safety issues, making it a number one priority always, and reporting the simplest thing, actual or potential, which could be a risk to the organisation or a person. Lets hope the subject of our story has no further issues and the sprain gets better soon!

Steve Gray - Steve is a business educator - Trainer - Speaker (Steve Gray.biz). You can get his Leadership E Book from http://theleadershipguy.com.au The info provided in these articles is for educational purposes only and is intended as a starting point for you to build your business from, not as specific advice.
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