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BlueSafe Australia's Blog

Two reasons that will make you want to get a Safety Management System

15 Jul 2014 5:10 PM -

Ok so look - you’ve heard over and over all the scare tactics and the consequences of not having an effective safety management system in place. To be quite honest, it’s everywhere – small safety companies are even jumping on the bandwagon and telling people “If you don’t have your safety procedures and safe work method statements in place you can be at risk of getting a big fine etc” – and while this may be true, it’s not the complete story, and neither should it even be the whole and sole reason why someone should consider getting a safety management system in place.

There are a few obvious reasons why safety management systems are a good thing to have implemented, which we’ll briefly touch on below, but there are some other benefits which you may not have even though of that might just motivate you to want to get a safety management system in place quicker than you expected.

So, some obvious reasons to implement a Safety Management System into your workplace are:

1.       To help keep your workers safe.

2.       To help you comply with Safety Legislation.

3.       To avoid being fined for negligence.

4.       To meet your legal obligations as an employer.

While those 4 obvious reasons are very important, at face value they are hardly motivating to the majority of individuals, unless of course you are absolutely passionate about creating a safety culture in your workplace. Well, hopefully two reasons we’re about to expand on below will help you get passionate about creating a safety culture in your workplace and implementing an effective safety management system. The first (but not obvious) reason you should have a Safety Management System in place is that:

Implementing a Safety Management System that works can actually grow your business and help take your company to new heights.

If you’re going to win any Australian Tenders, or Australian Government Tenders you’re going to need a real good Safety Management System in place. SA Tenders, NSW Tenders, QLD Tenders and any other Australian Government Tenders will require you to have a safety management system implemented, as well as providing evidence of that system.

There are plenty of solutions on how to go about getting a good Safety Management System (SMS) in place without having to spend your company’s life savings on getting it done. Having said this, some Safety Management System Templates could save you a lot of time, however many of these are not industry specific Safety Management Systems, and will require quite a chunk of your time. If you’re going to buy a ready-made Safety Management System, make sure that it is industry specific, and make sure the company you are buying it from will do your main customisations as part of your package price.

Paying that little bit extra will save you a lot of time, and if you’re applying for a government tender, you’ll need that safety management system customised as much as possible so you can put your time into more important things – Like winning the Tender!

The second (but not obvious) reason you should be implementing a Safety Management System is:

It will help you to think about how to systemise other areas of your business.
Ask any small business owner and they’ll tell you one of the main frustrations they have in their business is a lack of time. Believe it or not the business is running them, meanwhile they should be the ones running the business. Having a Safety Management System in place will teach a business owner or manager how to implement systems in other areas of the business. If you can learn to systemise one part of the business, then the other areas can then be systemised with a similar approach. If you can manage to put systems in place, then the business can be expanded many times larger than it currently is, without putting more time constraints and pressures on the company director or management team.

So, there you have just two small reasons that you may want to get a safety management system in place sooner rather than later. Sure, there are plenty of other matters and some much more weighty reasons that you should be getting your system in place sooner rather than later, but these were just two which we thought you may like to know about. We’ll add some new reasons and benefits in our next post coming up real soon. Until then, keep safe and keep growing.


Looking at the Benefits of Comprehensive Safe Work Method Statements

8 Jul 2014 5:22 PM -

While we’re on the subject of how to win Government Tenders, let’s take a look at the subject of having a Safe Work Method Statement and how they may also play a part in winning a government tender. Now, you may have your own safe work method statement and still not be getting the results you desire. It also depends on the quality of your SWMS (Safe Work Method Statement). Recently we’ve had an influx of enquiries, with companies going for government tenders and larger contracts with building companies that require a higher quality safe work method statement than the ones that were submitted by the applicants.

While it’s well and good to have a Safe Work Method Statement in place for each of your work activities, we’ve found from a lot of the enquiries we’ve been getting are people who’ve applied for the contract or tender and have been dismissed or knocked back because the safe work method statement collection that they do have don’t meet the high standards or requirements of the tender or contract. While it’s not a part of quality assurance or ISO 9001 as such, having an appropriate high quality safe work method statement for the particular task or activity is a must.

So how do you know if the Safe Work Method Statement you have is high quality or not? There are a few things that will help raise the quality level of your Safe Work Method Statement. One of the ways is to make sure that the Safe Work Method Statement has ‘Before and After Controls Risk Ratings’. What is that exactly? Well basically it is the current level of risk doing the job before you implement a way of controlling that risk.

For example, if you’re setting up a ladder next to the edge of a house, the risk of the ladder falling or sliding off the house while a person is climbing up the ladder may be a level 3 (high risk) however, after you have entered a risk control measure on your Safe Work Method Statement, such as someone at the bottom of the ladder holding it steady so that the ladder doesn’t move, then this would bring the risk down to a level 2 (moderate risk) because you have now demonstrated how you can control the risk effectively (or as much as practicable). This is just one way you can begin to increase the quality to your own Safe Work Method Statement. If you need an extra Safe Work Method Statement and don’t have the time to do it yourself, you can always purchase a high quality Safe Work Method Statement Template and adjust it to suit your particular requirements.


You can't play baseball like you try to win Government Tenders

1 Jul 2014 5:34 PM -

When was the last time you watched a baseball game? Well, we don’t have Foxtel, so it hasn’t been lately that we’ve bothered to watch a baseball game at all, actually I’m not even interested in baseball (and probably neither are you) but that’s not the point. The point is, that I’ve never seen a baseball pitcher throwing curveballs to a baseball batter who’s wearing a blindfold. But you know what - we’ve come across so many small business owners trying to hit home runs on the field of business, while wearing blindfolds…..literally.

By now you’re wondering what on earth I’m on about. We had one person contact us who’s been going for Government Tenders and Larger Contracts over and over, and not getting anywhere. The formula to winning Government Tenders isn’t found in how many tenders you can apply for and have a hit and hope approach. From a golfing perspective, where would Tiger Woods be today if he just swung and hoped he hit the ball each time he teed up? Yet, in business, for some reason we take the same approach time after time. The approach in having a better swing would have the same principle behind it in applying for Government Tenders and Larger Contracts, one would think.

When it comes to winning Government Tenders and Large Contracts remember this: If you want to win, play differently than everyone else. That’s it. You can close the page now (no don’t, I’m kidding). We’ve got a few perspectives that you may not have considered yet that can really help you if you want to start winning some larger contracts, or Local Council and Government Tenders. Actually, just winning one Government Tender could take your business to a whole new level. Wouldn’t it be worth investing a little bit in order to gain a lot? Here’s a few tips that could help:

Basically, winning Government Tenders and Contracts is based on a points scoring system, so it’s a scientific process – not luck. They (Government Contract Holders) have a list of checks and balances that account to give them an insight for an ideal “partnership fit” so to speak. For example, most people apply over and over for Tenders and Contracts but don’t really get anywhere, and then some do score the contract but they really don’t even know why they were chosen. It's time you know what’s going on in the thinking process behind the scenes, so that you have a much higher chance at getting the contract if you know what they (Government Contract Holders) are looking for, and then provide it to them in the way they want it delivered.

It’s a bit like people playing a soccer game where Person A doesn’t know the rules or how to score, and Person B does, so Person B scores much more often. It’s pretty much that simple (in concept).

Most people start with price and try and win on that part of the tender by making that their main feature, however they don’t realise that if a Contractor has evidence of a Quality Process but is slightly higher in price, this ensures a higher certainty of consistency and deliverability, and would be a saving to Government/Contract Holders long term because it would be more costly for Government/Contract Holders to have a negative working relationship with a company and have to go to all the trouble of finding another provider. It’s for this reason they place such high points (usually 25% of overall points and sometimes higher) for simply having a recognised quality management system in place and evidence of that system.

Combine this with a good WHS (Workplace Health and Safety System) in which they will add more points for this, and you are now starting to get a weighting of 35-40% of the scoring process which puts you way in front if you have high quality, comprehensive documentation readily available (It gives them an insight into your business and helps them gain confidence in your ability to be a good fit for their organisation).

Is this making sense now? WHS documentation is also a high priority in this equation, as accidents don’t look good on paper and are quite costly to have, so they are looking for security in these areas. Most people overlook the “reasons why” they are asked for these in a tender application, and little do they know, is that these are probably two of the most weightiest matters that the Government/Contract Holders want to have covered.


Wait! We Ordered a Pound of Hash But We Were Given Magic Mushrooms Instead

24 Jun 2014 5:28 PM -

No, we’re not smoking hash here at the office but you’d swear some of the people you’ve come across in day to day business at times are? Since we’ve been talking about Quality Assurance and ISO 9001 lately, and how they relate to winning Government Tenders and Large Contracts, we thought rather than change the subject we'd expand a little bit on the mechanics of Quality Assurance and ISO Standards (for those of you who are interested).

What a strange way to start a conversation on Quality Assurance. Well, yes, and no. One of our associates sent in the picture below a little while ago, and while we all laugh, that’s pretty much what happens in a small and large way every day. The size of the impact of a quality process (or lack of) just depends which industry you’re in and whether you’re dealing with burgers or earthmoving equipment.

You know, there’s this little coffee shop close to home. We used to go there for breakfast with friends and family every Saturday, or Sunday morning. We like to make a ritual of getting out and having breakfast together once a week. There’s this little place that just makes the most amazing coffee….actually their coffee is out of this world. Yet without fail, whenever we ordered breakfast there we’d always get something either forgotten on the order, or the delivery of the breakfast came out different than what we ordered. This isn’t a big deal really, except that we started to really notice that every time we went there it was the same story, over and over….but, the coffee, it was so good…..it kept us coming back. We’d laugh and joke about it to make light of it but then after closer observation, they were quite often under-staffed and the staff that were there were quite often stressed and rarely smiled. But – the coffee was so good.

Then, it happened…..we were walking past another place in a similar area one morning and decided to give them a try. We sat down and the waitress didn’t even have a notepad….I was secretly (based on our past experience) expecting the same thing to happen as our previous breakfast spot. Well far out….they were quicker than we expected and they got all the order right, and the waitress didn’t even have a notepad…..and she smiled! We went back there again the next week....same thing, great quality service. While it’s not a big deal. It is a big deal. You know why? We’ve been going there ever since, and we’ve been taking other people there ever since as well. The coffee isn’t quite as good but so what, the experience is much better. How many times is this happening in someone’s business every day? Don’t get me wrong, some customers you just don’t want plain and simple, and you can’t be all things to everyone. But if the main feedback from your quality process is negative, wouldn’t it serve you and your customers to improve the quality of output through your business? The other thing to consider is that the impact of this was quite small, being only a new place to have breakfast - but what if this breakfast scenario was happening and playing out right now with one of your biggest clients? What then?

If there’s one thing we’ve seen lately, it’s that people in general, and not only Government Tender and Contract Holders are way more concerned about getting a quality output at a slightly higher price than a cheaper service at lower quality. Not to mention, If you’re even thinking of going for the larger contracts and wanting to win Government Tenders you need to get a quality management system in place - preferably one that is internationally recognised like ISO 9001:2008. If you can’t afford to get a traditional consultant in to write up all your procedures and quality statements to help get a quality assurance system implemented within your business, there are other options. We have a saying here – ASK! If you’ve got any questions in general, and would like some tips even, we’ve got a good team who can help – Ask for help, don’t just sit there! Drop us a line, we’d be glad to hear from you and help in any way we can.

 

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It's now been 7 years since we ventured out and started helping small business owners by providing effective WHS, Employee Management and Productivity Tools. Since then we have grown to a network of business owners and professionals of over 40 personnel.

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