A Star Performer on Smart OHS - Establishment (Merivale)

Smart OHS online systems are the market-leader in integrated OHS systems.

Smart OHS online systems are provided to all (currently 700) Hotel Employers Mutual workers compensation insurance policy-holders as an additional benefit to them for having joined the industry scheme.

The Smart OHS systems allow the user to manage OHS in the workplace effectively and very easily, thus minimising the risk of incident and claim.


Last month, we ran an article which previewed the top five performing members on the Smart OHS system in the first 12 months of the HEM scheme.

This month, we recognise the most outstanding effort of a new member, Establishment, a Merivale property.

Establishment is a well-known inner-city hotel that gets extremely busy during the week and during Friday and Saturday nights.

Merivale brought each of their properties, including Establishment, into the HEM scheme recently and as a group, has been very proactive in their approach to OHS.

Of all Merivale properties, Establishment is the top performer.

In fact, so good has the performance been over the past few months, that Establishment is now one of the top performing hotels with their OHS in the entire Hotel Employers Mutual scheme of just over 700 hotels.

So what makes Establishment such a strong performer on Smart OHS system?

As was mentioned in last month's article on high performing members of Smart OHS, the following factors are what makes strong performance:

(A Strong-performing member would undertake)

One monthly workplace inspection, new staff inductions for all new staff, load/update new (and ongoing) contractor insurance details, and to lodge any incident reports.

Members who are strong performers on Smart OHS are known as 'Level 1' members, who would typically use the system in the following way:

· The member has logged in on four or more occasions each month

· One workplace inspection completed each month

· Two records (updates of OHS Policy and Procedures Manuals) are uploaded into the OHS documentation and records/manuals section of the system each year

· Four Quarterly OHS Documentation and Training Reviews per year are completed

· All urgent tasks are completed by the due date

· All new staff are inducted on the system within the first month of starting work.

I Don't Really Think We Have the Time - How Long do I have to Spend on OHS each Week?

Under the current ratings, Establishment fits the description of a 'Level 1' Smart OHS member quite easily.

You may think that such a strong performance in OHS would have take staff and management at Establishment a lot of time and effort.

Not so, says Steve O'Sullivan, Manager of Establishment, and the person responsible for OHS in the workplace:

Q. How long do you spend on OHS per week?

A. "No more than an hour each week, although constantly on the lookout for any hazards etc."

Of the more frustrating aspects of OHS, Steve lists the difficulty of gaining commitment from others in a workplace to work toward improving OHS, as well as creating a better level of awareness.

So it seems that it is not really the amount of time it takes to manage OHS within the workplace that is of concern, but more, it is the ability for a workplace to 'create ownership' of OHS issues amongst staff.

Management Commitment to OHS

Perhaps one of the key attributes Establishment shares with all other workplaces who perform well in OHS is the commitment from top management.

Without that commitment, the chances of an incident in the workplace significantly increase.

For Steve, a good performance in OHS means "...Reduced injuries, reduced Hazards and reduced Risks."

The HR Manager at Merivale, Sarah Maxwell, agrees with Steve's observation:

"Clear goals and a defined strategy that is preventative and not reactive. Good performance delivers tangible results; reduced accidents and injuries rates, high retention, lowered costs, and a reduced level of risk"

A System That Reminds You What to Do and When to Do It

With any OHS plan or system in place, many workplaces complain that the biggest issue is not knowing where to start and when they do begin.

Consequently, most workplaces often feel as if they are forgetting to do something or undertake and important OHS task.

The Smart OHS system does not allow this to happen to any of its members.

"The reminders are most useful. It's very easy to just forget about something, where the Smart OHS System is like having a personal assistant." Steve says.

The Smart OHS system has built-in integrated reminders that are sent to members via email when a task falls due and again when a previously recorded task is up for review. An example of this is the Tasks Section of the system, where once a hazard is identified, members may key in the details of that hazard in the easy to use Task Tool then click on 'Save'. Once that task is due for action, an email reminder will be sent to the member so they cannot forget.

Steve believes that members may also benefit from having access to online OHS training modules on the Smart OHS system, to further improve things, whilst Sarah believes that the upcoming full system upgrade, scheduled for completion in March 2010, will make the system even more accessible through further automation of tasks and reminders.

So How Do I Improve on OHS at Work?

The key to strong OHS performance can be linked to two key factors:

1. Communication relating to all OHS issues through all levels of an organisation - make everyone aware that they are an important part of keeping the workplace safe.

To achieve this, hold regular meetings, put up an OHS-only noticeboard and send staff to training

2. Recording of the issues - be certain that when tasks fall due that a responsible person is recording those tasks and relevant actions.

The Smart OHS online systems assist in this greatly. Smart OHS takes out the guesswork.

OHS does not have to be an area that is put into the 'too hard/too much time' basket. With strong involvement from all at a workplace and an easy to use system in place, a good performance in OHS will mean a happier, more profitable workplace.

Smart OHS would like to thank Steve O'Sullivan, Manager of Establishment, and Sarah Maxwell, HR Manager of Merivale for their participation.

Smart OHS encourages strong performance by members, and can be contacted by any member who wants to perform better, to discuss how this can be achieved very easily.

The Smart OHS system upgrade will mean that the system is now ready for use in other industries:

Aged care, child care, warehouse, retail, fast food/takeaway, office.

*There are two Smart OHS systems on the market. www.ahasmartohs.com.au is for Australian Hotels Association Members (Hotel Employers Mutual), whilst www.smartohs.com.au is for workplaces in most other industries.

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