You may be an optimist, but when it comes to running a business undertaking, it pays to be prepared for worst-case scenarios. According to Safe Work Australia, eighty percent of all prosecutions are a result of disgruntled employees and whistleblowers.
Here are five of the biggest risks you face as a facility manager — and how to protect against them.
- They don’t know their legal responsibilities. Workers, patrons and visitors to a facility have an expectation that the facility is compliant in all areas of its operations, including safety. Unfortunately, ignorance of the law doesn’t count as an excuse when Safe Work Australia comes knocking at your door.
- They don’t seek professional advice. Cheap advice has often been proved to be very expensive advice. Deal only with those who are qualified and have extensive experience in the subject matter. A person servicing fire extinguishers is not necessarily qualified when it comes to training in areas of AS3745 or meeting the business’s Hazard & Risk Management responsibilities.
- They think they are immune to the changes in regulations. ‘We are only a small facility and don’t have many visitors’, ‘We can’t afford it’, ‘this is meant for the bigger players, not us’. Not so. Every business is in the same boat and treated the same – big or small. ASIC clearly states “if you have insufficient funds to meet your compliance obligations, you may be insolvent and should seek professional advice”.
- They naively believe nothing will ever happen at their facility. This is not very business savvy thinking, but it does come up a lot. This type of thinking really is playing Russian Roulette with your personal assets. Are you really prepared to risk all your personal assets? The cost of compliance is inexpensive when compared to the possibility of losing your personal assets (including your house) if found guilty of ‘Willfulness’ and ‘Recklessness’ in discharging your obligations as a Person Conducting a Business Undertaking (PCBU).
- Procrastination. The reasons are endless. “Too busy”, “Not enough money”, “things are quiet at the moment”, “we will get around to it sooner or later”. Don’t put of ’till tomorrow what should be in place today.