Council upgrades health and safety compliance

Workplace risks get a BPM check

After using disparate ad hoc risk management and occupational health and safety procedures, Moree Plains Shire Council opted for a business process management solution.

Following a compliance audit by the Local Government Association, the council required an application to manage its internal compliance with OH&S matters for more than 20,000 work-related risks including policy and training procedures for employees and contractors, some of whom were from the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority.

John Egan, risk manager at the council, said it selected Mavim's business process management (BPM) application to identify and standardize risk compliance components in a central format, while allowing remote access for its mobile workforce which covers 17,500 square kilometres.

"[Previously] updating process information and associated risks relating to management systems, policies and procedures, and even OH&S matters relating to RTA contractors, was done ad hoc, with everybody using a different system," Egan said.

"Physical hazards to external council workers can now be managed more efficiently as staff and contractors have access to all the OH&S requirements that govern that site; anything from sun protection policies and protective equipment requirements to staff and equipment inductions can be mapped out by the project manager and instantly accessed.

"[The software] not only archives changes made to OH&S documentation as a result of legislation changes or as equipment improvements, but also tracks all council activities affected by that change, which will provide greater transparency during an audit investigation if an accident occurs."

The project, which began around June this year, will be drawn out until June 2007 to ensure proper integration and comprehension by council employees.

Mavim managing director Florian Hoornaar said the application is designed to ensure OH&S compliance and to minimize work-related risks.

"The costs of being compliant are a drop in the ocean compared to the consequences if an accident occurs and due diligence cannot be proved; [the application] ensures that management has the right compliance tools at its disposal to minimize operational risks for which it is directly responsible," Hoornaar said.

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