Compliance management is an essential part of business, and it is here to stay. If you are ready to take your business to the next level, compliance management is a must. But what is it, and why is it important? Find all the answers in today’s post.
A lack of workplace health and safety compliance can create a lot of unnecessary risk for both your employees and your business. If you own a business in Australia, then you need to be taking workplace health and safety compliance very seriously. And that is where compliance management comes in. Read on to discover what it is and why it is important.
What is Compliance Management?
Compliance Management is the process of identifying key regulations, legislation and policies that affect your organization and its actions. It’s the act of making sure you understand where your organization stands with respect to these rules and laws, as well as seeking out ways to ensure you are within compliance. In the Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) industry, compliance management is the process of ensuring that your WHS policies and procedures are in place and followed.
It is also the processes and systems in place to make sure that the policies are up-to-date, that they are properly communicated, and that they are enforced. In Australia, this practice seeks to ensure that all applicable laws, rules, and regulations are followed at every level of an organization, by everyone who works there.
Why is it important?
If you’re managing a company, you’re responsible for the health and safety of the people who work for you. You’re also responsible for the health and safety of your visitors and anyone who may be affected by your business. Workplace health and safety compliance management is important because it prevents the dangers that can come from a lack of compliance – it is important to maintain a safe working environment and reduce the risk of accidents.
Not only can the consequences of a lack of compliance be dire, but they can also be expensive. There are serious financial consequences that come from a lack of compliance. It’s important to make sure that you and your staff are always following all the relevant workplace health and safety regulations. If you don’t follow these regulations, you could face hefty fines.
Compliance Management will ensure that you are compliant with all relevant health and safety standards, legislation and regulations, and that you have adequate health and safety controls in place for your workplace. In summary: The most important thing about having proper workplace health and safety compliance management is that it helps prevent accidents and injuries. The second thing is that it helps you get ready for an audit. The last thing is that it helps you know what your next steps are after the audit.
Compliance Management – Here are a few things to keep in mind
Once you have developed your compliance policy, refer to the document as often as necessary to ensure that it is up to date and needs to be implemented in a timely manner.
The ultimate goal is to have accurate, up-to-date information on how your compliance is being tracked. For example, completing an incident survey on an annual basis or conducting case management to review WHS policies can help you monitor compliance. Here’s an interesting post on kirialign.com which has highlighted the benefits of an online compliance management system.
Effective communication is key. As a manager, it is your responsibility to keep the organization motivated to follow your compliance requirements. Remember, nobody is perfect, so always consider how you can improve them so that your employees will be more comfortable with them and to roll them out more easily.
How does a company know if WHS compliance is being followed?
There are many steps involved in making sure that a company is following the WHS standards. A lot of people are aware of them, but it is important to not only be aware of them, but also make sure you are following them.
Compliance Management Audits
Compliance management audits allow you to check the implementation of new or revised WHS policies and procedures and check how they are being used. Some examples of audit activities include: information gathering and providing feedback on how policies and procedures are being implemented, reviewing procedures prior to being implemented, cross-checking procedures with implemented policies or regulatory requirements, reviewing public documentation of already implemented procedures to confirm the efficacy of those procedures.
Once changes to a WHS policy or procedure come into effect, you can check to see how they are being monitored to see if they are being followed. You can find out how other compliant companies are registering their changes to comply with new regulations, reviewing existing compliance documentation and reporting at the end of each compliance cycle to track your progress towards compliance.
You can also compare how your regulations apply to your business across a range of issues, for example demographics, cost of administration, or key performance indicators, to identify any inconsistencies with how WHS policies and procedures are being implemented. You can then use this information to check on any possible gaps in how policies and procedures are being met.
The transformation within your business following compliance management practices can be significant. It can often pave the way to increased productivity, growth and competitiveness within your industry.
It’s important to understand that you don’t need to have the resources and expertise to effectively carry out compliance management. What you need is not a fancy compliance system — it’s just the right processes, systems and practices at the right place in time to deliver effective compliance to the regulated.
A WHS compliance program which is integrated, collaborative and results-driven will be the foundation of any successful turnaround.