New app eases workplace safety compliance pain for business owners

An innovative Sydney-based small business has launched what it says is Australia’s first workplace safety mobile application to help businesses be compliant with Work Health and Safety legislation.

An innovative Sydney-based small business has launched what it says is Australia’s first workplace safety mobile application to help businesses be compliant with Work Health and Safety legislation.

Systems on a Shoestring’s (SOAS) Director Emma Bentton says the SOAS Simple Safety application is the only step-by-step system in Australia to help SME business owners meet Work Health and Safety compliance needs while on the go. Bentton argues that business owners have struggled to stay on top of changes to the Work Health and Safety Act, regulations and codes of practice, which equate to over 2,000 pages, potentially placing their staff and their business at risk.

“Each day in Australia, an average of 360 workers are injured at work,” Bentton says. “Instead of focusing on actual workplace safety, many business owners are concentrating on meeting the red-tape regulatory requirements. Business owners are aware that even a minor workplace accident can have significant financial and legal repercussions if they cannot demonstrate their compliance with Work Health and Safety legislation.”

According to the recenly released 2013 Key Work Health and Safety Statistics report, workplace-related injuries are estimated to have cost Australian businesses $60.6 billion. Businesses found to be in breach of the Workplace Health and Safety Act 2011 can face fines of up to $3 million and individuals may be fined up to $600,000.

To help business owners avoid that, Systems on a Shoestring has developed a simple three-step application, tailored to assist small business owners and even voluntary organisations, such as sporting associations, to meet their required Work Health and Safety demands. 

“Business owners must be confident that they have identified the hazards in their workplace and have adequate controls in place to manage these risks,” Bentton warns.

Anthony Tartak, owner of Sydney cafe Kiss The Barista, has been using the SOAS Simple Safety app since June and says its reduced the number of hours he spends on workplace safety paperwork. 

“Prior to using the Simple Safety app I had to review Work Health and Safety legislation at least once a month – I found it very time consuming as the wording is changed almost monthly,” Tartak says. “Using the Simple Safety app has allowed me to add extra staff easily because I have all the information ready at my fingertips. 

“The app provides a documented system that includes a safety policy, outlines roles, responsibilities and emergency procedures as well as identifying the hazards and the controls in my workplace. It gives me confidence to focus on other areas of by business.” 

Business owners can download the app either through iTunes Apple's iTunes store for iPhone users or through Google Play for Android users.

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