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Background

You have recently been employed as the Safety Manager for Rattle Engineering. This is a family owned and operated business that has been undertaking general engineering works. Historically, they have provided repairs and small new works to a range of private businesses.  There was little impetus to have a robust safety management system and the senior management were not that concerned with documented safety systems.  The new Managing Director is the son of the previous managing director and took control of the business shortly before you were appointed.

The new managing director has identified a business opportunity to diversify the types of engineering works they undertake.  In particular, they are looking at moving into the Australian Defence Contracts space, as being promoted by way of the new policy direction by the Australia Government. Refer to the news article that inspired this re-direction decision:

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/defence-exports-turnbull-unveils-3-8b-fund-to-boost-foreignsales-of-australian-arms

There are two types of contracts available to Rattle Engineering to tender for.  One is as a ‘Prime Contractor’ which contracts directly to the Department of Defence, and the other is as a subcontractor to an existing prime contractor to defence. The business is looking to extend on the scope of engineering works they undertake, including Non-Destructive Testing (NDT), which will require them to lease or buy black light and magnetic particle equipment.  They will also import components, manufacture components as well as test and repair components. In addition, they will require a range of new products like sealants, metal cleaners and primers, some of which are not as yet available in Australia but area requirement for Defence equipment. 

Currently the business employs 25 staff.  It is planned to double this number, as well as engage specialist contractors to support defence related work. It is believed that the Department of Defence will provide some “on base” facilities for the company to use, which is known as government furnished premises, otherwise the existing engineering facility at Banyo, Brisbane, Queensland, is sufficient.

The Chief Operations Officer (COO) has identified that to tender for these contracts, the business requires a documented safety management system (SMS).  Though you had commenced developing a suitable SMS for their current work environment, this will be a change in scope of works for the business, for example, managing sub-contractors which they have not undertaken before. The business is currently operating under an SMS that requires updating. She has provided the following link for information relating to tendering for Department of Defence contracts.

http://www.defence.gov.au/casg/DoingBusiness/ProcurementDefence/

The COO has tasked you to provide a detailed report to the Managing Director to inform them of the Company’s key functions and responsibilities in relation to WHS legislative obligations, so they can appropriately understand the impacts, in relation to WHS, on the change in direction they are seeking to take, the key safety areas they may need to address in their tenders and key improvements to their Safety Management System that is likely to be submitted in the tendering process. She does not want the Safety Management System (SMS) changes as yet, this is a strategic appraisal.  (Therefore, you are not “developing” the SMS in this assignment, it is a report only.)

The COO wants the report to be structured so it is clear what are the safety related responsibilities of the company and how that can be exercised in the context of the business.  The COO has provided job descriptions of key staff, which are at attachment 1.  In addition, the COO wants your thoughts on “five” key topics (in priority order) for improvements to their Safety Management System that will address legislative compliance for this new scope of work.  A copy of the current Company Safety Management System Index is at attachment 2. The COO wants your opinion supported with academic, legal and at least one (1) case law references.  She is encouraging you to support your views with academic insight, as well as relevant case law precedent, since your assessment will be added to the Business Risk Register.  The Managing Director is an Engineer by qualification and prefers an evidence-based approach.

Your research should include 10 Reference sources, your key safety system improvements should highlight five (5) key topics and why they need to be included in the company’s safety management system. Your conclusion should summarise the critical elements and recommendations that support the development of a detailed safety management system that provides the company a way to become legislatively compliant.     

Your task is to prepare a detailed report that informs the identified audience of key safety related legislative compliance functions and responsibilities and an analysis of their current safety management system with the view to highlight key safety related topic areas to be developed so it improves legislative compliance for the business.

This report must inform the business owners on the issues, your research, conclusion and recommendations in an influential manner.

Background

The main purpose of the report is to improve the legislative compliance for the business. Rattle Engineering is a personally operated business by a family that undertakes general engineering works (Annan, Addai & Tulashie, 2015). But, recently the new managing director of the company has decided to diversify its working practices by incorporating a new movement strategy to the Australian Defence Contracts space. In order to fulfil this re-directional decision process they require new policy direction by the Australian government (Ward et al., 2018). The main focus of the company is to extend its scope on engineering works they undertake which includes Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) also. The Non-Destructive Testing is basically a process of testing as well evaluating materials or components without destroying the serviceability of that. This extension and upgrading in the business requires lots of new implementation in the components used, and increasing the number of staffs engaged. Even there is a need of change in the laws of business also. This paper is going to depict what are the necessary changes need to be met and how to integrate those changes in the business strategy of the company to meet the actual goal. Finally, the paper will conclude with the summary of legislative duties and further recommendations for the improvement of the strategy. The benefits of following the recommendations will also be described at the end of the paper.  

The Rattle Engineering Works Company is shifting towards a new working function by moving into the defence work and it requires a lot of changes in the existing policies of the company. After the diversification, a new set of policy will be directed by the Australian Government. In the Rattle Engineering Works, two different types of contracts are required after including defence department (Arnetz et al., 2015). There was no strong documentation regarding safety in the company. The main concern is Safety Management System (SMS) for the new employees and the overall workplace after the implication of new practice. Safety Management System of any organization looks after the health and safety of workers while working.

Various laws and regulations are present for the safety measurement of workers and one of them which are set by the Australian Government is the WHS act which is extremely popular and supportive. WHS legislation act of Australia was developed on behalf of the workers and it mainly deals with the safety measurement of the workers while working in the workplace. In the Rattle Engineering, there was a little impetus to have a robust safety management system (Brittain, Tout, Strickland, Taplin & Licina, 2016).  WHS legislation of Australia supports the provision of system of work which will be safe and healthy for all the workers while working in the workplace. The workers, who are mainly protected by the WHS Act are, employees, contractors, subcontractors, outworkers, volunteers and even trainees who are working in the organization. Apart from that, WHS Act provides protection for the general public also, so that their safety and health in the workplace is taken care properly in any kind of activity. Rattle Engineering Works also consider WHS Act for the safety of it employees and in the new proposed diversification strategy, there will be the requirement of many staffs and contractors (Cunningham & Sinclair, 2015). Previously, the working practice was limited for the company but the new managing director is trying to enlarge the scope of work and they are trying to incorporate the defence section with the working practice of the company. Several equipments and substances or elements will be imported in this regard to prepare new objects related to defence which is going to be included in the working practices of Rattle Engineering. So, there will be necessity of implementing WHS Act in a strong way into the business practice of the organization for the workers safety and health. 

  • Person, who is conducting or undertaking any business, who is basically recognized as director, is having the primary duty to ensure the health and safety of the workers while working within the premises of the organization or serving for the organizational needs. COO, who is Chief Executing Officer, is second in command in any firm. Both the director as well COO together is generally known as PCBUs of the organization (Ellen et al., 2016). Under the section 47 of health and safety act of workplace, PCBUs should consult the health and safety acts including the rules, regulations as well as norms to maintain the safety and health with the workers of the organization in detail. Section 48 stated that relevant information regarding health and safety should be necessarily shared with the workers so that they also can express their view and opinions in the decision making progress (Environmental, 2017).
  • Managers, who are associated in taking organizational decisions or participate in the decision making progress of the company should consider what they can do to eliminate the risk associated with the health of the workers within the workplace and they will try to minimize the risk by maintaining health and safety measurements for the workers or employees so far as is reasonably practicable (Grant, 2016). Officers or managers have various duties that include keeping up to date knowledge, gain understanding of operations, ensuring the resources of the PCBUs to eliminate as well as minimize the risks. Under the section 27(5), it has been stated by the legislation act that officers also ensures that PCBUs are following right processes to gather information about the health and safety measurement of the employees (Volk,  Sterle & Sedlar, 2015). If the PCBUs are not receiving the right information about it, then they will not be able to handle and manage the risks. So, officers play a vital role in ensuring that PCBUs are receiving information.   
  • Workers, who are basically termed as employees should also have some duties and responsibilities in this regard. The workers include labour hire staffs, apprentices, volunteers, contractors as well as sub-contractors. They should also be responsible that their acts are not adversely affecting their health and safety while working within the workplace. They should obediently follow the instructions and rules regarding health and safety provided by the company in order to cooperate with WHS policies and procedures. Section 28 of the legislation act stated that workers should take reasonable care about own safety and health while working in the workplace. They will also not adversely affect health and safety other co-workers (Haslam, O’Hara, Kazi, Twumasi & Haslam, 2016). Apart from that, all the workers have the right to avoid risky work which can endanger their life. No any organization has the right to force any worker in doing a risky and dangerous task without their consent. So, safety management system (SMS) operations are the responsibility of the operator and it gets success only when cooperation from both the sides is achieved equally.   

Scope of Engineering Works

Various duty holders are associated with the WHS legislation act. Their roles are also different from each other within the organization. A duty holder under WHS legislation act ensures health and safety related matters within the workplace (Hofmann, Burke & Zohar, 2017). PCBUs are the main directional head who keep eyes on the process of the organization and they hire or employ workers as per the requirement of the organization. PCBUs can work as a single or as partner with other PCBUs. They are the top most authority of the hierarchy of any legislative framework of an organization.

The duties of PCBUs and the other workers including the officers of an organization are shown below in the tabular format.

Duties

PCBUs

Officers

Other workers

  1. Provide and maintain system of work as well as safety of the workers.
  2. Ensuring all the storage equipments and substances used in the organization are safe in handling
  3. Ensuring a safe working environment.
  4. Providing adequate facilities of fast aid, washroom etc.
  5. Providing much information, instruction and training to the new employees and workers about safety (Phillips et al., 2015).
  1. Monitor the health of the employees.
  2. Monitoring the environment of the workplace so that all the workers can work with safety.
  3. Keep information and record regarding the health conditions of the employees.
  4. Monitoring the transformation of information to the PCBUs.
  5. Employing experts to provide health and safety advice to workers (Pope, MacDonald & Orr, 2015).
  1. Being responsible for own health and safety.
  2. Taking care of other employees so that their action cannot adversely affect the safety of the other employees.
  3. They should inform the authority if unsafe practice is noticed.
  4. All the workers will follow the rules and regulations of the organization regarding their safety.
  5. They should cooperate to maintain the safety norms (Rothaermel, 2015).

There are different duty holders in the scenario of Randru Pty Ltd as trustee for the Rattle Family Trust trading as Rattle Engineering. Different duty holders and their key roles in the organization of this scenario are described below in detail.

Managing Director: Mr. Randal Rattle, who is MEng, is the managing director of the company and he is the overall boss of the company. To all the aspects of his business, he is having the financial accountability as well responsibility (Jepsen, Zhao & van Leeuwen, 2015). He also has the power to hire and terminate staffs whenever required by the company. He takes the full authority is case of buying and equipments of supplying that also. His contribution to the strategic direction of the business is high and he has the main power of controlling the whole business including the health and safety related final decisions.

Chief Operating Officer (COO): Mrs. Ruby Rattle, who is an MBA, is the chief operating officer of the organization who is known as the secretary of the company also. She has the authority of taking actions which is almost equivalent to the authority of the managing director for this organization. She also has the power to hire and terminate staffs, buy and supply goods and equipments required by the company. Even in many cases she also has the right of contributing to the strategic direction of the company as per the requirement.

Chief Engineer: Mr. Mark Peg, who is a MEng is the chief engineer of the company. In all the projects and working activities he can provide the financial support on behalf of the organization depending upon the requirement of it. In case of hiring new staffs and buying good and equipments he is having the authority and in supplying the goods and materials he also plays the role of authority. But, he cannot terminate staffs without the intervention of the managing director or the secretary of the company. 

Legislative Compliance

Factory foreman: Mr. Bill Bolt, who is a BEng play the role of Factory foreman for Rattle Engineering. He is also having the financial authority but that is limited within the range of $2000. He has the right of initiating the performance management of the staffs of the company and he also can buy goods and equipments that are under $2000. In his case, the value limit is same of supplying also. While buying any products or equipments over this value, he needs to raise purchase orders from the higher authority. If allowed, then he can proceed with the written order from the authority in hand.   

Leading Hand: Mr. Tim Taper is the leading hand of the organization but he has no financial authority so he cannot directly participate in providing the authority of buying or supply any goods or equipments related to the need of the company. But, just like the Factory foreman of the company, he is also having the power to initiate the performance management of the staffs who are involved in the working of the organization. 

With the support of the new managing director, the business is looking to extend its scope of engineering works into the department of defence and it will also include non-destructive testing which will require them to lease and but light and magnetic black equipments (Lay et al., 2016).

Contractor generally provides all kinds of equipments and components and sub-contractors work under contractors to provide them additional support. Some specialist contractors are also there to arrange some specific components for any specific departmental work.

Currently 25 employees are performing various duties in the company but the new inclusion in the scope of work requires to doubling up the number of employees that includes prime contractors as well as subcontractors. In Australia, through the department of defence, the federal government looks after the defence and security procurement. Defence is the subject to PGPA Act of government.

In order to establish the change they need to acquire various implications and additions in their business practices. They are already having a hierarchy of legislative framework but after including new department various safety management process will be included in their working standards (Neal, 2017). The specialist contractors will be engaged with the working practice of the company in order to look upon the defence related work. So, hiring more staffs require additional implications in the company which will address their financial needs as well as health and safety measurements within the workplace. Proper training is necessary for the employees to work with the new diversified field. They should have enough knowledge in handling projects related to the defence department. Prime contractors as well as subcontractors will be hired in this regard (Monney, Agyei, Ewoenam, Priscilla & Nyaw, 2014). But, the company had never worked with subcontractors. Dealing with contractors as well as subcontractors requires high amount of safety as they work in the field where various kinds of risks are associated with their working practices. The Australian Government has set various safety measurements for the contractors and subcontractors who are working in the field of engineering (Niu et al., 2018). All the machineries and substances they are using should be properly checked to determine if they are safe and properly licensed or not. All the subcontractors will be hired after a thorough analysis of their past history regarding safety. A healthcare team should be present for the emergency need of all the employees including the contractors and the subcontractors of the company as per the norms of WHS legislation act for the workers (Morden, 2016).

Current Safety Management System

NDT- Non-destructive testing (NDT) will be included where there will be application of measurement techniques to identify the damage in the materials. While the inspection or testing, safety of the workers must be identified by experts.

Equipments- In the making of the defence related equipments there will be a need of sealants, metal cleaners and primers. The workers should have proper knowledge and training about the use of these products and a separate marketing department is also necessary (Moyo, Zungu, Kgalamono & Mwila, 2015).

Importing, manufacturing, testing as well as repairing the components require additional workers with      sufficient knowledge.

Various previous case laws are there. In the year 2012, four workers died falling from a suspended swing-stage platform in the R.V Metron Construction and Joel Swartz while working (Kaye & Hastie, 2015). The director and the employer were charged under the Occupational Health and Safety act. So, keeping a safe environment in the workplace should be given the highest priority. In the importation, manufacture, testing and repairing of the equipments require proper analysis and safety management standards. There should be skilled staffs and arrangement of proper analysis equipments which will be safe to use.

Conclusion

The paper describes how Rattle Engineering works are trying to diversify their scope of work by including defence related work into their business practices. The key roles and duties of different duty holders of the organization have also been clearly stated in this paper. They will import many types of equipment which are required for the new shift and in this purpose they are planning to hire more employees which will be almost double in number of existing employees (Nielsen, 2014). When a set of new workers will be employed such as contractors, subcontractors the role and duties of the employees will be divided. All the officers, PCBUs, and other workers also have some safety measurements which they need to follow while working within the organization. However, the safety management progress of the company need some improvement in order to achieve the best productivity and success. So, various safety requirements they need to implicate while working with the subcontractors as well as prime contractors who will be associated with the department of defence related work.   

According to WHS Act, safety management system (SMS) of any organization should be considered with highest priority for the health and safety of the workers within the organization (Xiang, Bi, Pisaniello & Hansen, 2014). For this case scenario, some improvements in the safety management system can bring more success for the organization.

Key Safety Areas for Tenders

Five recommended key points to improve safety management system of the company is shown below.

  • Keeping the documents of the workers regarding health and safety always updated.
  • Internal audit policy and schedule should be there to ensure the safety laws as well as to identify the strength and weaknesses of the Safety Management System (SMS) of the company (Zohar, 2014).
  • An emergency responses plan should be included to rescue and support all the workers during emergency situations by providing medical support (Xiang, Bi, Pisaniello & Hansen, 2014).
  • Regular meetings and communication strategy should be conducted in order to review the current HSE strategies of the company and at the same time it will also help implement new initiatives for the improvement of the organization. 
  • Regular management review is also necessary in order to verify if the current goals of the company regarding the safety management system are achieved or not (Xiang, Bi, Pisaniello & Hansen, 2014).

References

Annan, J. S., Addai, E. K., & Tulashie, S. K. (2015). A call for action to improve occupational health and safety in Ghana and a critical look at the existing legal requirement and legislation. Safety and health at work, 6(2), 146-150.

Arnetz, J. E., Hamblin, L., Ager, J., Luborsky, M., Upfal, M. J., Russell, J., & Essenmacher, L. (2015). Underreporting of workplace violence: Comparison of self-report and actual documentation of hospital incidents. Workplace health & safety, 63(5), 200-210.

Brittain, A., Tout, A., Strickland, T., Taplin, D., & Licina, D. (2016). Aligning Defence environmental and occupational health (EOH) capability with future requirements: the 4th Australian Defence Force EOH Conference. Journal of Military and Veterans Health, 24(2), 21.

Cunningham, T. R., & Sinclair, R. (2015). Application of a model for delivering occupational safety and health to smaller businesses: case studies from the US. Safety science, 71, 213-225.

Ellen, M., Kosny, A., Ståhl, C., OHagan, F., Redgrift, L., Sanford, S., ... & Mahood, Q. (2016). Systematic review of qualitative literature on occupational health and safety legislation and regulatory enforcement planning and implementation. Scandinavian journal of work, environment and health, 42(1).

Environmental, A. D. F. A. (2017). Personal Observations: Report on the 4th ADF Environmental and Occupational Health (EOH) Conference, Brisbane, March 2015. Medibank’s Garrison Health Services, 25(1).

Grant, R. M. (2016). Contemporary strategy analysis: Text and cases edition. John Wiley & Sons.

Haslam, C., O’Hara, J., Kazi, A., Twumasi, R., & Haslam, R. (2016). Proactive occupational safety and health management: Promoting good health and good business. Safety science, 81, 99-108.

Hofmann, D. A., Burke, M. J., & Zohar, D. (2017). 100 years of occupational safety research: From basic protections and work analysis to a multilevel view of workplace safety and risk. Journal of Applied Psychology, 102(3), 375.

Jepsen, J. R., Zhao, Z., & van Leeuwen, W. M. (2015). Seafarer fatigue: a review of risk factors, consequences for seafarers’ health and safety and options for mitigation. International maritime health, 66(2), 106-117.

Kaye, J., & Hastie, B. (2015). The Canadian Criminal Code offence of trafficking in persons: Challenges from the field and within the law. Social Inclusion, 3(1), 88-102.

Lay, A. M., Saunders, R., Lifshen, M., Breslin, C., LaMontagne, A., Tompa, E., & Smith, P. (2016). Individual, occupational, and workplace correlates of occupational health and safety vulnerability in a sample of Canadian workers. American journal of industrial medicine, 59(2), 119-128.

McDonald, J., & Vital, V. (2016). occupational health & safety. policy.

Monney, I., Agyei, D., Ewoenam, B. S., Priscilla, C., & Nyaw, S. (2014). Food hygiene and safety practices among street food vendors: an assessment of compliance, institutional and legislative framework in Ghana. Food and public health, 4(6), 306-315.

Morden, T. (2016). Principles of strategic management. Routledge.

Moyo, D., Zungu, M., Kgalamono, S., & Mwila, C. D. (2015). Review of occupational health and safety organization in expanding economies: the case of Southern Africa. Annals of global health, 81(4), 495-502.

Neal, B. (2017). Health and safety at work act 2015: Intention, implementation and outcomes in the hill country livestock farming industry.

Nielsen, K. J. (2014). Improving safety culture through the health and safety organization: A case study. Journal of safety research, 48, 7-17.

Niu, Y., Lu, W., Xue, F., Liu, D., Chen, K., Fang, D., & Anumba, C. (2018). Towards the “third wave”: An SCO-enabled occupational health and safety management system for construction. Safety Science.

Phillips, J. A., Holland, M. G., Baldwin, D. D., Gifford-Meuleveld, L., Mueller, K. L., Perkison, B., ... & Dreger, M. (2015). Marijuana in the workplace: Guidance for occupational health professionals and employers: Joint guidance statement of the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses and the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Workplace health & safety, 63(4), 139-164.

Pope, R., MacDonald, D., & Orr, R. (2015). Incidence rates of reported work health & safety incidents & injuries in part-time & full-time Australian Army personnel.

Rothaermel, F. T. (2015). Strategic management. McGraw-Hill Education.

Sinelnikov, S., Inouye, J., & Kerper, S. (2015). Using leading indicators to measure occupational health and safety performance. Safety science, 72, 240-248.

Volk, M., Sterle, J., & Sedlar, U. (2015). Safety and privacy considerations for mobile application design in digital healthcare. International Journal of Distributed Sensor Networks, 11(10), 549420.

Ward, D. S., Vaughn, A. E., Hales, D., Viera, A. J., Gizlice, Z., Bateman, L. A., ... & Linnan, L. A. (2018). Workplace health and safety intervention for child care staff: Rationale, design, and baseline results from the CARE cluster randomized control trial. Contemporary clinical trials, 68, 116-126.

Xiang, J., Bi, P., Pisaniello, D., & Hansen, A. (2014). Health impacts of workplace heat exposure: an epidemiological review. Industrial health, 52(2), 91-101.

Zohar, D. (2014). Safety climate: Conceptualization, measurement, and improvement. The Oxford handbook of organizational climate and culture, 317-334.

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