Benefits of safety management

By Tash Reicheldt / 19 May 2020

Can anyone predict the future? Or outcome of a project or an activity?

Certainly not!

So, is it correct to say that the outcome will remain uncertain all the time and we have no option but to wait and watch?

Fortunately, the answer is again a big fat NO.

It is a well-established fact that there are hundreds of obstacles that comes your way when you start any project. These obstacles can be financial, technological, environmental, social or safety related.

Out of these the most critical is SAFETY of your highly valuable asset that is your employees. Financial constraints can be tackled. Social issues can be sorted out. But if you fail to manage a safety related issue, Game Over. Therefore, it is right to say that any injury or death can make your project at halt. Even in some cases it is almost impossible to keep your organisation afloat after suffering any unfortunate accident. 

Therefore, it is incumbent upon organisations to take some serious measures to make Safety a top priority.

Safety Management System (SMS) is an approach that can take you out from this mucky scenario.

Wondering how?

SafeWork Australia defines Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS/SMS) as:

“An OHSMS is a coordinated and systematic approach to managing health and safety risks. OHSMSs help organisations to continually improve their safety performance and compliance to health and safety legislation and standards. In doing so, they establish safer working environments that protect people at work by eliminating, or better managing, health and safety hazards.”

A Safety management system not only helps you in avoiding injuries or death. It also helps you in following ways:

  • More Profits
    The huge amounts of money you can save from hospitalisation and insurance claims that can be spent elsewhere. Moreover, by complying to the regulatory authorities you can avoid hurting your organisation from severe penalties.
  • Investment Opportunities
    Business sustainability is a clear-cut benefit of SMS especially when it comes to Investors as they want to know if they are spending their hard-earned money in a safe place or not. 
  • Increased Productivity
    Workers can spend more time on a job than on leaves due to lesser Lost Time Interval which eventually boost their morale.
  • Business opportunities
    A lot of public & private sector organisations require that your organisation is performing impressively on SMS.

By implementing SMS, you can easily take control of your organisation as it provides you the data in one place which is necessary to know what is happening in your organisation. Which will eventually help you to make better judgment and sound decisions.

Wondering how you can implement SMS in your organisation?

Outback Safety delivers you high value occupational health & safety, quality, environment, and business continuity consulting services. Over the years we have helped our clients create outstanding growth with very simple systems & processes that increase productivity and efficiency.

Outback Safety offers a unique service – an advisory focused on risk management combined with the understanding how Territory organisations operate. By leveraging technology and expertise we deliver services that are tailor made for our clients.

Our Key services includes:

  • ISO 9001:2015 (Quality Management system)
  • ISO 14001:2015 (Environmental Management system)
  • ISO 45001:2018 & OHSAS 18001:2007 (Safety management system)
  • Risk Management
  • Integrated Management system (IMS)

To achieve all that we will help you with:

  • Drafting policies, manuals, and procedures
  • Implementation of developed system
  • Improvement of existing system
  • Document management
  • Identifying training needs
  • Incident investigations
  • Contractor management etc.

Successful companies treat Health & Safety as an integral part of business just like Maintenance or Finance. While on the other hand many organisations suffered huge financial loss when they neglected or downgraded the importance of implementing SMS.

And we are sure, you are not one of them.

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HSR Training

By Martyn Hill / 6 August 2020

We are capping the class numbers for HSR training to 10 persons in the room to keep you and your employees safe.

HSR Training accreditation
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COVID-19 resources from the Work Safe Regulators

By Outback Safety / 14 May 2020

COVID-19 pandemic has an unprecedented impact on the workplace. The pandemic gives us a chance to reassess the business practices and risks associated with operating the business.
The Regulators such as Safe Work Australia, NT WorkSafe and regulators in other jurisdictions have been proactive and supporting the workplaces. Here is the summary of resources in one spot to help you navigate the uncertainty that comes with these changes:

Safe Work Australia prepared a comprehensive suite of resources that cover different areas: aged care, education, agriculture, construction, in-home services, small businesses, fly-in-fly-out and taxis to name a few

NT WorkSafe prepared FAQ for employees, employers and healthcare providers

WorkSafe Queensland focused on the impact on risk management

Western Australian regulator focused on guiding transport and construction industries

SafeWork Victoria focused on the framework and main areas of exposure, prevention, support and compensation

SafeWork NSW gave the similar guidance but also covered topics such as mental health and workplace violence in these uncertain times

SafeWork SA mostly relied on SafeWork Australia resources

WorkSafe Tasmania emphasised the responsibility of an employer to keep up to date with the COVID-19 updates

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NT’s new normal and Zoom webinar for COVID-19 plans and risk management

By Outback Safety / 30 April 2020

Michael Gunner, the NT’s Chief Minister, announced the reopening of businesses in two weeks.

This is a welcome development for Outback Safety and clients. The NT was one of the fortunate jurisdictions in this pandemic. That is not to gloat but to appreciate our common vulnerability.

COVID-19 has demonstrated new risks and emphasized the old risks we have to be aware of. As businesses, we have to reassess the risk management plans and talk about business continuity under any circumstances.

This process can be done together with the COVID-19 plan if you have to draft it.

Zoom in on Thursday 7th of May at 10am ACST to listen to Outback Safety’s Managing Director, Martyn Hill will present on Business Continuity – Risk Management and Covid-19 plans, hosted by Emma Nesbitt General Manager of the Darwin Innovation Hub.

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SIA NT Symposium: Workplace Body, Mind & Safety

By Outback Safety / 7 October 2016

Safety Institute of Australia NT presents the 7th Annual premier NT safety event. This is located at the Mal Nairn Auditorium, CDU


SIA NT Symposium: Workplace Body, Mind & Safety which will be held on Friday 14th October 2016. Registering now.


So if you are serious about safety, then this is an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed! The program highlights:


  • SIA directions, Patrick Murphy, Chair and Dave Clark, CEO, Safety Institute of Australia
  • NT WorkSafe Initiative projects, Neil Burgess, Director Operations, NT WorkSafe
  • How to “sell” safety to your colleagues and boss? Prof Jenny Darroch, USA
  • Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace, Prof Simon Moss
  • The Perfect Nourishment, Anastasia Grasso, Dietician, Stay Nourished
  • Many more engaging speakers with practical, real life and Territory relevant case studies to assist NT businesses and government with excellent ideas for safety solutions.


Following in the footstep of success form last year, we will have a panel discussion on mental health.


What do our delegates say about the conference in 2015

“A very relevant, diverse, informative and interesting conference”

“An excellent conference – both enjoyable and inspiring”

“Very informative and I gained excellent insights from a number of speakers – I look forward to next years conference”

“Good range of speakers covering a variety of relevant industry topics – very worthwhile”


Special thanks to our amazing sponsors: Charles Darwin University and NT WorkSafe!


With so much to offer and the opportunity to network with your fellow professionals, can you afford to miss out?


Register now

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Principles of Risk Management for schools ISO 31000:2009 Risk Management

By Outback Safety / 1 July 2015

Risk management (RM) is:

  • a systematic process of threat identification, assessment and control
  • which seeks to prevent or minimise the potential consequences to school activities
  • without diminishing the curriculum’s intent.


Principle 1: Risk management creates and protects value.

Risk management contributes to the demonstrable achievement of objectives and improvement of performance in, for example, human health and safety, security, legal and regulatory compliance, public acceptance, environmental protection, product quality, project management, efficiency in operations, governance and reputation.

Principle 2: Risk management is an integral part of all organizational processes.

Risk management is not a stand-alone activity that is separate from the main activities and processes of the organization. Risk management is part of the responsibilities of management and an integral part of all organizational processes, including strategic planning and all project and change management processes.

Principle 3: Risk management is part of decision making.

Risk management helps decision makers make informed choices, prioritize actions and distinguish among alternative courses of action.

Principle 4: Risk management explicitly addresses uncertainty.

Risk management explicitly takes account of uncertainty, the nature of that uncertainty, and how it can be addressed.

Principle 5: Risk management is systematic, structured and timely.

A systematic, timely and structured approach to risk management contributes to efficiency and to consistent, comparable and reliable results.

Principle 6: Risk management is based on the best available information.

The inputs to the process of managing risk are based on information sources such as historical data, experience, stakeholder feedback, observation, forecasts and expert judgement.

However, decision makers should inform themselves of, and should take into account, any limitations of the data or modelling used or the possibility of divergence among experts.

Principle 7: Risk management is tailored.

Risk management is aligned with the school’s external and internal context and risk profile.

Principle 8: Risk management takes human and cultural factors into account.

Risk management recognises the capabilities, perceptions and intentions of external and internal people that can facilitate or hinder achievement of the school’s objectives.

Principle 9: Risk management is transparent and inclusive.

Appropriate and timely involvement of stakeholders and, in particular, decision makers at all levels of the school, ensures that risk management remains relevant and up-to-date. Involvement also allows stakeholders to be properly represented and to have their views taken into account in determining risk criteria.

Principle 10: Risk management is dynamic, iterative and responsive to change.

Risk management continually senses and responds to change. As external and internal events occur, context and knowledge change, monitoring and review of risks take place, new risks emerge, some change, and others disappear.

Principle 11: Risk management facilitates continual improvement of the school.

Schools should develop and implement strategies to improve their risk management maturity alongside all other aspects of their school.

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5 Steps to introducing risk management for the Northern Territory based business

By Outback Safety / 21 June 2015

Step 1- Communicate and Consult

A consultative approach may:

  • help establish the context appropriately;
  • ensure that the interests of stakeholders are understood and considered;
  • help ensure that risks are adequately identified;
  • bring different areas of expertise together for analysing risks;
  • ensure that different views are appropriately considered when defining risk criteria and in evaluating risks;
  • secure endorsement and support for a treatment plan;
  • enhance appropriate change management during the risk management process; and
  • develop an appropriate external and internal communication and consultation plan.

Step 2 – Establish the Context Internal

The risk management process should be aligned with the school’s culture, processes, structure and strategy. Internal context is anything within the organisation that can influence the way in which it will manage risk. It should be established because:

  • risk management takes place in the context of the objectives of the organisation;
  • objectives and criteria of a particular project, process or activity should be considered in the light of objectives of the organisation as a whole; and
  • some organisations fail to recognise opportunities to achieve their strategic, project or business objectives, and this affects ongoing organisational commitment, credibility, trust and value.

Step 2 – Establish the Context Internal

It is necessary to understand the internal context. This can include, but is not limited to:

  • governance, organizational structure, roles and accountabilities;
  • policies, objectives, and the strategies that are in place to achieve them;
  • capabilities, understood in terms of resources and knowledge (e.g. capital, time, people, processes, systems and technologies);
  • the relationships with and perceptions and values of internal stakeholders;
  • the organisational culture;
  • information systems, information flows and decision making processes (both formal and informal);
  • standards, guidelines and models adopted by the NT business; and
  • form and extent of contractual relationships.

Step 2 – Establish the Context External

The external context can include, but is not limited to:

  1. the social and cultural, political, legal, regulatory, financial, technological, economic, natural and
  2. competitive environment, whether international, national, regional or local;
  3. key drivers and trends having impact on the objectives of the business; and
  4. relationships with, perceptions and values of external stakeholders.

Step 3.1 – Risk Identification

Identify sources of risk, areas of impacts, events (including changes in circumstances) and their causes and their potential consequences. It is important to identify the risks associated with not pursuing an opportunity.

Include risks whether or not their source is under the control of the school, even though the risk source or cause may not be evident. Identification should include examination of the knock-on effects of particular consequences, including cascade and cumulative effects.

Apply risk identification tools and techniques that are suited to its objectives and capabilities, and to the risks faced. Relevant and up-to-date information is important in identifying risks.

Step 3.2 – Risk analysis

Risk analysis provides an input to risk evaluation and to decisions on whether risks need to be treated, and on the most appropriate risk treatment strategies and methods. Risk analysis can also provide an input into making decisions where choices must be made and the options involve different types and levels of risk.

Risk analysis and sources of risk, their positive and negative consequences, and the likelihood that those consequences can occur. Factors that affect consequences and likelihood should be identified. Existing controls and their effectiveness and efficiency should also be taken into account.

The way in which consequences and likelihood are expressed and the way in which they are combined to determine a level of risk should reflect the type of risk, the information available and the purpose for which the risk assessment output is to be used..

Step 3.3 – Risk Evaluation

The purpose of risk evaluation is to assist in making decisions, based on the outcomes of risk analysis, about which risks need treatment and the priority for treatment implementation.

Risk evaluation involves comparing the level of risk found during the analysis process with risk criteria established when the context was considered. Based on this comparison, the need for treatment can be considered.

Decisions should take account of the wider context of the risk and include consideration of the tolerance of the risks borne by parties other than the organization that benefits from the risk. Decisions should be made in accordance with legal, regulatory and other requirements.

In some circumstances, the risk evaluation can lead to a decision to undertake further analysis. The risk evaluation can also lead to a decision not to treat the risk in any way other than maintaining existing controls. This decision will be influenced by the organization’s risk attitude and the risk criteria that have been established.

Step 4 – Risk Treatment

Risk treatment involves a cyclical process of:

assessing a risk treatment;

deciding whether residual risk levels are tolerable;

if not tolerable, generating a new risk treatment; and

assessing the effectiveness of that treatment.

Risk treatment options are not necessarily mutually exclusive or appropriate in all circumstances. The options can include the following:

  1. avoiding the risk by deciding not to start or continue with the activity that gives rise to the risk;
  2. taking or increasing the risk in order to pursue an opportunity;
  3. removing the risk source;
  4. changing the likelihood;
  5. changing the consequences;
  6. sharing the risk with another party or parties (including contracts and risk financing); and
  7. retaining the risk by informed decision.

The purpose of risk treatment plans is to document how the chosen treatment options will be implemented. The information provided in treatment plans should include:

  • the reasons for selection of treatment options, including expected benefits to be gained;
  • those who are accountable for approving the plan and those responsible for implementing the plan;
  • proposed actions;
  • resource requirements including contingencies;
  • performance measures and constraints;
  • reporting and monitoring requirements; and
  • timing and schedule.

Treatment plans should be integrated with the management processes of the business and discussed with appropriate stakeholders.

Should be documented and subjected to monitoring, review and, where appropriate, further treatment.

Step 5 – Monitor and Review

Both monitoring and review should be a planned part of the risk management process and involve regular checking or surveillance. It can be periodic or ad hoc.

Monitoring and review processes should encompass all aspects of the risk management process for the purposes of:

  1. ensuring that controls are effective and efficient in both design and operation;
  2. obtaining further information to improve risk assessment;
  3. analysing and learning lessons from events (including near-misses), changes, trends, successes and failures;
  4. detecting changes in the external and internal context, including changes to risk criteria and the risk itself which can require revision of risk treatments and priorities; and
  5. identifying emerging risks.

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Why bother with operational risk management in the Northern Territory?

By Outback Safety / 15 June 2015

We are in the Territory, we do not need risk management? We love the danger, right? Here are some reasons and quotes why you might change your mind and help convince others:

  • Increase risk awareness – What could affect the achievement of objectives? What could change? What could go wrong? What could go right?
  • Increase under standing of risk – sensitivities. What makes my risks increase/decrease/disappear?
  • Promote a “healthy” risk culture – It’s safe to talk about risk. Open and transparent.
  • Develop a common and consistent approach to risk across the organisation. Not intuition-based.
  • Allows intelligent “informed” risk-taking.
  • Focuses efforts –helps prioritize. Top 10 list. Or top 3. Or…
  • Is proactive…. not reactive – Prepare for risks before they happen. Identify risks and develop appropriate risk mitigating strategies.
  • Improve outcomes – achievement of objectives (corporate, school-based, etc)
  • Really comes to down to simple good management
  • Enables accountability, transparency and responsibility
  • And maybe even mean survival

The only alternative to risk management is crisis management — and crisis management is much more expensive, time consuming and embarrassing.

JAMES LAM, Enterprise Risk Management, Wiley Finance 2003

Without good risk management practices, government cannot manage its resources effectively. Risk management means more than preparing for the worst; it also means taking advantage of opportunities to improve services or lower costs.      

Sheila Fraser, Auditor General of Canada

 Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.

Warren Buffet, Berkshire Hathaway Chairman & CEO

 Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Albert Einstein

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WHS in Schools: Excursions for NT schools

By Outback Safety / 21 April 2015

More and more teachers in the Northern Territory choose to leave the classroom to provide the ultimate learning experience for the students and that is great.

With a risk management focus, the vast majority of teachers researching and planning for students to leave the classroom request only two documents from potential providers, that is, their “risk management documentation” and public liability insurance.

Ideally, school should have the following policies and procedures relating to risk management during excursions as well as First aid kits:

  1. Emergency Management Planning Procedure together with list of phone numbers (crisis directory)
  2. Parent/Carer Consent
  3. Planning and Approvals
  4. Staffing and Supervision
  5. Student Medical Information
  6. Student Preparation and Behaviour
  7. Accident Recording and Reporting
  8. Emergency Management Planning Procedure together with list of phone numbers (crisis directory)
  9. First Aid Needs
  10. Health Care Needs
  11. Health Support Planning Forms
  12. Portable First Aid Kits

Schools should also be able to enter into dialogue about safety with a provider, asking about the company’s safety track record – how many first aid incidents there have been in the past twelve months; how many of these have required further medical assistance etc. (A provider’s response to this request is also the ideal way to find out how that company values safety and risk management).

A second example of good safety management from school executives, principals and members of the board pertains to how much they value the experience being undertaken and how much they are willing to pay for safety. What it should represent is value for money – correct safety measures = quality risk management = value for money.

A third example of good safety management is evident when an organisation considers the time of year they choose to participate in activity outside the school grounds. Important questions need to be asked in regards to weather conditions. Will it be too hot? Will participants more likely suffer from sun exposure?

To ensure the health and safety of students and staff, schools are required to proactively manage all aspects of excursions. The school’s duty of care to students extends to school excursions, SSTs and camps, which are integral to students’ educational programs. Activities conducted away from schools may increase risks and therefore the standard of care required must reflect the increase in identified risks.

Schools must be able to demonstrate that activities have been thoroughly planned to ensure that students, staff and others will be safe whilst undertaking the activity. Any potential risks must have been identified and managed and there must be a planned response in case of an emergency. However, documentation need not be excessive but it has to be comprehensive enough.


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