This often asked of me when I bring up that supposed ogre of OHS. And since the the act has been around for nearly 25 year, I wonder were people have been hiding for the last 24 years. These people at times feel that the act does not apply to them, and for many reasons as there are stars in the sky. They come up will all sorts of excuses….like…. we are an amateur company, we are to small to do that, it is too expensive, all of the paperwork. I am sure we have all heard them before plus hundreds more. Well to all of those people sorry but you need to get with it. The act and how you apply are there to protect you as well as the general public. If you just sit there and do nothing and there is an incident in your venue, or with a piece of equipment and you don’t, at the very minimum, have a OHS policy in place, you will become very familiar with the inside of a court room and your bank account is going to get way small.
Recently I have seen some rather fundamental OHS issues involving equipment hire companies. At these issues are really basic and involve the Test & Tag of electrical equipment or the lack of it. How many of you have hired or seen hired equipment without tags, out of date tags or dateless tags. To me this is of major concern, why are these companies getting away with this; the standards are very explicit in what the requirements are. How hard is it to check and if necessary re-test when the gear is being prepared for the client? And if you use the right sort of tags it can also be a way of asset managing. Therefore killing two birds with one stone. So why do these companies still send out gear with incorrect tags –I would hazard a guess that it all boils down to laziness and the fact that hey may not understand the regulations. Well the action I would recommend is to refuse to use this gear when it arrives, send it back, complain and if necessary report the company.
But it isn’t only hire companies that are a fault. I have come across the odd venue that is not really looking after their clients. They seem to think it is all to hard and it is not applicable to them. Again I say guys get with the program, these regulations have been a round for a long time and ignorance is not a defence. It is not that difficult to get your act together and make things work. In fact if you go to your local authority that looks after OHS issues, they will be more than willing to help you get it right. It is in their and your best interests that you get your OHS priorities right.