ESS More Information

Benefits of working with us

  • We have extensive experience working at all levels of organisations and all aspects of heavy engineering and construction WHS.
  • We are first and foremost business people with safety expertise who also understand business and operational reality.
  • Although we have extensive expertise and exposure across multiple organisations, sectors and industries, we know that you and your people understand your business better than anyone. This knowledge is critical to successfully deliver bespoke solutions and outcomes that will work for your business rather than taking a generic approach.
  • We also have significant experience with:
    • WHS regulators and enforcement activities, including prosecutions and developing Enforceable Undertakings
    • Workers compensation, both in the State and Commonwealth Schemes, including Self Insurance.

What Makes Us Different?

The main point of difference in our approach is that we work with Boards and Executive to inform and build understanding around specific areas so that they feel more empowered through improved knowledge and understanding relevant to their business. Boards and Executive are then able to better control and rationalize what information they get, how they get it and what they do with it

We understand how businesses operate and what Boards and Executive are faced with. Some of the areas we have observed are:

  • Our experience has shown us that all Boards and their organisations are at different levels of WHS maturity, all deal with different issues and require different levels and types of of support. If we were to summarise our approach, it is not to just provide Boards and Executive with generic information about their duties, obligations and the OHS Act, but to first understand where the business is at from a WHS perspective, any issues and concerns and the critical information that is required. We then use this information to provide tailored WHS support, information and context from a real world business perspective so there is greater clarity and understanding of what is needed, why it is needed and how to best proceed.
  • Often safety is seen as a “sacred cow”. If a practitioner, legal person or regulator provides a certain level of information for review and/or advises Board members and Executives that they need to take a certain approach or intervention, they feel obligated to follow that advice, whether it makes sense to them, or whether they fully agree with it. They are often not confident enough due to the complexity, bureaucracy and potential negative impacts commonly associated with WHS, to question and challenge for fear of being seen as “not committed to safety” or not fulfilling duties under the Act if something goes wrong. We work with Boards and Executive in these types of scenarios where independent and experienced advice and support is needed.
  • The level and types of information provided to Boards and Executive is often too detailed and leads to the level of WHS discussion by Board members and Executives which is often too detailed, at too low a level, and not highlighting the specific issues that need to be identified and focused on. Boards and Executive should be discussing and questioning issues such as critical risk, high level governance findings, performance issues and systems health. All of these elements need to be reported as high level trends and findings rather than low level detail. It should be the role of the company line management structure to deal with the low level and day to day matters of the company. Often we see Board members and Executives provided with full audit reports and multiple pages of data and narrative, most of which is low level day to day management issues and information. Most individuals will not have the time to read it all, let alone take in the key points, patterns and trends buried within all that information.
  • Much of the training and information provided to Boards has a legal and/or practitioner focus, often taking on an “if you don’t do this you are exposed” approach, rather than recognising the level and context of Board and Executive roles within their specific organisation. Further, it doesn’t usually address the critical areas of knowledge and understanding Board members and Executives should have, based on your company structure and control proximity to front line operations.
  • Our underpinning focus and approach is to try to create a “positive dissatisfaction with the current state” rather than to criticize the current WHS program and approach, or how the organization is performing. We do this through facilitating insights and discussions into the current situation to build more in-depth understanding surrounding WHS performance. This enables clearer insights and decisions on any issues and what needs to be done. We can then work with leadership to identify a change pathway. (Link to article for more information on this approach).“Your House is a Wreck”
  • Often the way lessons are reported and shared with Boards, Executive and across organisations doesn’t have the impact it could have, due to the lessons being delivered in the context of the incident, rather than communicating the decontextualized underlying learnings that led to the incident. For example, if there was a serious brake failure incident and it is communicated as a brake failure incident, then anyone not involved in areas where brake failure is relevant, don’t really see the incident as relevant to them and generally take no interest or action. If the same lessons were delivered as maintenance failure or failure to plan, etc. then it has a broader context, application and impact, as anyone involved in maintenance or planning is more likely to see the relevance to them and their areas (Link to article for more information on this approach).“Barriers to Learning From Incidents”