Some workers and managers regard their Sherq management duties as secondary functions, while these are part of their joint responsibilities to themselves, colleagues, society, and the environment.
When Sherq is relegated to a secondary function, or a low priority in our lives, the resources at our disposal, from which we should make profit, are endangered, writes Anton Smith.
How can we expect success in our operations and our functions, if our most valuable resource, our people, are sick, hospitalised or even dead, and some of our resources are damaged or lost?
Even small things and events that we come to consider as “nothing to worry about”, could be factors in injuries, infections, or even disasters.
A workplace that is both efficient and safe, is essential in operational stability. It also allows us to continuously improve on our results.
Sherq must, as far as reasonably practicable, be a matter of common interest and concern, rather than a bone of contention between workers and management.
Laws alone do not protect organisations from workplace injuries and illnesses. We cannot afford to take a break from our collective responsibility to protect our fellow employees, our environment and ourselves.
A safe, healthy and environmental friendly environment ensures our quality of life.
Sherq awareness is up, but performance lags behind
The recent decades have been characterised by a world-wide upsurge in safety, health and environmental awareness, in line with increased hazards and risks at most workplaces.
Major industrial incidents and disasters have led to escalated pressure of public opinion, resulting in ever more stringent occupational health, safety and environmental legislation.
The enforcing and implementation of more effective legislation has resulted in a general increase in occupational health and safety practice, as well as environmental awareness in the broad public and business.
States, business and workers around the globe have become increasingly aware of safety, health and environmental issues, concentrating how to manage these issues effectively.
However these collective measures often do not translate into organisational cultures, and therefore not sufficiently into behaviour.
Integrate Sherq into management
Risk awareness could be symbolised as the ‘unsinkable’ Titanic en route to the awaiting iceberg, as a symbol of slowly melting ignorance, negligence, unsafe acts, pollution and destruction of natural resources.
Sherq functions (Safety, Health, Environment, Risk and Quality) should be integrated into one management system, to enable the sustainable management of our activities and facilities.
We could not manage any element of Sherq by itself, nor could we manage Sherq separately within the organisation.
All our management functions have to meet and exceed the requirements of relevant legislation, and our ethical obligations, resulting in safe, healthy, environmental friendly, and sustainable workplaces.
Implementing control measures that concentrate on different disciplines separately, often costs more that an integrated approach.
- Anton Smith (SAIOSH member) has 22 years of experience in Sherq services, including the SA Air Force and Department of Defence, and ISO 14001 experience at Tiger Brands Culinary Division. He is a risk consultant at Phakamile Risk Consultancy.
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