NFPs Unsure of OH&S Insurance Coverage - Survey
3 August 2009 at 4:18 pm
Australian Not for Profit organisations are overwhelmingly aware of their need to comply with Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) laws, but many are unsure if their insurance coverage will protect them in the event of a breach of the OH&S Act according to a new survey.
The survey conducted by Enterprise Care involving 92 Not for Profit organisations found that 99% of all respondents knew they had a legal obligation to address OH&S in their workplace. However, over half of all respondents did not know, or were unsure, if they had an insurance policy to cover OH&S fines or legal fees in the event of prosecution.
Of those surveyed with insurance cover, 74% did not know, or were unsure, of how effective their insurance coverage actually was.
Damien Smith, Managing Director of Enterprise Care, believes that OH&S is a critical governance responsibility.
Smith says complying with legislation preventing injury and illness at work is not only an organisation’s ‘duty of care’, but also good business practice.
The survey also found that 52% of respondents were unaware that their Board member’s personal assets were at risk in the event of breaches to the OH&S Act.
Smith says the OH&S responsibilities of a Director should be conveyed to all employees to ensure that everyone understands the significant legal and moral obligations of a Director’s role.
The survey found that while 99% of respondents knew they had to comply with OH&S legislation, only 67% of respondents had a formally appointed and trained OH&S representative, and only 40% had professional processes in place to regularly measure the OH&S risk their business is exposed to.
However, three quarters of respondents reported that their organisation kept up-to-date with work safe legislation in all operating areas.
Smith believes that having living and dynamic OH&S processes in place is an essential risk management practice.
Enterprise Care is a governance advisory service for both the Not for Profit and corporate sectors in Australia.