While I might have started out just like any other up-and-coming businessperson and entrepreneur not too long ago, as many of my operations have gotten bigger and involved hiring and managing people, I’ve had to learn a lot about the administrative, legal and financial side of business and of course I’m talking about these elements from a more formalised and official point of view. You can only wing it for so long and effectively operate your business “out of the boot of your car” for a limited time.
So as much as I might have fully understood why I’d have to learn a bit more about accounting practices, keeping proper records and the likes, of all the business areas in which one is required to align oneself with some regulations, Safety Health and Environment (SHE) is one area which I’m still battling with today. I mean I get it – yes, it’s important for the working environment to be a safe one which is healthy, comfortable and conducive for some mega productivity, but for the life of me I reckon the manner in which this compliance is enforced is counter-productive to say the very least.
I mean sure, there are some environmental tweaks we have to put in place in order to make sure the working environment is safe, which we gladly do as business owners, but legislation pretty much requires one to follow some documented protocol which makes less and less sense with every amendment added to what is growing into a huge, orange lever-arch file – every employee has one. The employees themselves complain each time they’re told they have to bring it in to work the next day so that we can discuss a new SHE feature which is to be effected, documented and officially added to the heavy orange file.
For example, on just last year in some workplace which is only linked to ours in the sense that it operates in the same industry, someone wanted to make a cup of instant coffee and they couldn’t wait for the kettle to boil, so they proceeding to boil the water with the microwave oven in the shared kitchen area at work. Needless to say this was a bad idea, the consequences of which were particularly potent on that particular day and the employee burned their hand with the hyper-heated water basically jumping out at her as she removed the cup from the microwave oven.
Consequently, an entire lecture has had to be formulated prior to the new documentation being added to the orange employees’ manual on workplace health and safety practices, all of which is really unnecessarily because it eats right into the time we could have rather allocated to something more productive.
On the advice of our legal counsel over at Tuite Law though, we best be grinning and bearing it all, just so that we can cover our legal bases should cases of something like wrongful death flare up, but as far as implementing practical company policy goes, ultimately it all comes back down to common sense.