The roles and responsibilities of an Occupational Health and Safety Manager are very challenging. The wellbeing of workers is so important that negligence in this area could lead to poor productivity, negative publicity and higher risk of fatalities. This is especially true in the transport industry, where accidents are almost inevitable. Hence, as the OHS Manager of a large national transport company, successful fulfilment of my duties toward ensuring a safe working environment has implications for the overall health and sustenance of the business. The rest of this essay will lay out the benefits of providing a safe working environment by citing relevant legislative, financial and moral rationale.
The Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare Act of 1986 will be the basic document of reference for my decisions and initiatives. Section 19 of the act is particularly relevant, for it outlays the duties of employers toward employee safety. This section notes that an employer must,
“in respect of each employee employed or engaged by the employer, ensure so far as is reasonably practicable that the employee is, while at work, safe from injury and risks to health and, in particular, must provide and maintain so far as is reasonably practicable, a safe working environment, safe systems of work, plant and substances in a safe condition…” (www.austlii.edu.au, 2012)
The OHSW Act is quite thorough in the range of clauses it includes, covering all contingencies and freak occurrences. As OHS Manager of a large national transport company, one of my primary challenges is in sorting and managing the slew of complaints, grievances and lawsuits that will be raised against the company, especially against the department. But rather than an antagonistic approach toward disposing these issues, an empathetic and compassionate approach will fetch better results. (Murphy & Cooper, 2000) After all, given the high risks taken by workers by involving themselves in the transportation business, one should respect their genuine concerns and seek to resolve them. The government of South Australia has heeded to the demands of workers of the region and has tightened its laws governing OHS. The verdict on recently held case Farrell v B & A Fisheries Pty Ltd  SAIRC bears out this fact. (www.safework.sa.gov.au, 2012)