Delivering WHS peace of mind

Concerned about new chain of responsibility regulations, Hotham Freight turned to WHS MONITOR™ to help meet its workplace health and safety responsibilities. The result was everything the company had hoped for.

Hotham Logo image

Based in the Victorian town of Bright, Hotham Freight provides year-round freight services from Melbourne, Albury, Wodonga and Wangaratta to the Victorian ski resorts of Mt Hotham, Dinner Plain and Falls Creek.

“We work with a wholesale food business called Peak Pantry. We do the transport and distribution for them up to the ski fields,” said Hotham Freight Director, Adam Booth.

As Adam explained, the company employs six people in total including drivers and warehouse workers.

“Overall, I would say that WHS MONITOR™ has provided us with the peace of mind that comes with knowing that we are meeting all our legal responsibilities. Having it means we know we are doing the right thing by our employees. That’s important to me.”

Adam Booth – Director

Hotham Freight’s WHS responsibilities

“In terms of Workplace Health and Safety (WH&S), our main areas of concern include transport and driver fatigue, along with the possibility of musculoskeletal injuries in the warehouse,” said Adam.

“On top of that, there are the health risks associated with working in the sub-zero conditions of the Alpine National Park.”

As Adam was quick to point out, Hotham Freight views workplace health and safety as a top priority.

“As a rule, we carry out training (including first aid) once a year; we run pre-employment medical checks before putting anybody on; and all our store people receive expert instruction on correct lifting techniques and so forth,” he said.

Asked why the company chose WHS MONITOR™, Adam pointed to the impact of recent legislative changes.

“We implemented the system in response to the national chain of responsibility law changes that were introduced in 2018,” he said.

“Frankly, I don’t think a lot of people really understand the requirements in terms of things like reporting. They don’t realise that the law now requires a three-step process, including sign off on delivery and full documentation.

According to Adam, that’s why he first considered WHS MONITOR™. It seemed to be a reliable and simple way for Hotham Freight to comply with its physical chain of responsibility obligations.

“When I started discussions with WHS MONITOR™, it didn’t take long for me to realise that my initial instinct was right. I had a lot of questions about what we do and if the system had the functionality we would require, and the answer to every one of these questions was ‘yes’,” he said. “It does everything we want it to do.”

How Hotham Freight uses WHS MONITOR™

A cloud-based system, WHS MONITOR™ comprises 120 unique, integrated modules across eight core units – HR Safety Management, Contractor Management, Policies & Procedures, Audits & Inspection, Compliance/Safety Self Audit, WHS Project Management, Chemical Management, Reporting, and Mobile & Digital Access.

Fully customisable, it is suitable for all businesses regardless of size or the industries in which they operate. In other words, businesses can pick and choose the modules and functionality that suit them. And, as time goes on and they grow or change, they can add (or drop) modules.

The modules that Hotham Freight uses are Induction, SQ & E Systems, and Policies & Procedures. As Adam explained, the company has not yet implemented the Environment & Chemicals module, but plans to do so in due course.

“While we don’t transport chemicals of any kind, this module will cover all the materials (oils, etc.) we use to maintain our fleet.” he said.

WHS MONITOR™ can be accessed via all types of devices (desktop, tablet, mobile, etc.), and it allows businesses to provide each employee with different levels of access.

“As the company’s Director, I control most of it through my desktop, then all our drivers have the mobile app and can access what they need,” said Adam.

“These guys all use it on a daily basis, mainly for pre-starts. They carry out vehicle inspections in the morning, then during the day if they identify anything on their vehicles that isn’t working, they can log it immediately.”

Hotham Freight Truck

Not restricted just to an organisation’s own employees, WHS MONITOR™ can also be used with contractors and other external workers.

“While we use it mainly for our own employees, we do use external mechanics, and we were able to register them within the system as such,” said Adam.

He said that, following the positive experience when he first approached WHS MONITOR™, the implementation of the system also went very smoothly.

“The team down there were all really helpful and were ready to assist with anything we needed. Overall, I would say that WHS MONITOR™ has provided us with the peace of mind that comes with knowing that we are meeting all our legal responsibilities. Having it means we know we are doing the right thing by our employees. That’s important to me.” said Adam.

“And, on top of that, it has simplified the whole process of compliance. If I tried to do on paper what I can do with WHS MONITOR™, I reckon it would take me about two and a half days a week. Now, it only takes me two hours.”

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