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How Much Is Too Much?

This week I've been talking about the sheer amount of paperwork that is being generated in the safety industry. I did two videos on the topic- check them out at:

Whilst we know that paperwork is needed in many instances, how much is really needed? How much of what we generate actually gets used? Or does it sit on a shelf or on the server and never sees the light of day?

I've seen a Take 5 for changing a toilet roll and also for making a cup of coffee.

I've seen JSA's that run over multiple pages that talk about a multitude of hazards and controls, but nothing about the actual task itself that the JSA has been submitted for.

And I've seen an Emergency Response Plan for a major sports stadium that referenced another interstate sports stadium and the emergency services attending from that state as well!

One of the responses to these videos was, "I guess that is the purpose of the paperwork - to document the degree to which things have changed. However, that notion collapses when the emphasis is placed more on getting the paperwork right than on actually doing things right in the workplace."

That's an interesting insight and generates some good food-for-thought. Outside of the WHS space, we see this in the VET space as well with ASQA compliance.

But who is driving this? Is it the Regulators? Is it the employer? Are we doing it under a false sense that it will protect us if something was to go wrong?

What're your thoughts? Has our paperwork become about C.A.R.E. (Cover Arse Retain Employment) or is it all legit and it is actually necessary to generate so much?

Interested in Knowing More?

Further information on Safety Wise’s Incident Cause Analysis (ICAM) Training is available from our website:

Additional ICAM Related Services

Safety Wise also offers the following additional services for sites that adopt the ICAM investigation analysis method:

  • Quality review of incident investigations using ICAM

  • Participation in investigations as an external/independent party

  • Investigation coaching


ABOUT THE AUTHOR- Luke Dam (Chief Executive Officer)

Luke has worked in various industries over the years including pharmaceutical, retail, manufacturing, and transport including iconic brands like WesFarmers, Goodyear, CSL Limited, and Incitec Pivot Limited.

His work in OHS and learning and development has seen him deliver services to clients, both internal and external as well as managing service delivery teams around the world.

Luke holds a Graduate Certificate of Management (Learning) as well as a Diploma of Occupational Health and Safety, a Diploma of Training and Assessment Systems, a Certificate IV Workplace Training and Assessment, a Certificate III in Mine Emergency Response & Rescue and a Certificate II in Public Safety (SES Rescue).

Luke is extensively involved in a project to establish an association dedicated to confined space safety and to drive change in legislation to promote best-practice in this high-risk area. Luke is passionate about online OHS and incident investigation communities, moderating a number of large LinkedIn groups boasting over 11,000 members globally.


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