Safety Systems has been running for 20 years and have come a long way from our humble beginnings. We were established in 2001 by Paul Flood who has spent over 30 years in asbestos management including within WorkSafe. Paul has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Chemistry and Graduate Certificate in Occupational Hygiene. Paul came up with the idea of Safety Systems as some friends with businesses’ started asking him to check things out for them, safety-wise. “I was helping them with tenders, work procedures. Then I picked up four hours a week providing consultancy services at the Central Deborah Mine, and I took the plunge and went into business,” he said.
“I have gone from an enforcement role to an advisory one,” Paul said. “Safety Systems’ role is to demystify OH&S for people.” because a lot of businesses don’t have time to study all the technical aspects and legislative requirements. Paul developed some pamphlets, but never really needed them – it all snowballed from word of mouth. Our first clients were mainly big companies, like Empire Rubber and Keech Castings. “Occupational health and safety is a continuing program, it’s changing all the time.”
Challenges in Starting a Small Business
When asked about the challenges in starting a small business Paul said “We almost had to sell the farm to buy the first laptop and digital camera, and I had to learn the basics of doing an invoice,” he laughs. “Now, we have a large range of technical equipment for testing, and information for training programs. We can consult or train on everything from safe work procedures and risk assessments to noise management, harassment, emergency response plans and incident investigation. “Making OH&S user-friendly, less daunting for businesses, is very rewarding.”
His advice to others thinking of branching out on their own is simple: “Focus on your core service, do it well, and then branch out.”
Now Safety Systems has three asbestos assessors, two of which are occupational hygienists. Paul is still delivering the bulk of our safety training courses with Denise providing First Aid. We are a registered training organisation, delivering a range of nationally accredited safety courses. We have a dedicated team of admin and customer service staff that ensure the office is always manned and ready to assist with any customer enquiries.
We are looking to increase our staffing to meet our exceeding demand for safety services. Although we started in a small office in Junortoun, we now work from our training centre and office space located in East Bendigo.
Services We Provide
Over the years have increased our range of services, recently adding Respirator Fit Testing, Clandestine Drug Lab testing and have developed a proprietary QR Code system for asbestos register management.
Although we have added many services to our scope, we still maintain our roots of providing specialist asbestos management services and OHS procedures. We have grown to over 1500 clients in the past 20 years and we are always looking for ways to bring savings and efficiencies to our growing list of clients.
In line with our continuous improvement activities and our understanding of the ever-changing world of safety, we are always working to improve our client satisfaction and quality of our consulting services. We understand the significant delays faced on construction sites when material samples need to be sent away for testing, so we are in the final stages of gaining NATA accreditation to provide onsite hour-turnaround asbestos testing services, meaning your construction projects can stay on track.
We are also investigating a range of safety courses which we will be endeavouring to add to our scope.
Keep watching this space to see how our company is growing and developing. We are very thankful to all our clients old and new, and their contributions to the companies’ success. We hope the next 20 years will bring as much growth and learning as the last.