Health and Safety in Business


One has to question if the title should really be the “business of Health and Safety”

I have been an insurance broker for the past 30 plus years and it is only of recent times that we in the insurance game need to re- brand ourselves to consider that we are actually part of the risk industry specialising in insurance. However specialisation can either be seen as a narrow focus or we can expand on this and use our experience to assist in defining risk for businesses.

Thus the word “risk” is a key to open the door of a dynamic world of connectivity between us and how we relate to the environment in which we live and work.

With recent research the manner in which we approach our environment or the manner in which the environment affects us is a reflection of the world of risk within us. Thus we come to the aged discussion of the differences between being proactive and reactive. Are we reactive to our environment or proactive to our environment? Is our outlook of the business environment healthy or submissive? Is it positive or negative?   

The research has shown that the world of risk is not only on the outside of us and how we perceive but also within us and how we respond and perceive, understand and identify the symptoms that affect us. Thus what happens on the inside of us is a reflection of what happens on the outside.

But how does this relate to the world of business. Being in business is a risk and understanding how the various factors impact on the business is all important to the health of the business. But the business itself needs to be healthy so that the business can understand the effects but also how to manage those effects to either reduce or eliminate the risks to ensure the business survival and make the same resilient.

I think that rather than calling a business commercial concern we should call it an organism. The base word of organisation is the same .ie Organ. It’s a functioning living entity. A cell in our bodies is an organism which thinks breaths absorbs resources, creates products and toxins and grows and multiplies /replicates itself. The cell is also susceptible to bacteria viruses, lack of nutrients and also stress, yet its metabolism works in unison for the common goal and objective of optimising the status quo. Therefore the heath of the organ and thus the body and mind. Thus the cell serves its designed purpose. Purpose is the soul of the organisation.

So for a business to remain healthy as an organism there is a  need to ensure that all parts of the entity works in unison with the common goal and objective of growth and financial success. Financial success is one of a number of symptoms of good organisational health. The risk of not having financial success is always ever present. Thus the necessity to understand the mechanics of the various factors and how they impact on one another requires the necessity to be able to comprehend and identify the symptoms.   

It is only by understanding and identifying the symptoms that the business owner can not only manage the effect but can also adjust the mechanics and therefore affect or delete the cause.

This only improves the safety of the organisation in its journey of growth and replication within its environment. Thus its market and imposed economic regulations.

So in reality the financial safety of a business is not dependent upon the amount of insurance that it buys but more so, on its ability to understand the impact of symptoms, identification of the same and thus adjust the causes. Business owners need to recognize that their organisation is not just a factory to create dollars but is an organism that requires all facets to work cohesively together thus ensuring its optimal health to reach its desired purpose. Therefore managing risk

Through optimal organisational health you secure heightened safety in the day to day operations thus fulfilling the organisations purpose.


If you wish to find out how to gain optimal business health contact John Barley at Rite Track NZ Limited 09 8277266 or have a look at our website


John Barley is a highly qualified insurance broker whose long term success in his own organisations has been attributed to his lateral thinking approach.

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