With a number of years employed directly by the racing industry and now working with many as clients, Steve Goss from Sentry has a sound understanding of the unique health and safety needs of the Thoroughbred Racing world.
In this interview, Steve discusses a pragmatic approach to safety and risk solutions that have an immediate effect on safety standards.
An overview of health and safety in Thoroughbred Horse Racing
“The Thoroughbred Racing Industry is a diverse industry with many aspects to it. It is much more than spring racing carnivals which most people are familiar with. Their operations include facilities management, master planning, transport and logistics, broadcast, thoroughbred training, responsible gaming and the service of alcohol, as well as delivering mass attendance at globally recognised racing carnivals.
As an auditor, investigator, and a systems developer who understands the industry, I can quickly identify areas requiring immediate focus. These may be due to a legislative requirement or because we’ve identified immediate high-risk exposure.
We’ll then recommend a course of action to address those gaps. While I don’t give legal advice, I have a pretty good appreciation of the law and how it is applied by the regulators, having performed the role of a WorkSafe Inspector in Bass Strait for a period.
I have a saying that we control pretty much nothing, but we have the ability to influence a lot. Generally, my advice is followed closely.”
What areas of risk are commonly overlooked?
“I put thoroughbred racing in a similar arena as I would oil and gas platforms or Formula One Racing (and I have experience in both) where the main focus is where things are likely to go wrong, such as explosions and crashes. These high focus areas typically are very well managed.
In fact, the horses, while very much in the public view, are not where I focus my attention. There is much more to consider. Areas such as the plant, chemicals, contractors, and more recently the all pervasive COVID 19 are typically governed by strict legislative obligations. They all interact with the main product, horse racing, to varying degrees.”
What does an effective risk management strategy in Thoroughbred Racing include?
“My client list in the thoroughbred industry includes organisations such as:
- All Melbourne Metropolitan Clubs
- International – Hong Kong Jockey Club
- Several Victorian Country Racing Clubs
- Thoroughbred Racing Productions – the Broadcaster
- International Racehorse Transport – Global horse logistics
All of these organisations provide various services that are different to one another, but there is significant crossover between them as they all operate at the same locations and are responsible to the industry. They each have legislative obligations to their own staff as well as anyone on their premises. They take a holistic approach to their risk management and view the entire organisation as one entity with several aspects that all require risk management.”
See comments below on Cranbourne Racing Club.
L.E.V.8 – how the industry is digitising risk planning for their staff, members, contractors and the public?
“Several Thoroughbred Clubs have taken up using the L.E.V.8® Compliance Management Portal to help them with their record keeping, compliance management and general operations management.
This system has been designed specifically for this environment of venue and event management where they are operating in a dynamic world requiring access immediately to information, recording and assurance systems.
Because I have such a close appreciation of their environment, I am able to assist with the implementation of this system with minimum fuss. Once up and running, my services are required less on the ground and more assisting with getting the best out of the platform ongoing.
L.E.V.8 gives my clients autonomy and releases their staff to work on other aspects of the organisation. Developing risk management plans can be an arduous task, and many are grateful for having one platform to keep them up to date and compliant.”
Cranbourne Racing Club – the benefits they gained with L.E.V.8
Cranbourne Racing Club installed L.E.V.8 to digitise their health and safety commitments bringing documentation, process and administration into one single place.
Catherine Mason, Manager of Health and Safety at Cranbourne Racing Club, says “L.E.V.8 offers a wide variety of features to enhance our systems around contactor management, incident reporting and documentation for risk assessment, and it allows for greater involvement of our staff in the process.”
The club has various departments that all have their own unique set of risks, and L.E.V.8 is being used as a holistic management system.
“L.E.V.8 has done so much for us. We now have greater documentation and procedures around safety in the workplace. It gives us an end to end trail from the start to the finish of a potential incident.
There are many contractors providing services onsite every day and the club has constant activity in racing, training and ongoing capital works. We’ve been able to keep our finger on the pulse and have better documentation and procedures around how we manage our contractors. Our contractors know what their health and safety considerations are well before they arrive on site. We’ve set up a training and safety induction process on L.E.V.8 and contractors receive the link to do the induction before they get here.
Risk management is about compliance and making sure all the different aspects of risk assessment have been addressed, but ultimately it improves the health and safety of everyone onsite.
Another benefit is that it’s rewarding not only for myself as health and safety manager, but also for our staff who have all been an integral part of our health and safety improvements. They are involved and engaged in keeping the procedures up to date.
L.E.V.8 gives us quicker resolution of issues. It reminds us of tasks and deadlines and gives us the tools to keep our risk management plans current. We now have our hand on our heart and can say we are well across health and safety risks in all aspects of our business.”
Want to find out more about L.E.V.8® for your club? Contact us for a free demo
Request a demo of a L.E.V.8® to see for yourself how this tool will help save you and your staff countless administration hours. Lift the administrative burden of compliance and get full visibility of your people, suppliers and compliance documents at the click of a button. Book a no obligation call with us here: https://calendly.com/sentry/lev8_strategy_call