GEORGE Benyon can tell you the challenges small business owners face.
As owner-manager of Peards Nursery in Albury, he knows how easy it is for things to slip by the wayside — and how valuable a helping hand can be.
“Bigger companies, they’ve got HR people to take care of a lot of things, but the small-scale business owner is trying to do it all himself,” he said.
“It’s easy to put things in the too-hard basket, but we’re all aware we need to be doing more.”
To that end, Mr Benyon has welcomed WorkCover NSW’s recent expansion of its rebate program to businesses of up to 50 staff.
Small businesses falling into that category can apply for rebates of up to $500 to help buy and install safety improvements.
WorkCover Albury district co-ordinator Neville Burt said since March last year, nine Albury small businesses had accessed the rebate, resulting in $9023 worth of safety improvements across the region.
“To have a safe business is to have a sustainable business, in relation to safety,” he said.
“But we know that for small businesses it can be difficult to find the money.”
Mr Burt said the rebate could be used to deal with issues like manual handling, slips and trip hazards or injuries from moving objects.
In the case of Peards Nursery, Mr Benyon used the funds to buy more trolleys that allow staff to move heavy, large-scale items without straining their backs.
There’s also non-slip rubber surfaces in the nursery’s neighbouring cafe to help avoid any trips and spills.
“There’s a lot of boxes to tick,” Mr Benyon said.
“But WorkCover is really putting us on the front foot with this.”
Mr Burt said employers could request a free advisory visit to help identify areas for improvement.
To be eligible, businesses must attend a WorkCover safety workshop, webinar, event or an advisory visit.
Phone WorkCover NSW on 131 050 or visit workcover.nsw.gov.au.