Creating Safety Culture in ‘National Safe Work Month’

We are almost half way through the National Safe Work Month, a national initiative to highlight the importance of work health & safety and workers compensation. I am confident that most interactive businesses have already taken advantage of this opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to creating a safe and positive work environment. If you haven’t already done something within your business, it might now be an appropriate time to host a workplace health and safety event, providing an opportunity for all your workers to reflect on health, safety and wellbeing matters in the workplace.    

According to SafeWork Australia, work-related injury and disease is costing our community $61.8 billion a year. As a result, every business in Australia should do their part and create a safety culture within their workplaces. However, instead of directing the workforce and enforcing rules and regulations, employers should engage its workers. We all know that involving workers is the first step and most crucial step of engagement. If workers feel that they are genuinely being involved in workplace matters (including WH&S), respect and trust will be generated. Therefore, it is important to engage workers in decision-making, asking them for their input and listening to what they have to say. Let’s face it, workers are the ones that carry the daily tasks, day in and day out, so they are the ones whom will know what works best and what doesn’t. When asking for their input, employers will be surprised with the amount of insight workers are able share. By being listened to, workers will also feel valued and about their contribution which in return creates an engaged and inclusive workplace.

Taking advantage of this month, it is advisable for employers to;

  • Hold health & safety awareness programs to consult workers and discuss safety in the workplace (involving them in decision-making, asking for their input and listening to them)
  • Consult with WH&S committee regarding insight shared by workers
  • Review all tasks in the workplace and taking notes of potential hazards
  • Review each hazard and ranking in priority order from highest to lowest urgency (with any urgent hazards removing risks immediately)
  • Review ‘injury records’ to distinguish if there are any patterns emerging
  • Brainstorm and launch a new health and wellbeing initiative
  • Implement strategies on making workplaces safer (involving all workers)
  • Provide additional and/or refresher health and safety training to all workers
  • Implement health & safety tools and techniques

Although this month is a valuable time to reflect on how we can make our workplaces safe, it is also important to note that the overall health & safety of our workplaces is something that employers should be thinking about all year round. No workplace should be unsafe to work in, and injuries or fatalities not be tolerated. We all know that these things can place a business under significant economic stress and reduce morale in the workplace.

This article is prepared to only provide general information about the topic. It is not intended to be used as advice in any way.

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