Every week somewhere in Australia, someone is seriously injured or even killed while working on a job site or workplace. This means someone is not going home to their loved ones at the end of the working day. Last week in WA alone, there were two unfortunate cases of workplace fatalities. Although from totally different industries, it’s a reminder that accidents can occur anywhere and at any time. The month of October officially marks National Safe Work Month in Australia. This month stands as an important reminder to both businesses and employees, that safety should be a paramount focus in everyday work life.
A Moment is All it Takes
The theme for this years National Safe Work Month is “A moment is all it takes”. While a safety incident can happen in a moment and in any workplace, a moment’s forethought is all it takes to help prevent harm.
According to historical data from 2013-2017 outlined by Safe Work Australia, 198 workers are killed and a further 111,200 serious claims are put through each year. This number is too high and it’s up to workplaces to educate and work with their staff to create a safer work environment.
National Safety Data
National Safety Data by Industry
Workplace injury does not discriminate based on age, sex or by industry, it affects everyone. No matter what the job at hand, taking the time to assess possible risks in your work environment can play a big part in safety in your workplace.
Life Saving Rules
At United, just like any business we are not immune to workplace injury. From the technicians working in the workshops to staff visiting customer sites. Hazards and risks are everywhere that could cause harm. To manage and prevent workplace injury, United has developed 4 Life Saving Rules. These rules aim to increase awareness of safety among our staff and visitors about the possible safety hazards in our industry.
How do We Reduce or Prevent Workplace Injuries?
There are some important strategies that can be employed by businesses to help prevent possible injury in the workplace. This includes;
Create a Safety Culture
Make workplace safety a priority by ensuring that staff are always thinking about safety as a positive change to making a difference.
Ensure staff have the correct training and awareness so they have a better chance of avoiding injuries and less likely to take chances. This also includes that staff have the correct license and training to operate machinery like forklifts or access equipment.
Make sure everyone, regardless of their title or position, is following safety procedures and using equipment correctly. If you see someone not doing the right thing, bring it to their attention. Lets help each other to work safely.
Talk about safety all the time with your staff. Make it part of daily staff meetings and interactions, as well as provide the right channels for staff to communicate ideas on how to improve safety.
Provide the Right Safety Equipment
Ensure all staff are supplied with the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for their jobs. Also provide signage to remind staff and visitors staff about the correct PPE that must be worn in designated areas. PPE is designed to prevent a serious injury or fatality.
If there is an injury in the workplace, identify what went wrong, and try to address possible weaknesses. Businesses can then develop strategies to address them and minimise the risk or repeat incidents.
Review Workplace Practices
Look at all your work practices. Can they be improved? Are there better, safer ways to do the tasks we do every day? If you believe so, get involved, speak up and let someone know.
Businesses should recognise and reward workers and teams who assist or initiate new safety ideas and improvements. If people are rewarded for speaking up and getting involved in improving safety, then more people are more likely to do so.
Everyone has the right to go home at the end of every shift. Spending a moment before a shift to outline possible hazards or risks is all it takes to improve safety. Furthermore, if you spot a hazard or risk that could potentially cause harm, tell someone so the risk can be prevented. Remember safety is everyone’s responsibility. As we say at United, “It’s All About You”.
For further information regarding safety in your specific industry or state, please visit one of the following government safety sites.
Safe Work Australia: https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au
WorkSafe WA: https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/worksafe
WorkSafe VIC: https://www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/