Your 5 Considerations this Safe Work Month – October 2021
Every October is National Safe Work Month – a time for Australian workplace to showcase and promote work health and safety.
The theme for National Safe Work Month this year is think safe. work safe. be safe.
It is a time of celebration, whilst at the same time being a “calendar” marker to prompt workplaces, their leaders and their workforce to explicitly take some time to reflect on their safety program, actively listen to workers about their experiences, and focus those safety-related activities that can be missed or relegated to “next time” in workplaces where the workplaces safety maturity is continuing to evolve.
Following Action OHS Consulting’s engagement with our clients over the last 10-years, we have seen first-hand the great things people are capable of, once provided with some direction on how they can bring their safety practices to life. In the spirit of these interactions, we have created the master list, to support you to get the most out of Safe Work Month this October.
The hardest thing about getting started…is getting started.
1. Plan. We all know that a goal without a plan is just a wish. So, to get the most out of Safe Work Month start to actively talk to your teams and schedule. Starting now will allow you to build excitement. Put up some signage. Get talking! Giddy up.
2. Listen (…then talk). Identify ways that you can interact with key stakeholders.
For workers, schedule a “Safety Month” event – morning teas and BBQ’s are often well attended *wink*; otherwise, you can incorporate into an existing team meeting. Authentically ask: “What opportunities are there for us to improve your safety, or the safety of our customers” – then listen (and take notes). Don’t refute.
For clients, reach out via a survey [online or at reception]. Have them provide a 5-star rating for: “How would you score us for safety, given our past interactions”; followed by an opportunity for them to provide comment/s.
3. Do. Given the energy generated from your planning, Safe Work Month provides a great time to schedule safety activities:
Review your Safety Manual (and documents). Does it reflect the work you do? Yes – *Tick*. No – You need to decide: (i) Do you update the document to reflect the work? Or (ii) Do you change the work to reflect the document? Or (iii) Can you take a little bit from column A and a little bit from column B.
Safety Walk-through Inspection – is signage, line marking, lighting, walkways, and equipment in good condition? When you look actively, you will see things that you miss when you look passively.
Gather a group and make a list of the “things” that could injure workers and/or customers. Once created – make a list the things you are doing to prevent the injuries. Is there more that you could, or should do?
Schedule any annual training or communications – for example, re-inductions to workers and/or contractors.
4. Upskill. Safe Work Australia and your state regulator (one of: WorkSafe, SafeWork, WorkCover) will have a calendar of events during Safe Work Month. “Look” and “Book” now – don’t have us return to the getting started quote from earlier.
5. Search for ways that you can make safety a part of your business as usual. Cloud-based platforms such as Safety Champion Software have taken off over the last 18-months, and allow you to schedule, report and track your safety activity.
Importantly, you know your teams to find ways to have fun. How management present, will be the biggest determinant of your success.