Your safety: it starts with you

Last month, we launched the second year of our ‘Safety starts with you’ campaign, which aims to ensure workers and employers stay safe on the job.

Coming home safely to loved ones is generally everyone’s number one motivator to keep safe at work.

But it is all too easy to become blasé about workplace safety, believing the chances of being hurt are very slim.

Aside from the implications for employers – down time, low morale, and hiring and retraining a replacement – the consequences for the worker reach far beyond the workplace.

If lucky, an injured worker will be back at work within days, but if not, and recovery drags on – in some cases, indefinitely – the emotional and financial impact on their family can be devastating.

Life as they know it is never the same again and things normally taken for granted, such as walking the dog, driving a car, socialising or playing sport, may no longer be possible. Even what initially appears to be a minor injury sustained via a common workplace incident, a slip or trip, can have a major impact.

An arborist, for example, suffered a permanent and serious brain injury when he fell 11 meters to the ground while cutting a tree with a chainsaw.

A 49-year-old man suffered head, spinal and chest injuries when he fell three metres down a set of stairs on a Sydney construction site.

Another worker whose life will never be the same again, an 18-year-old labourer, sustained horrific injuries when a steel bar pierced his skull while he was operating an excavator on a Sydney demolition site.

All these incidents, like most workplace injuries, could have been prevented if the employers and workers had not let their guard down on work health and safety priorities.

No matter what you do, safety starts with you.

Watch this video.

On the road to 2022

It’s been a busy year since the WHS Roadmap for NSW 2022 was launched – and we’ve made some great progress.

We are well on the way to meeting our goals of a 20 per cent decline in worker fatalities, a 30 per cent decline in serious injuries and illnesses, and a 30 per cent reduction in serious musculoskeletal injuries and illnesses, and a a 30 per cent reduction in serious injuries and illnesses including those relating to mental disorders by 2022.

This is a snapshot of what we have achieved so far.

We have created ‘Safe’, a smart phone app that facilitates teams to resolve safety issues, and developed Safety Promise, an online tool that allows businesses to show their commitment to embedding a health and safety culture in their workplace.

We launched TradieSafe to reduce injuries in the Hunter region’s residential construction industry and conducted a forum to discuss the top 10 hazardous chemicals of concern.

The Get Healthy@Work team continues to promote health checks at business breakfasts and develop effective workplace health programs.

In our effort to build exemplary regulatory services, we have provided clarity to workers and customers around raising a work health and safety concern and notifying an incident, and what to expect when an investigation takes place.

We have also finalised eight enforceable undertakings that have generated over $2 million of work health and safety benefits flowing to NSW businesses and the community, and have begun a financial support scheme to help injured workers attend court for a sentence hearing.

We have commenced a review of training for health and safety representatives and have improved communication with businesses, workers and the community with the SaFE Mobility app.

Together with the NSW Office of the Small Business Commissioner and the Department of Primary Industries, we are applying design thinking to improve the safety culture of the farming community.

As we continue to build on these programs, our frontline inspectors continue delivering important services on the ground, responding to incidents and requests from our customers.

Read more and watch our anniversary video.

Make a safety promise

If you care about improving safety in your business and want help to get started, make a safety promise – a public commitment to health and safety.

This is a powerful but simple way to show everyone that you care about the people in your workplace.

Go to the safety starts with you website and follow the links to the safety promise.

Then it’s as easy as one, two, three.

  1. Talk to your workers about what a safer workplace might look like.
  2. Make your safety promise online – it will be visible to your staff, your customers and other businesses.
  3. Turn your words into actions – we have lots of services that can help you improve safety.

Make some simple yet meaningful statements about how you will:

  • demonstrate safety leadership from the top
  • consult with your workers to ensure they have the opportunity to contribute to improved health and safety
  • put in place safe systems, procedures and policies relevant to your business
  • support your workers to develop their skills to work safely and to value safety as a part of their jobs
  • create a workplace that is physically and mentally healthy and safe.

In return, you’ll receive a poster than you can proudly display at your workplace and icons for your website and social media sites.

Making your safety promise helps you show your customers and the community that you are committed to health and safety in a meaningful way.

Start a safety conversation today.