It’s been over ten years since Safe Work Australia was established and since then the organisation has been working tirelessly to develop national policy and guidance for Workplace Health & Safety and workers compensation. Every October we celebrate National Safe Work Month, a campaign designed to empower everyone who works with the tools and knowledge to make their workplace safer.
It’s a campaign that demonstratively works. Work-related traumatic fatalities, general injuries and illnesses have all dropped over the last decade. Of course, there is more work to be done by all of us in this area, and that’s why this year’s campaign is dubbed “Be a Safety Champion”.
Safety Champions All Around Us
We all know that safety is a basic right that we should expect from our workplaces, homes and each other. This is what the core of being a safety champion is all about. It’s up to us all to do our part and champion the safety cause. But how do we be a safety champion at our own workplace? There’s many simple ways to do it.
First, take some time to keep up to date with the latest Workplace Health & Safety requirements for your industry. The finer points change every so often, so it’s worthwhile to brush up on what’s what even if you think you know the rules. In a complex worksite like a world-class steel cutting facility (for example) there are numerous rules about usage of safety equipment that get fine-tuned over the years.
Then, armed with some relevant safety knowledge, it’s time to look around your workplace and ask yourself some questions. Are there safety rails that have worn away, but everyone’s gotten used to them? Is there a strictly-enforced safety eyewear policy in place? Does everyone in the office know what to do in an emergency, not just the team members who have been there for many years? Are you responsible for a team of workers who can get into potentially dangerous situations?
No matter what position we hold in the workplace, we have a duty of care to each other and ourselves.
If you’re returning to work after illness or an injury, it’s important that you do so through a documented and monitored return to work plan. Perhaps this means that your hours, duties or responsibilities change in the interim period. At any rate going through this process properly ensures that costly and potentially dangerous mistakes don’t get made.
Reporting a safety concern is important. Each workplace has their own policies, so talk to your manager or supervisor about your concerns. For the full checklist, check out the PDF on the Safe Work Australia website.
We’re looking forward to safety improving across the board in Australian workplaces this year and for many years to come. At ShapeCUT knowing our team works safely and gets to go home at the end of the day is the most important thing at all. Contact ShapeCUT to learn more about our steel-cutting services.