21 Oct Guest Blog: Spotlight On: Safe Work Month 2021
Supporting Safe Work Australia in their Bid to Bring Awareness to Safe Workplaces in the Trade Industry
If you’ve been reading our blogs for a while, you’ll be aware that we’re all about safety around here.
While that is always the focus, October is Safe Work Month in Australia, so we will focus on the campaign and what it stands for this month.
This October think safe. work safe. be safe. at your workplace by planning and implementing work health and safety procedures.
This year, all events will be live-streamed for you to attend from the comfort of your own home or office, as well as some in-person events. While the events have traditionally taken place in person, such as hosting breakfast forums, due to COVID-19 and the recent outbreak, events are now accessible online.
The Regulator in each state runs events to ensure the safety of workplaces across the state through compliance with laws, procedures and processes.
Kicking off the launch in QLD is Shane Webke, footy legend, TV presenter, and farmer based in Queensland.
In 2015, Shane was appointed as Queensland Safety Ambassador, a role he takes very seriously. Shane’s father died in a workplace accident, and since then, Shane has been committed to raising awareness about the importance of staying safe at work and creating a strong culture of safety within the workplace.
“My motivation for accepting the role is the hope that if I could change the attitude of one person perhaps preventing loss from happening to another family – well, then it would have been worthwhile”.
Mental Health Week – Beginning 11th October 2021
Within the campaign is a week-long focus on mental health within the trade industry.
Mental health issues within the industry is a subject we have covered extensively because, as you’re aware, one of the biggest killers of men in Australia is suicide, particularly amongst tradies.
If you’ve missed our blogs covering this vital issue, you can catch up here and in the link above.
Mental Health should never be ignored.
This year, the Mental Health Forum is being held online. It’s an excellent opportunity to hear from industry experts on promoting, preventing, and intervening early to ensure your staff are fully supported through a difficult time or mental health crisis.
Tradies are at a higher risk of suicide than any other industry.
As a business owner, ensuring your workers have access to mental health systems and support can help mitigate the risk and relieve the pressure from your workers.
Mental health issues are among the most serious and ignored problems that tradies face due to the macho image traditionally being portrayed.
This issue has also been exacerbated by other problems, such as the recent lockdown in NSW, which prevented tradies from certain areas from working for a short period, with devastating consequences.
The construction industry is one of the driving forces of the economy in Queensland.
Thiscan add to the pressure most of these vital workers face, often driving them to the brink.
Thankfully, the Mental Health Forum will serve to bring this problem into the spotlight so those in the position to do so can make adequate changes.
Health, Safety, and Responsibility
No matter the circumstance, as a business owner, it is always your responsibility to provide and maintain a healthy and safe work environment for your staff. Even if you have a safety leader or safety officer appointed, the buck still stops with you as the owner of your business.
Workers also have the responsibility to follow safe work guidelines and procedures designed to reduce the risk of injury and death at work to allow them to get home safely to their loved ones.
No matter the industry, safety is a priority, but safety is paramount when it comes to the trade industry.
As mentioned in previous blogs, the construction industry is most at risk for death and injury.
Last year, in Queensland alone, 18 tradies tragically lost their lives while on the job. In the same period, there were 35 0000 accepted workplace injuries.
Pivoting in 2020
While safety has always been the focus, 2020 saw health coming to the forefront of everybody’s minds.
The threat of having to shut down a site or office in the event of a worker contracting COVID-19 led many bosses to change their policies to reduce the risk of transmission.
Minimising your staff’s exposure to COVID-19 protects both yours and their families, minimises the need to shut down a worksite, and allows everyone to keep working.
It’s vital to stop the spread to keep the industry running.
One of the shorter presentations this month is by Professor Sharon Parker, who will be focussing on “Changes in the Workplace due to COVID-19 and Beyond”. This is sure to be a presentation not to be missed.
QLD Event Information
The Safe Work Month events vary in length, from the shorter talks on a range of subjects, including “The Evolving Role of Safety Leaders”, to longer events like “Returning to Work After a Psychological Injury”.
The events calendar can be found here.
In particular, be sure to attend the Injury Prevention and Return to Work Conference. This online event is crucial to understand the importance of safety and how to avoid unnecessary accidents.
There are both free and paid events available, as well as various resources available on their website.
Whether you’re a safety officer, trade business owner, a tradie, or even HR staff, these events promise to be engaging, informative, and full of essential pointers to keep your staff safe.