What does workplace safety mean to you?
At JV, workplace safety is our absolute lifeblood and so National Safe Work Month (October) is probably the most crucial campaign that our team can get involved with.
But for us and our industry, work safety and raising awareness for it goes well beyond this month. It has to be 24/7 a week, 365 a year.
You only have to look at some of the harrowing workplace injury stats around Victoria to understand why:
It’s no secret that jobs in construction, manufacturing etc. can lead to serious injuries (even fatalities) if the worker’s safety is not ensured and prioritised.
It’s a sad reality that we hope won’t exist in the future - but it will take some work to get there.
Why “a moment is all it takes” can be the answer to your workplace safety
What’s the key to preventing as many workplace injuries as possible?
Sounds trivial, but you’d be surprised how often people skip this step or gloss it over - and in this industry, those consequences can be deadly.
That’s why we love the theme of 2018’s National Work Safe Month - “A moment is all it takes”.
Communication doesn’t have to be a difficult process - sometimes all you need is a moment to put your heads together, get everyone on the same page and ensure they walk away knowing what safety precautions they need to take and how they can contribute to a safer environment for all.
4 key initiatives we take at JV to prioritise workplace safety and increase PPE compliance onsite.
We ask that you consider these for your own work too:
1. Introduce a “Weekly Safety Focus Area”
Create a regularly occurring safety movement with a proper title - make it a real thing that people can easily reference and give it importance. At JV we communicate our Weekly Safety Focus Area to the entire office, as well as when anyone speaks to a labour hire temp. We cover areas including:
- The importance of personal protection equipment (PPE).
- The need to wear safety gloves, safety glasses, long pants and long sleeves.
- Any other precautions that must be taken.
Since introducing this movement, we have seen an increase in PPE compliance on site (which clearly shows that communication pays off)!
2. Make safety your first task each week - before you get bogged down with work
Don’t give your weekly workload a chance to get the best of you while safety slips further and further down the list of to-dos.
Before you officially start your Monday, send an email to your team outlining the safety focus area that week. For JV, this email goes to our labour hire team, but really it could go out to anyone who’ll need this information and could even be everybody.
3. Make safety your second language, and speak it often
Bring the topic of safety up any chance you can get - there is no such thing as over-communicating when it comes to WHS and PPE.
- At JV we discuss the safety focus areas during our weekly Workplace Health & Safety (WHS) meetings.
- Our labour hire team discusses safety with the temps every day over the phone.
- We then discuss it with them in person during site visits, site assessments and monitoring visits.
- We then conduct weekly safety calls to all temps who worked for the day to get feedback on any safety issues/concerns.
- We also let them know, from our end, if there are any current identified issues.
Again, there is NO such thing as too much workplace safety talk!
4. Create WHS flyers that people can keep
Send people something they can hold onto. At JV our WHS team send out weekly WHS flyers to all current temps, covering any current WHS issues as well as PPE reminders. It doesn’t take long - just create a template that you can edit and reuse it week after week. These posters can be hung on site office or in the lunch room to serve as a constant reminder.
Remember, maintaining a safe work environment comes down to how well and how often you communicate it. A moment can be all it takes to get your message across, and that moment can save lives.