"When it comes to safety let us never leave a team member behind for it is the responsibility of all that everyone goes home safe to their families."
Everyone in the workplace has an obligation to follow safety procedures.
A split-second decision to disregard the systems in place could not only put their life at risk, but those of their colleagues.
That decision could cause serious injury and long term affects to the victim, colleagues and employees, including their family and friends.
Last year, Victorian WorkCover Authority developed a graphic and confronting campaign titled 'Not Sure Ask'.
It was aimed at a younger audience and its purpose was to encourage 15-24 year old individuals to speak up at work, or risk living with the injuries they sustained and a lifetime of regret by not asking for help.
This really resonated with me because, yes, I believe it is vital to focus on the younger individuals coming into these industries without the skill and experience yet that they will gain over the years.
But age aside, what about new or existing employees? No matter how long you’ve been employed in a particular industry or workplace, your level of experience or your age – safety does not discriminate.
Complacency, cutting corners and global crazes (remember planking?) are known causes of increased risks in the workplace.
Individuals who have been in the industry or part of certain safety cultures over the years still need to be influenced by the safety messages and procedures to ensure their behaviors and actions around the workplace are conducted safely.
If safety is not your priority, who will be the victim that suffers the consequences of your actions?
Employers are responsible for providing a safe system of work by ensuring safety methods and procedures are up-to-date and compliant to the safety standards in their industry.
They also ensure staff have the knowledge and training in what the precautions and procedures are and why they are in place.
Their responsibilities include, but are not limited to;
Commitment to the education of safety precautions and procedures.
Engaging all employees in the activity of preserving the safety practices.
Creating and maintaining safety systems and guidelines to be used as a standard procedure for reporting, feedback and response.
Encouraging staff to communicate and voice any doubts or concerns they may have about unsafe behaviors and cultures in the workplace.
Employers need to encourage a safety culture in their workplace where staff feel comfortable to raise their safety concerns and demonstrate leadership when it is required. They are responsible for advising staff members against performing tasks in an unsafe manner and ensuring all staff behave themselves on the job.
Below is an example of a poor workplace safety culture where a staff member is assisted by his peers to behave in an unsafe manner for the sheer purpose of entertainment.
By finding your voice you could be saving someone’s life.
I began writing this article because I wanted to emphasise what all of us women want.
Mothers, wives and girlfriends want their son, husband or boyfriend to finish each work day the way they started – alive, safe and in one piece.
But this article became more than that.
It became about the responsibilities of all working men and women.
Whether you're the employer or employed, everyones participation is required for maintaining and improving the safety culture in the workplace and ensuring that lives are not compromised.
All levels of the company need to be mindful, assertive and attune to how workplace safety is conducted.
Before making rash decisions, think of the consequences first. You might get the job done faster or you may be the cause of a fatal outcome.
Safety is everyone's job, so I urge you to speak up if you are unsure and be the change you want to see in your workplace.
After all, rather than live a lifetime of regret, it’s safer to just ask. Isn’t it?
If your business is in need of a Site Safety Audit, Barrier Group's experienced safety consultant, Ted Harvey, can assess your workplace and provide a written report of his findings, complete with recommendations for any corrective action that may be required.Book my *Free Site Safety Audit Now!