Champions of Safety
This October, the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner celebrates Safe Work Month along with Safe Work Australia (SWA). This year’s theme is “Be a Safety Champion.”
The Office aknowledges the vast reduction in worksite fatalities and injuries over the last decade as increasing Australian workplaces continue to regard worker safety as their higherst prioirity. While the downward trend in work-related deaths, injuries and illness is positive, there is still more work to be done to reduce numbers even further.
Every worker has an opportunity and responsibility to promote best safety practice and suppport a positive safety culture in their workplace. At the senior management level within an organisaition, being a Safety Champion involves refining WHS systems and controls to abide by and excel requirements under the Accreditation Scheme. At the individual worker level, a Safety Champion will pursue the four C’s:
- Comply with reasonable instructions, policies and procedures set by their organisation. A Champion is intelligent; they obey specific site rules regarding use of machinery, wear all the correct safety clothing and report incidents or identified hazards quickly to managers.
- Consider how their actions affect the safety and health of others. A Champion knows their impact, they are conscious of how their own actions affect others on the same worksite. Champions will therefore remove scraps from machinery after use, be watchful when carrying large items, be aware of those in proximity at all times, etc.
- Continue to lead by example in every job by demonstrating best safety practice. A Champion is an influencer and will ensure they portray safety as a value rather than a mere requirement. This may involve revising operational procedures as necessary and being able to demonstrate the application of such procedures in educating colleagues.
- Communicate with colleagues and senior management. A Champion will be an advocate for safety, iterating the importance of a strong safety culture on the worksite. Champions will detect weaknesses in a WHS system or procedure, and will have an active voice in soliciting management action.
The OFSC encourages you to commit to improving health and safety in the construction industry by getting involved in Safe Work Month. You can do this by:
Ø Visiting the National Safe Work Month website and accessing the resource kit;
Ø Running a safety initiative in your workplace; and
Ø Sharing your safety initiative on social media – use the hashtags #safetychampion and #safeworkmonth.