Everyone has the right to be safe at their workplace.
Inclusion is the key focus of the first week of Safe Work Australia’s National Safe Work Month. It’s part of the “Think safe, work safe, be safe” theme for 2021.
As a 100% Australian-owned family business and the leader in Australian-made workplace first aid, we’re proudly supporting this important initiative to raise the profile of workplace health and safety for all working Australians.
Workplace risks and hazards can be amplified by language barriers, inadequate supervision or training as well as aggression, bullying, harassment and violence.
Safe Work Australia has developed a range of resources to assist businesses and workers in understanding their WHS responsibilities, identifying risks and managing control measures to reduce risks.
National Safe Work Month 2021 - English as second language
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, around 4 million people who work in Australia were born overseas. These workers represent more than 30 percent of Australia’s total workforce.
As English may not be their first language, employers need to take extra planning and care to successfully communicate health and safety messages across the workplace.
Take steps to ensure the health and safety of workers who speak English as a second language.
- Download key translated WHS material from Safe Work Australia.
- Provide one-to-one inductions or training sessions to maximise opportunities for understanding and questioning
- Identify a work buddy to provide support in their first language
- Welcome and encourage workers to report any WHS hazards or risks they may see
Talk openly with all your workers about health and safety concerns. Work together to find solutions.
Under Australian WHS laws, workers should never be disadvantaged or punished for raising health and safety concerns.
National Safe Work Month 2021 - Casual workers
Workers with non-standard work arrangements may be more at risk than full-time employees.
Part-time, casual, contract and labour-hire workers are likely to have different work schedules with different levels of experience and safety training. These non-standard workers require safety inductions so they can “Think safe, work safe, and be safe.”
Regardless of the hours they work or how they’re engaged, safety is a priority for all workers,
- Provide safety inductions or training sessions at different times to cover all workers.
- Ensure workplace changes are communicated to all workers, through posters, emails and/or regular meetings.
- Make safety chats or meetings regular and inclusive so all workers can contribute.
- Consult with other businesses involved in any work arrangement to jointly identify and manage risks to safety.
National Safe Work Month 2021 - Younger workers
Due to their inexperience in the workplace, younger workers may not notice or realise when a situation becomes dangerous.
Given their age and lack of experience, younger workers may also be less confident about asking questions or raising safety concerns.
Take extra care to ensure safety for young workers.
- Secure supervision relevant to the task they’re performing.
- Provide safety inductions, training sessions and support.
- Use the ‘tell me, show me, watch me’ approach to new tasks.
- Identify a mentor who can provide feedback and support.
Whatever their age, all workers should practice “Think safe, work safe, and be safe” to stay safe and healthy in the workplace.
National Safe Work Month 2021 - Older workers
Work-related injury or illness is not necessarily higher in older workers, but such injuries or illnesses may be more serious or even fatal.
As the number of older workers continues to rise, it’s critical that businesses consider the mechanisms needed to ensure that everyone in the workplace, including older workers, can work safely.
To continue to reap the benefits of multigenerational workplaces, businesses must also assist older people in returning to work after an injury.
Proactive approach to workplace health and safety
Keep all workers safe by making health and safety a key part of your workplace culture.
Include all your workers in this year’s Safe Work Australia’s National Safe Work Month by making them aware of the campaign and messaging.
Multiple resources have been developed by Safe Work Australia to assist businesses and workers in understanding their WHS responsibilities, identifying risks, and managing control measures to reduce risks.