By Joanna Weekes
Having the knowledge about why a safe workplace is essential, the know-how about what to look out for in terms of dangers in your workplace, and the information you need to remove the risks your employees are under, is what we are trying to achieve through discussion and sharing safety knowledge.
Safety education is what underpins every safe and healthy workplace…
If you educate business leaders and their managers about business but without safety, you create a successful financial business that can be ruined because it is unsafe!
I was once a sponsor at an awards ceremony for The Safety Institute of Australia (SIA). The event celebrated academic and practical safety excellence. Award after award was presented to everyday working people who have undertaken additional safety education through a tertiary institute to better themselves and the businesses they work for.
As a safety professional in the law looking on, some things jumped out at me:
- You cannot make a place safe unless you know what to look for and how to look for it. Therefore, to be safe, you must have a core learning around safety and have a grasp of industry specific safety knowledge that you can apply to where you work.
- Safety practitioners openly discuss safety learning. It is a new professional community where people share to learn. And that is a great thing.
- Clever people, who are well trained, fix complex safety problems simply and in a manner that lasts.
- The learning from safety research must be shared with the business to permit a growth in business metrics that properly equips a business to measure its safety performance. Only then can it be safe.
- The overwhelming evidence is that educating people in safety, investing in safety and developing safety like “muscle memory” into workforces delivers a financial, as well as human, dividend.
Once business understands the need for a paralleled development of safety against the core business learning, it will reap the dividends of profit, resilience, productivity, quality, innovation and staff retention. No one wants to work where it is unsafe. Everyone wants to work where they are valued, cared for and protected.
The lessons from the award ceremony were reinforced with every example of extraordinary performance and business commitment. They are lessons we should all learn.
If you need to learn more about improving safety at your workplace, get help from the experts in health and safety law by subscribing to the Health & Safety Handbook. With more than 70 chapters cover all aspects of workplace health and safety, the Handbook can take you step-by-step through the process of creating your own policies and procedures to help make your workers safe and healthy while meeting your legal requirements.
Don’t take risks with your workers’ safety – subscribe today to be a difference in your workplace.
Principal and Practice Group Head, Macpherson Kelley