Workplace Safety, Your Staff and Your Culture – Getting it Right
Workplace safety isn’t just having a policy or procedure in place – it’s about commitment to making sure your employees make it home safely every day.
The key to exemplary workplace safety is ensuring the culture is ingrained in your company and employees are committed to it just as much as the company is.
But what does a strong workplace safety culture look like? Read on to find out more about five Australian companies who are leading the way.
Bracton Group – safety through innovation
The Bracton Group is an Australian-owned family business that produces beverage dispensary equipment and cleaning chemicals for the hospitality industry.
Australians are passionate about their beer, and in the brewing industry, the cleanliness of tap lines can be the difference between a good beer and a bad beer.
But even more important than that is safety – the brewing industry normally uses caustic chemicals to remove deposits and germs that breed in tap lines, which is risky for workers using the cleaning products at high pressure.
To make workplaces that use these processes safer, Bracton Group developed an innovative delivery system and non-corrosive cleaning product – the system uses mains water pressure, which means caustic chemicals under high pressure aren’t required.
As well as making industry workers’ jobs safer, the new system also won Bracton Group a Safe Work NSW Award in 2016 for Best Solution to an Identified Workplace Health and Safety Issue.
The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne – safety through proactivity
With 29% less reported injuries than the industry average, the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne is doing something right when it comes to the health and safety of its employees.
The hospital takes pride in early intervention and incident, injury and hazard reporting processes that proactively keep employees safe.
Initiatives in identifying suitable duties for injured employees saw the hospital win the Employer Excellence in Return to Work at the 2016 WorkSafe Victoria Awards. These initiatives mean injured employees are able to stay at work while their mental and physical recovery is supported.
Ostwald Bros – safety through upskilling
You could say workplace safety in the DNA of Ostwald Bros – the resource and infrastructure company has created the DNA (Daily, Now, Always) program, which provides tailored Certificate IV programs to frontline leaders of the company.
This ensures their leaders have access to industry-relevant and nationally accredited certifications, and the company has won numerous awards for their leadership in occupational health and safety.
Through upskilling, the DNA program also empowers employees to take a proactive role in building a strong work safety culture, meaning everyone recognises the importance of making it home safely.
HY-TEC – safety through improvement
Premixed concrete supplier HY-TEC has been recognised by Safe Work NSW for its ability to implement change after identifying the early stages of workplace health and safety issues.
Staff at HY-TEC’s Austen Quarry site need to change the teeth component of excavators on a weekly basis – each of the five 29kg excavator teeth needs to be manually removed and attached, putting employees at obvious physical risk on a regular basis.
To make the job safer for employees, HY-TEC engineers developed a hydraulic arm known as the Excavators Bucket Tooth Exchanger – a simple design that removed the need for workers to handle the heavy teeth and sped up the change-over process. More importantly, the innovation reduced the risk of workplace injury.
Bohmer’s Tree Care – safety through education
Bohmer’s Tree Care focuses on eco-friendly arboriculture services and has won a number of awards for the company’s commitment to leadership in workplace safety.
Head arborist Clive Woodnut knows the risk involved in the industry – as well as the dangers of not taking care of trees on public and private property – and focuses on ensuring staff are committed to the highest safety standards.
Clive’s passion for safety doesn’t stop at his own staff – he is an industry mentor and frequently collaborates with Arboriculture Australia to ensure the industry knows the latest in tree safety. He is a frequent guest speaker at industry events, and also visits schools and markets to educate the public on tree care and safety.
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