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Safety first

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HC Online | 15 Jul 2010, 12:00 AM Agree 0
For a real 'safety first' culture it's not enough to change systems and procedures; instead organisations must change attitudes and behaviours. Danica Hooper explains how
  • Bernie Althofer | 15 Jul 2010, 12:56 PM Agree 0
    The physical and psychological safety of employees should be foremost in the minds of leaders. However, the prevention, detection and resolution of workplace behaviours and practices can be impeded by a culture that has allowed tolerance leading to acceptability. Sometimes, it might appear to be too time consuming to address 'unsafe' workplace behaviours, only to find later down the track, that that failure directly contributed to another incident. Safety leadership is required at all levels from the Board, through the CEO and down. Everyone is responsible for maintaining a safe working environment, and no one ever said that leadership or management was easy. In fact, it can be very hard, particularly in workplaces where the 'leader' or 'manager' still wants to be one of the 'troops'. Making hard decisions about performance and behaviours can lead to comments about workers being targeted. The provision of various tools can help managers and employees change workplace behaviours. However, simply providing the tool/s without supporting educational processes may result in the tool being used for beaucratic purposes and be seen as a form filling exercise. Certainly, in my view, when the Board or CEO starts asking questions about safety (including listing safety on the Agenda), behaviours may change, particularly when breaches are linked to performance improvement. Attitudes and behaviours can be hard to change, particularly if a devil may care approach is taken towards personal work health and safety. Comments or beliefs such as 'she'll be right' don't cut much wash when there is a preventable workplace death.
  • Training Aid Australia | 26 Jun 2013, 02:26 PM Agree 0
    Make sure your staff comply with the latest guidelines of the Workplace Code of Practice. Training Aid Australia has Accredited Cert IV WHS courses available online now at
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