Health and safety should be acknowledged every day of the year. However, National Health and Safety Month (recognised in October) gives employers a chance to commit to building better workplaces for their employees.
This year’s overarching theme is ‘Know safety, work safely’. This is especially relevant in industries that routinely use labour hire, where the nature of work can be more high risk.
Safe Work Australia data shows that roughly 120,300 workers claimed compensation for serious injury or illness in 2019-20 (Key work health and safety statistics, p.7).
Providers and hosts are equally responsible for ensuring they maintain a safe environment where all workers are free from physical and psychological harm.
How can I commit to health and safety?
There are many things labour hire providers can do, including:
- provide in-depth health and safety training during employee induction
- listen to any concerns workers have about their safety or wellbeing
- stay up to date with legal occupational health and safety requirements, and
- take all reports of violations and incidents seriously.
- understand the impact of safety risks in your work environment and how to mitigate them
- give your workers up to date advice on workplace health and safety, and ensure this information can be understood in relevant languages, and
- report any incidents to WorkSafe and other relevant regulators, like the Labour Hire Authority.
Providers and hosts alike should also remember that health and safety extends beyond physical wellbeing. Psychosocial hazards can create an environment that leads to workers feeling stressed, fatigued and burnt-out. Creating a positive, supportive workplace can go a long way in ensuring the wellbeing of workers.
Discuss health and safety with your team members
Business owners and employers are encouraged to host a team event in October to discuss safety and wellbeing with their colleagues.
Morning teas can be a good opportunity to bring staff together and have an open discussion. Safe Work Australia has resources available to help employers guide these conversations. Learn more.
Events for managers and employers
WorkSafe is also holding a range of events throughout Melbourne and regional Victoria in October. These events are hosted by experts on workplace health and safety and will help employers understand how they can ensure their staff’s wellbeing. Visit the WorkSafe website to learn more.