This year, sharing safety knowledge and experience benefits everyone
There are many things to celebrate in October. For those in ACT, NSW and SA, the month started with a long weekend, thanks to Labour Day. In the Sunshine State, the Banana-fenders ushered in the Queen’s Birthday, which coincided nicely with the AFL and NRL grand finals.
Here at TSheets, we think October is a beaut because it’s National Safe Work Month, a month-long opportunity for businesses to review their day-to-day processes to ensure the safety and well-being of their employees.
This year’s theme is “Sharing safety knowledge and experience benefits everyone”. So here are some practical and affordable administrative practices for anyone looking to make their workplace safer and healthier from the get-go.
“Safe and healthy work is fundamental to our way of life.”
—Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, Minister of Employment
If you’re an employer:
1. Invest in hiring the right people
Finding the right help can be like asking for a ‘Kylie’, but it’s not impossible. Getting someone incompetent is to endanger oneself and others. It’s a bad fix that will only cost your organisation big bikkies down the road. Here at TSheets, we stick to three simple hiring rules: don’t just hire anybody (however tempting!), patience is a virtue and you must transform employees into recruitment ambassadors.
2. Check in often with your employees
Now that you’ve hired the right people, don’t wait until the annual performance review season to get a pulse on how they feel about their work and the workplace. Stephen Hanson, successful New York City restaurateur, had his employees rate their work daily. If there were any concerning patterns, a manager would initiate conversations and action plans to make sure all was well. This prevented threats and issues from escalating, thus ensuring everyone’s well-being. Good employee morale is not optional — it is your responsibility.
3. Create a healthy work culture
No matter the size of your organisation, creating a deliberate work culture is crucial for success, and as the employer, you have the clean slate to decide what that should be. In Deloitte’s 2016 Global Human Capital Trends report, a staggering 82% of respondents agreed that culture is a competitive advantage. Yet the same report found that only 1 in 5 businesses surveyed believe they offer the right culture. Don’t manage your employees. Empower them.
“It is important to clarify that ownership is taken, not given. Employees who take ownership never hesitate to take on a new task, even if it’s not ‘their’ job…simply because they want to see the company succeed.”
—Matt Rissell, CEO and Co-founder, TSheets
If you’re an employee:
1. Take initiatives
Know what safety practices are in place so that you can spring into action, in case of emergency. If there aren’t safety practices at your current workplace, initiate conversations to make implement them.
2. Speak up
Bedford Group, a disability services and support organisation from SA, won the 2016 Workplace Participation Reward with a simple yet direct safe work catchphrase: See something…say something!
There’s no easier way to ensure safety at work then by empowering everyone to stay vigilant. Once an issue or threat has been identified, don’t take on the battle alone. Address the issue with your co-workers and immediate supervisor. You’d be amazed how others may be having the same experience. Everyone can make a difference.
3. Know your rights
There are many peak organisations and government bodies with information at the ready on what constitutes an employee’s rights at work. Fair Work states that “all employees have protected rights at work” and lists the corresponding regulations.
Safe Work Australia leads the development of national policy to improve work health and safety, as well as workers’ compensation nationwide. The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science has a ‘Workplace Health & Safety’ segment online dedicated to the legal requirements and the assessment and migration of risk at the workplace for business owners.
Curious about how workers’ compensation varies by state or territory? We’ve got you covered! Just click on what is most applicable to you from the below list.
Never underestimate the value in creating a safer and healthier workplace. Workers who are healthy and feel safe are motivated and productive, and that ultimately benefits the organisation.