Sally Powell, Chief Executive, Bedford, talks about work health and safety from an employer perspective. It is important that employees feel comfortable to call unsafe workplace behaviour so they can look after themselves and their colleagues.

Who is this for?

This video is primarily intended for employers and those who manage staff.

About the presenter

Sally Powell is the Chief Executive at Bedford. The Bedford Group assists people with disability through employment, training and life skills development.

This video was produced by Safe Work Australia and is one of a series that focuses on work health and safety in specific industries.

Additional resources


A day in the life of an employer

Sally Powell, Chief Executive, Bedford

The Bedford group is an amazing organisation that changes the lives of people with a disability every day through employment, training, and life skills development. Workplace health and safety is critical for Bedford, it is the essence of everything that we do. By having a safe workplace we get the best out of our people. It also allows people, regardless of what their limitations are, to participate actively in work. We have a diverse range of hazards that we have to manage, and the key way that we manage safety is to get our people to be safety aware and be empowered to make decisions around their own safety to look after themselves and to look after their mates. Make sure that they feel comfortable to call people when they see something that is unsafe, and have the power to be able to do something about it in that moment. That's how you really change safety statistics…it's not through bits of paper.

We look to make sure that people understand that safety's not a work thing. It's a way of living. We encourage our people to bring in things that matter most to them ... pictures, awards, certificates, maybe words that are worth protecting. We've got a notice board in each of our work sites where people bring in why they want to go home safely. When you start talking about safety from, "I want to spend time with my mates or my family or with my dog," or, "I want to be able to go to football and contribute on the weekend", it changes the way people think about safety from it being a work rule to a good way to live. When people realise that the benefits last well beyond the work week you find that you get those changes in safety behaviour that really reduce statistics.

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