Introduced by SafeWork SA’s Bryan Russell, this video outlines seven simple and practical steps leaders can use when managing for better work health and safety outcomes.
Who is this presentation for?
This presentation is specifically aimed at leaders in larger businesses however anyone with an interest in work health and safety will find it useful. For smaller businesses, we recommend you view SafeWork SA’s video the seven steps for small business.
About the presenter
Safe Work SA is the South Australian work health and safety regulator. They are a business unit of the Attorney-General’s Department in the Government of South Australia. They administer state industrial relations legislation and manage the state’s work health and safety functions.
Bryan Russell is the Executive Director of SafeWork SA.
Leading a Positive Safety Culture
Government of South Australia
Bryan Russell: Leading a positive safety culture is important to achieving excellence in your business. Leadership comes from the top and it's about ensuring that people understand that safety is important to your business and that everybody values safety. It's about living safety every day and that leadership comes from the top.
André Ursini: Central to our workplace culture, is good communication and recognition of everyone's contribution to safety. I really believe that in a positive safety culture - safety is embedded in management systems and processes. It's a core part of running a good business.
Kevin Prunty: Certainly here at Holden, we don't see safety as being a tagged on part of our business operations. It's an integral part of what we do every day and our leadership take it very seriously. In fact, part of our slogan is "It's personal" and we expect all contractors, visitors and employees to take safety personally.
Jane Mussared: At ACH Group we've created a really positive, proactive safety culture - a wellbeing culture by working with our leadership group. We have a work health and safety leadership group and that group works across our sites to generate initiatives to contribute to the wellbeing of our staff.
Rosa Colanero: Showing leadership in safety as the CEO of Multicultural Aged Care involves connecting with the MAC team – the MAC team members so that they are aware of the policies and procedures and practices of a safe workplace and working as a team in implementing of those policies and procedures so that both in theory and practice, we have a safe workplace.
Bryan Russell: The first step in any safety commitment from leadership is setting up a safe workplace.
Narrator: Success at step one requires everyone to understand their responsibilities and how to meet them. A written safety policy developed in consultation with your workers, helps identify everyone's duties and responsibilities. It also demonstrates a clear commitment to working collectively to ensure a positive safety culture.
Bryan Russell: Step two involves consulting with your workers to ensure that there's a shared understanding about what the safety issues are in your workplace.
Narrator: The S A F E or SAFE approach is a good model to follow when managing hazards. Spot the hazard:
What could cause injury, illness or damage?
Assess the risk of each hazard. How likely it is to result in an injury, illness or death?
Bryan Russell: Sharing information, training and supervising your team completes step four. It's important that people have the right information to be able to do their job safely and training and supervision are critical to achieving that outcome.
Narrator: Training and supervision of your team also includes the proper induction of new workers.
Bryan Russell: Maintaining a safe workplace is step five. To achieve this outcome this will involve:
regularly carrying out safety checks;
maintaining tools and equipment;
providing information that is easy for everyone to understand;
training people how to do their job safely;
having a reporting process in place for all incidents; and
planning for emergencies.
Step six is about keeping records.
This is about keeping records of incidents or injuries that may occur in your workplace. This helps you to monitor the safety performance of your business and helps to meet your legal requirements as well.
Narrator: In step six, it's important to keep records of:
incidents and injuries;
a register for hazardous chemicals and asbestos if they are present at your workplace; and
registration documents for items of plant as well as maintenance and inspection records.
We always recommend people retain copies of risk assessments, control processes and training records.
Bryan Russell: Having actioned these six steps, you are now at step seven which is about monitoring, reviewing and improving the safety actions that you've already put in place, keeping in mind that safety is not a static issue. It's forever changing, so it's important to monitor and review the things that you have done.
Narrator: The monitor, review and improvement process is also about updating your work, health and safety management systems as you introduce new processes and policies or new workers join your business.
Bryan Russell: Our best safety leaders are continuously learning and keeping up to date with safety principles and practices on how to manage safety in their workplace.
The best safety leaders are consistent and responsive in implementing health and safety policies and procedures.
They demonstrate through actions that people are the organisation's most important asset.
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They also demonstrate an active interest in workers' health and safety and safety leaders actively listen to workers and empower them to speak up about safety.
They ensure their policies reflect an honest, open, safe and fair culture.
Our safety leaders develop a personal understanding of the influence different levels of management have, on the safety culture of their business.
Kevin Prunty: So actions are much louder than words in that we – we engage our workers by demonstrating to them that when a safety concern is raised to us, that we act immediately. We make sure that our leadership and management are engaged and we close out those concerns as quickly as we possibly can.
André Ursini: We've got three food businesses – a restaurant, wholesale and we also cater to remote mining camps, and we really work together as a team to ensure that everyone knows work health and safety responsibilities. It's paramount that at the end of every day, people go home safe.
Jane Mussared: The secret to keeping people focused every day on – on their own safety and their wellbeing, is to have a disbursed leadership, to have leadership at each site. Leadership is – in health and safety, is very much about lots and lots of leaders across the organisation. We have 1,700 staff and it's important that at every site it's a part of everyday work culture.
Rosa Colanero: At Multicultural Aged Care, we keep people focused on safety by making it one of our core values. And what we do in our weekly priority meetings, we have ‘safety’ as a core agenda item and it encourages the whole team or team members to raise safety issues and then we also encourage them to follow up on those – on those issues.
Bryan Russell: Managing work health and safety is a key responsibility for every business leader. As a leader in your business, you need to ensure that it's part of your business plan. By ensuring that safety is integrated into your business activities, it helps to make your workplace safe and it improves your bottom line.
Narrator: SafeWork SA's checklist will help you assess how your business rates in terms of a positive safety culture.
For more information visit safework.sa.gov.au or call the SafeWork SA Help Centre on 1300 365 255.
SafeWork SA – Safe, Fair, Productive Working Lives
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