Health & Safety for Bodies and Minds

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Jo Saeis of PB Performance CoachingJo Saies is director of PB Performance Coaching, an Adelaide based coaching and staff development consulting practice.  Jo works with organisations to unlock individual, team and leadership potential, developing happy, resilient and high performing people able to achieve their personal and organisational goals.


Together, Stratton Safety and PB Performance Coaching can offer organisations a unique pacno_obligationkage of programs and services addressing the broad spectrum of both physical and psychological health and safety.


 

Mental Health Week

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From the desk of Jo Saeis – PB People


Mental Health Week is a national event, held every October to coincide with World Mental Health Day (10 October). One in four adults will experience mental health difficulties at one time or the other, yet there is often stigma around reaching out and seeking help.

Construction industry suicide rates are 71 per cent higher than that of other employed men, according to a new report released by suicide prevention group MATES in Construction (MIC).

Having social connections, good personal relationships and being part of a community at work and beyond, are vital to maintaining good mental health and contribute to people’s recovery, should they become unwell.

However, if you feel that you may be affected by depression or anxiety remember they are treatable conditions and effective treatments are available. The earlier you seek support, the better.

National Safe Work Month (October 2016)

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Leading up to National Safe Work Month in October, Chair of Safe Work Australia, Ms Diane Smith-Gander, reminds business leaders of the importance of work health and safety.  In a video message released today, Ms Smith-Gander talks about the importance of leaders setting the ‘tone at the top’ to embed a positive safety culture in the workplace.  “It can only be a great workplace if it’s safe workplace,” said Ms Smith-Gander.

(Source: Safe Work Australia)

Find out what’s on in South Australia for this National Safe Work Month.

Remote and Isolated Work

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The Work Health and Safety Act (2012) and the related regulations require a “person conducting a business or undertaking” (PCBU) to manage the risks of remote and isolated work.  The two specific requirements are to provide;

  1. safe systems of work, and
  2. effective communications with the worker

Interestingly, the relevant code of practice recognises you can be isolated when working with a member of the public.  Read more on the subject here.

Welcome to Spring!

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Lewis StrattonAfter a cold, wet winter, I am happy to see the promise of fine weather in the near future.  In my other life as a SCUBA diver and instructor, warmer waters are definitely welcome!

Spring is a good time to think about some of those looming seasonal WHS risks, such as;

  • UV exposure / heat stress
  • bushfire risks
  • exposure to dust and allergens, etc.

Take time to re-familiarise workers with procedures, and review how well your current controls protect them.

Lewis Stratton – Approved WHS Consultant

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Lewis Stratton, Director Stratton Safety
Lewis Stratton,
Director Stratton Safety

UPDATE:  Section 68 of the WHS Act (SA) was amended, effective 5 March 2018, to allow a Health and Safety Representative (HSR) to seek the assistance of any person “in exercising a power or performing a function…” (S68 (2)(g).

Sections 68 (4) and 68 (6) have been removed from the 5.3.2018 version of the WHS Act.  These clauses previously limited the HSR to seeking help from a person in the workplace, or a representative of the PCBU, or an approved WHS Consultant.

These amendments make the South Australian legislation more consistent with other WHS jurisdictions.

Nonetheless, Stratton Safety is pleased to continue to offer a FREE consultation service to elected Health and Safety Representatives. Call us now!


August 2016 article below

I am pleased to let you know that I have been approved by SafeWork SA as an Approved WHS Consultant.  An elected Health and Safety Representative can call me for advice on any work health and safety matter and I will provide advice confidentially and free of charge.

SafeWork SA describe the function as follows;

Section 68(2)(g) of the Work Health and Safety Act 2012 (‘the WHS Act’) prescribes that in exercising a power or performing a function, a Health and Safety Representative (HSR) may seek the assistance of any person. Any person is prescribed in section 68(4) of the WHS Act and includes a consultant who has been approved by the Industrial Relations Consultative Council (the Council). Section 68(6) of the WHS Act defines consultant as: ‘A person who is, by his or her experience or qualifications, suitably qualified to advise on issues relating to work health, safety or welfare.

Occupational Health and Safety Leadership

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Leadership is doing the right things; management is doing things right.” (Peter Drucker)

Thanks Peter! Truly successful health and safety systems reflect a bit of the “art” and the “science” of management. Senior people in most organisations, when talking about leadership and management, will use words and phrases like;

  • Leadership / management commitment
  • Strategic management
  • Operating environment / context
  • Clear roles, goals and objectives, and
  • Compliance focus

Why is it then, that “people-focussed” functions (including work health and safety) attract such variable attention in many organisations? Ask most HR professionals and they will roll their eyes about inconsistent implementation of good HR practices.

Management functions must be underpinned by sound values and principles. Otherwise, managers will find themselves engaged in “tick a box” compliance activity. In terms of workplace health and safety, senior people need to be just as concerned with the human impact of accidents as the economic impacts.

Many large organisations (particularly in the construction and manufacturing industries) carefully monitor the “Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate” (LTIFR) across their operations. This is a perfectly reasonable thing to do. However, the LTIFR simply counts how many injuries (resulting in 1 or more lost shifts) occur in a period of time and convert this into a rate per million hours worked. This means that most of the lost time injuries are typically at the lower end of the severity spectrum. Collectively, they are expensive and economically worth addressing.

Because the LTIFR is skewed toward the frequency of injury, rather than the severity of injury, senior management should have other processes to support those less frequent, but much higher impact incidents. Sometimes it is difficult to get the team “on board” with managing the less likely risks. For example;

The Texas City Refinery explosion occurred on March 23, 2005, when a hydrocarbon vapor cloud exploded at the ISOM isomerization process unit at BP’s Texas City refinery in Texas City, Texas, killing 15 workers and injuring more than 170 others.” (Source: Wikipedia)

When investigators tracked back through company data, they identified multiple near-misses over several years, any of which should have initiated a proactive risk management response. Systemic complacency meant the risks were not effectively managed, resulting in tremendous human loss and suffering. The economic impact was also felt nationwide.

There are many examples of organisations planning for the known, routine risks and being caught out by disaster from a different direction. When reviewing your workplace health and safety system or strategy, certainly take into account what your hazard and incident data is telling you. But also remember the key to leadership is “doing the right things”.

Talk, listen, consult formally and informally with those who have a stake, and identify the less obvious “right things” to do.

WHS – let’s keep it simple!

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Call Now 0405321874
0405-321-874

Work health and safety sometimes develops a life of its own in a business. However, it’s so important to make the system relevant to your business. If you run a small business with a handful of staff and low to medium risks, you probably do not need hundreds of documents in your system!

Let me help to keep WHS in perspective as an integrated part of your operations.