Federal workplace health and safety statutory body Safe Work Australia (SWA) launched National Work Safety Month on the 1st of October, an entire month dedicated to promoting better health and safety practices in the workplace.
As with every year, SWA has a theme for the month. This year’s theme is “Be A Safety Champion” – the idea that anyone, both employers and workers from any occupation or industry can be a champion for work health and safety.
“During National Safe Work Month, we want to recognise that workers, employees, managers, supervisors, teams and organisations can all be safety champions,” said SWA CEO Michelle Baxter.
“It doesn’t matter what industry you work in, what role you do, whether you act as an individual or work as a team. We can all actively promote work health and safety. This October everyone can be champions for work health and safety—we can all build a more positive work health and safety culture.”
To support their initiative, SWA has produced materials and are holding local events in each state and territory. All materials are centred around the Be a Safety Champion theme.
You can download posters, a digital brand kit, flyers, web graphics, and infographics at their special mini site for the month here. [https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/national-safe-work-month/campaign-kit]
You can also see a calendar of local events here. [https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/national-safe-work-month/campaign-kit]
National Work Safety month will also recognise National Mental Health Week (6-12 October) and Mental Health Day on 10 October.
“Being mentally healthy at work is important and psychological hazards and risks are treated the same as physical hazards and risks under the work health and safety laws,” a statement by SWA reads.
Safe Work Australia has developed a four-step process for managing psychological hazards and facilitating early intervention. You can download the guide here. [https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/doc/work-related-psychological-health-and-safety-systematic-approach-meeting-your-duties]
Within the month, SWA is supporting the BeUpstanding initiative, an evidence-based program addressing the health and financial costs of desk-based workers’ sedentary workstyle. Over 10 years of research has led to this world-leading initiative, giving business the resources and tools to create a dynamic work environment. You can read more about it here. [https://beupstanding.com.au/]
SWA will also be holding webinars and pushing social media content to help workers rally around the theme. They are also encouraging business to use the hashtag #safetychampion to “give a shout out to the champions in your workplace.”
Though health and safety fatalities and compensation claims have fallen significantly since 2008, work-related injuries and disease cost the Australian community over $61.8 billion per year.