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As heat rises, so do safety risks

As heat rises, so do safety risks


With summer fast approaching, it’s time to think about staying safe when you’re working in high temperatures. During hot temperatures, people become susceptible to a range of heat related medical issues, including dehydration, heat rash, heat cramps, fainting, heat exhaustion and even life-threatening heat stroke.

Heat illness occurs when the body cannot sufficiently cool itself. Factors that contribute to this include:

  • temperature
  • humidity
  • amount of air movement
  • radiant temperature of surroundings
  • clothing
  • physical activity (metabolic heat load)

We created a simple, useful first aid guide to heat related illnesses for you to download and keep.

How to Listen in 8 Simple Steps

Good communication has long been regarded as a foundation skill of strong leaders. With communication skills, a leader can build trust and robust relationships. They can successfully develop their teams, improve results and influence others. Core to...

read more

As heat rises, so do safety risks

With summer fast approaching, it's time to think about staying safe when you're working in high temperatures. During hot temperatures, people become susceptible to a range of heat related medical issues, including dehydration, heat rash, heat cramps,...

read more

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WHS training subsidies available for QLD building and construction industry

WHS training subsidies available for QLD building and construction industry

Workplace Dimensions is a proud recipient of Construction Skills Queensland (CSQ) funding, and is offering eligible participants funded places in our highly rated BSB41415 Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety and BSB51315 Diploma of Work Health and Safety.

CSQ funding supports employers, workers, apprentices and career seekers in the building and construction industry.

Subsidised WHS training is available to anyone ‘on the tools’, including relevant clerical, administration or professional roles within the Queensland building and construction industry who meet the eligibility criteria.

We are delivering programs in Brisbane, Cairns, Rockhampton, Ravenshoe and Townsville.

“Even if you’ve worked in the industry for years, ongoing training is important. In this Certificate course, participants learn not only how to keep themselves and their mates safe on site, but also how to set up WHS systems, assist responding to incidents on site if they do happen, comply with WHS laws, and how to create a workplace where everyone feels they can speak up to make the workplace a safer place”, says Paula Tabone from Workplace Dimensions.

“Some tradies may not have been in a classroom for years. They can relax, our facilitators are from the real world of industry,” says Paula.

“Eligibility is pretty straight forward,” says Ms Tabone, “It covers Queensland tradies, admin and professional industry staff. Tradies need to be working on the tools for 50% of their time, have worked for at least 1 month in the building and construction industry and be an Australian or NZ citizen or hold a permanent resident visa. If you’ve been unemployed for up to 6 months, you could still be eligible.”

Participants will need to pay a refundable deposit.

“If your company has 10 or more people who are eligible for the funding, we’ll come out and train you on your site,” says Ms Tabone.

Public programs are available in Brisbane, Cairns, Rockhampton, Ravenshoe and Townsville.

You could be eligible for subsidised WHS training in QLD.

Workplace Dimensions is a proud recipient of Construction Skills Queensland (CSQ) funding, and is offering eligible participants funded places in our highly-rated BSB41415 Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety and BSB51315 Diploma of Work Health and Safety.

You can join a public program or, subject to minimum numbers, we can train anywhere in Australia.
Call 1300 453 555 or email info@workplacedimensions.com.au

How to Listen in 8 Simple Steps

Good communication has long been regarded as a foundation skill of strong leaders. With communication skills, a leader can build trust and robust relationships. They can successfully develop their teams, improve results and influence others. Core to...

read more

As heat rises, so do safety risks

With summer fast approaching, it's time to think about staying safe when you're working in high temperatures. During hot temperatures, people become susceptible to a range of heat related medical issues, including dehydration, heat rash, heat cramps,...

read more

More from our blog

How you can run an effective toolbox/pre-start meeting

How you can run an effective toolbox/pre-start meeting

Toolbox or pre-starts talks are interactive safety sessions that help focus a workforce on safety. They take place prior to the beginning of a work shift and they are an opportunity for an organisation to ensure that its entire workforce is fit for duty.

Alternatively, toolbox and pre-start meetings can be a deadly-dull talkfest, with team members tuned out and bored, which ultimately represents a waste of everyone’s time.

If it’s your job to run the toolbox or pre-start meetings, we’ve compiled these six handy tips to help you ensure that your meetings are a great investment of time and remain an effective way to convey your safety messaging to the rest of the team.

1. Engagement is key

If it’s your job to run the meeting, it is on you to give your audience a reason to pay attention. The good news is that ensuring audience engagement is a technique that you can master.

Engagement is the combined result of your content (how interesting and relevant it is) and how the meeting is managed. Managing a meeting well involves planning ahead of time, careful selection of fresh content, as well as your delivery style – all of which are discussed below.

2. Plan your meeting ahead of time

Toolbox or pre-start meetings should be brief and held regularly. Many workplaces hold pre-starts daily and toolboxes weekly, although if you have a high, constant rotation of contractors coming in and out of your workplace, you might consider holding more frequent meetings. They usually last up to 15 minutes in duration.

First, draw up an agenda. Items to plan for include your goals of the meeting, the list of topics you’ll cover, when and where it will be held, and make sure you allow time for contractors and workers to provide feedback on any workplace health and safety issues they have. While some organisations have templates, there is nothing wrong with mixing up the order to keep things fresh.

Familiarise yourself with your topic. When you know your material well, you’ll be more relaxed when talking about it and curly questions won’t throw you off easily either.

Finally, you should plan for how you’ll get your meeting back on track if it wanders off-course. If you’re faced with someone who keeps interrupting, be direct and firm that the meeting has to move forward, and let them know you are open to discussing the issue with them after the meeting has ended.

3. Be clear what you’re trying to achieve

If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up somewhere else. Like all meetings, you need to be clear about what you’re trying to achieve and share this information with people attending your toolbox/pre-start meeting.

Often, people use these meetings to encourage behavioural change. If this applies to you, what questions might you ask your colleagues and team members? What other important points can be raised? What techniques will you use to keep the engagement levels up?

Reinforce your key messages. You can check how well your messaging is understood by asking your participants to repeat back information or give you examples of what your meeting covered, for example, hazards and how to avoid them. Towards the end of your meeting, do a wrap-up to reinforce important safety points.

4. Mix up your content

The point of a toolbox/pre-start meeting is to share timely and important information about the workplace, safety and other topics that might affect your audience. Content might include specific job safety instructions, changes in job procedures and work practice, changes in rules, processes and regulations, equipment, client expectations and other relevant information.

Give examples of experiences you and others might have had that help focus the topics so they are directly relevant to the work everyone does and demonstrate your points by incorporating interactivity. For example, ask “Who else has experienced something similar?”, or “What effect would that have on us?” While statistics are good, stories are even better.

Avoid repetition. Repeating yourself over and over leads to disengagement by your audience.

Consider opening your meeting with positive feedback. Are there safety role models or actions taken that can be singled out for recognition? You’ll create a great first impression by recognising team members who have actively worked to keep their workplace safe. A simple certificate, printed in-house, and delivered in front of their peers can be a very powerful symbol and reinforce to everyone the priority the organisation places on safety.

Using examples and real equipment makes safety more tangible and engaging.

Think ahead about your method of delivery  – keeping messages positive and mixing up your content helps engagement.

5. Your delivery style does make a difference

Keeping your presentation style informal, positive and conversational will help enormously with ensuring the effectiveness of your toolbox meeting. Make and keep eye contact – and never just read to people. Nothing is more boring than being read to for any length of time.

Nobody wants to be “talked at” either, so encourage participation from others to keep the meeting interactive. Asking open-ended questions is a great way to get others talking (what and how are great question starters). Another tip is to ask questions early while everyone is still fresh. Keep your language simple and short, and avoid industry jargon and slang.

By letting others contribute, while you nod or smile in acknowledgement, you’ll encourage further discussion that leads to positive change. If it’s relevant, you can always ask for more information from participants to keep the discussion moving forward and, because you’ve carefully planned your meeting, you will have strategies up your sleeve to take back control if the meeting wanders off-course.

Finally, practice ahead of time so that you are feeling extra confident about your delivery.

6. Consider rotating the meeting management role

Increasingly in organisations, everyone is considered a safety leader. Some organisations use this principle as the basis for rotating the role of toolbox or pre-start meeting leader amongst different team members. This might be a great way to reinforce safety leadership at an individual level, develop an appreciation for the effort that goes into planning and managing a toolbox meeting, and encourage everyone to learn valuable leadership skills. It also provides a direct incentive to everyone to pay attention in toolbox meetings, so that they are prepared when it’s their turn.

By mixing up who delivers toolbox or pre-start meetings, you take advantage of individual approaches and perspectives, and allow for innovation by different team members. While one person might be interested in structure, another might be interested in statistics and so a natural by-product of rotating the role is that content remains fresh and engaging.

Want to elevate your Toolbox Talks?

Effective Safety Consultation Program

This program focuses on helping participants generate genuine two-way communication.

Get the skills to:

  • Conduct effective and engaging Toolbox Talks, Pre-Start and safety meetings
  • Gain employees’ and team members’ attention and get them motivated about safety
  • Learn how to overcome potential barriers to achieve engaged participation
  • Ensure others don’t just hear, but understand safety messages
  • Show confidence as a communicator and leader
  • Apply effective consultation skills to all meetings

Download the course outline (page 9) in our full course brochure here >>

How to Listen in 8 Simple Steps

Good communication has long been regarded as a foundation skill of strong leaders. With communication skills, a leader can build trust and robust relationships. They can successfully develop their teams, improve results and influence others. Core to...

read more

As heat rises, so do safety risks

With summer fast approaching, it's time to think about staying safe when you're working in high temperatures. During hot temperatures, people become susceptible to a range of heat related medical issues, including dehydration, heat rash, heat cramps,...

read more

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How to create cohesiveness in major projects

How to create cohesiveness in major projects

Being part of a major project is an exciting, medium-term commercial opportunity for businesses of all sizes in Australia. Typically, a major contract is won by a large contractor or consortium, which then enters into commercial agreements with many subcontractor businesses, thus providing employment to hundreds (even thousands) of workers over a multi-year period.

Executing a major project has many challenges. Among them is taking a large, diverse team of skilled workers, often drawn from markedly different organisations, and creating the conditions where they come together to think, work, behave and collaborate as one. This cohesiveness is not easy to achieve considering every organisation brings in its own different processes and policies, which may need to be set aside in order to properly comply with site rules.

Setting up workers for project success

For workers employed as contractors in a project, they need to represent their employer well so that their employer is rehired for other projects. To do this, though, you need to prepare teams so that they clearly know where they fit in and what the head contractor’s expectations will be.

To set up workers for success, we’ve identified five key factors that help organisations to transition workers into their best representatives on a major project.

  1. Let your workers know how you’d like them to represent your company.
  2. Create a shared goal and help workers understand their role in achieving it.
  3. Help workers understand the balance between requirements, policies and processes of head contractor versus their own.
  4. Work with your team to bridge any gaps between your policies, and processes – and that of your head contractor.
  5. Make sure everyone understands the benefits of collaboration and cohesiveness.

Three tips for head contractors

If you are the head contractor, how do you best manage sub-contractors? We think these two factors are important:

  1. Let your subcontractors know your expectations regarding how they represent their organisation within a sub-contractor status.
  2. Clarify your expectations of all employees by explaining what’s in it for them and with information about how to conduct themselves.

It’s not difficult to manage your workers moving from project to project with different contractors.

Most teams want to perform well and represent their employer to the best of their ability. From their perspective, good performance improves the opportunity for their employer to be hired on subsequent projects.

By providing your teams with an understanding of the above, the bigger picture, your expectations and where they fit into ithem, workers will soon understand what to look for and how to behave on each and every project.

Want to learn how to manage subcontractors?

Learn to effectively manage WHS site risks and performance by learning how to effectively select, manage and monitor the complex and difficult world of subcontractors.

Find out more by downloading the course outline below, contact us here or call us on 1300 453 555.

More from our blog

How to Listen in 8 Simple Steps

Good communication has long been regarded as a foundation skill of strong leaders. With communication skills, a leader can build trust and robust relationships. They can successfully develop their teams, improve results and influence others. Core to...

read more

As heat rises, so do safety risks

With summer fast approaching, it's time to think about staying safe when you're working in high temperatures. During hot temperatures, people become susceptible to a range of heat related medical issues, including dehydration, heat rash, heat cramps,...

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The big dry: How cultural values drive action in adversity

The big dry: How cultural values drive action in adversity

Drought Swimming Hole

In parts of Queensland and New South Wales, the past 14 months have been the driest since records began to be kept in 1900. For some farmers, this is their fifth or sixth consecutive year of drought and dry conditions, with many struggling to survive.

North-west Victoria and eastern South Australia have also experienced well below average rainfall. In the west, rain in the last few weeks has eased drought conditions, although some areas, particularly east of Albany in the state’s south, remain dry.

Since stricken farmers first appeared in mainstream media a few months ago with desperate calls for help, the public has dug deeply, with rural charities reporting a significant surge in donations from everyday Australians.

Corporate donors – Woolworths, Telstra, Toyota, Qantas, the major banks and more – have also come aboard, pledging multi-million dollar financial support and relief. The cumulative effect of the attention has led to a more extensive response to the crisis by Governments, both federal and state.

The cultural idiom of mateship

Since most people wish they had more money, not less, why do so many members of the public give theirs away to help strangers?

Many believe that giving affirms important values and allows us to feel good about ourselves as ‘Good Samaritans’.

More locally, it may reflect the Australian cultural idiom of mateship, stepping up to help those in need, a concept that is central to the Australian culture.

In this context, coming together to help people is what being Australian is all about – once you learn about issues facing people you don’t know, you help them in any way you can, however big or small.

Applying the learning to leadership

The response of the public to the plight of farming families offers leaders a cue to effecting positive actions in their teams.

From the big dry, we can see that people have reacted strongly because the need of the farmers has directly connected to common values. The consequence is that people have undertaken positive actions willingly simply because they want to. How can we apply this same principle inside the workplace to effect desired behaviours at work?

Values reflect what an individual feels is important in their life and is a key driver into why someone behaves as they do. A person’s values vary from individual to individual, and are influenced by many, many factors. Individuals, organisations and indeed countries all have common values by which we live, and are often known as an innate internal code of conduct.

Australian values are reflected in statements such as “when the chips are down we dig deep”, “support the Aussie battler”, “don’t kick people when they are down”, “give them a fair go”, “help a mate” and “look after our own first”. These are all statements we have heard in relation to the farmer’s situation. And, if you look closely at each statement you will see they link to values which resonate universally around our country and move people to act in support.

Similar to a country’s values, organisations also operate by a set of values (written or covert). Often high-performing and long-term employees’ values align to their employers’ and this is a significant reason for their strong performance and longevity. Creating a values alignment offers leaders the greatest opportunity to effect cultural change. Or, put another way, knowing how to influence a team member at the values level is often the greatest motivator to change behaviour. This is something we work extensively with on our behavioural based safety programs as we understand the importance and significance of blending behaviour change with a “what’s in it for me” at a values level.

For more information on our values and behavioural based safety leadership programs, visit our safety programs page.

How you can help

Rural Aid’s Buy a Bale program supports farmers and rural communities across Australia by providing support and delivering hay and essentials for those who have none left. What difference can you make? A lot.

At Safety Dimensions, we feel passionate about helping Australian farmers. Since we believe this is a really worthwhile cause, we thought we’d pass the information on to help spread the word and show how your donation could make a difference.

What Buy-A-Bale donations go towards:

Hay – 5 x $20 bales feeds 1 cow for 1 Week.

Diesel – Every $4.40 transports hay 1 km anywhere in Australia.

Water – Every $250 delivers 11,500 litres delivered to a farm within 100 km of the collection point.

Hampers – Every $52.50 buys a hamper for a farmer through their local supermarket.

General Donations – Help keep our wheels moving. Give what you can, every $10 makes a difference.

$5700 buys a single-trailer load of hay.

$9500 buys a semi-trailer load of hay and transports it to an affected area (up to 900km).
 

Want to contribute? To find out more and donate, visit Buy-a-Bale

More from our blog

How to Listen in 8 Simple Steps

Good communication has long been regarded as a foundation skill of strong leaders. With communication skills, a leader can build trust and robust relationships. They can successfully develop their teams, improve results and influence others. Core to...

read more

As heat rises, so do safety risks

With summer fast approaching, it's time to think about staying safe when you're working in high temperatures. During hot temperatures, people become susceptible to a range of heat related medical issues, including dehydration, heat rash, heat cramps,...

read more