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6 Tips For Staying Safe (and sane) This Christmas

6 Tips For Staying Safe (and sane) This Christmas

With the festive season approaching, making sure everyone remains safe becomes even more important. When people are most tired from the year that’s coming to an end, Australia typically sees a spike in workplace accidents and incidences. Serious incidences can leave families, friends, colleagues and communities devastated instead of celebrating the end to the year and the summer holidays.

Everyone is responsible for safety, but if you’re a leader, it’s is a great time to reflect on the roles and responsibilities of your managers, supervisors and employees to prioritise safety during this period. With increased trading hours and activity, coupled with closing deadlines, shortcuts might be taken that increase the chance of injury.

Regardless of your role, follow our 6 Christmas safety tips to stay safe during the festive season.

STAY SAFE TIP #1

Welcome to the silly season. With the dash to the Christmas holidays, you’re sure to have a full social calendar filled with end of year events. You might also be feeling the stress of tying projects up at work. By planning out the next few weeks, you can properly allocate time and leave a buffer for when things don’t go to plan. You’ll get visibility on what you need to do, by when, and know where you may be stretching yourself too thin. 

STAY SAFE TIP #2

While many workers appreciate the necessity of wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) while at work, even if you’re in a rush to get things finished, you must wear your personal protective equipment. Not wearing PPE can be catastrophic for both you and your employer. Some health problems take years of exposure to develop and by the time you understand the risk, it could be too late.

STAY SAFE TIP #3

A main reason for so many workplace incidences occurring in November and December is the rush most of us are in to complete things before year end. Because we’re under time pressure, we are more likely to cut corners. Cutting corners is workplace behaviour that can easily result in serious injury. By skipping or avoiding steps important to a task, in order to complete the task sooner, you can dramatically increase your safety risk. 

STAY SAFE TIP #4

Many people feel exhausted, just living their life. By asking for help, you can lighten your load a little. Asking for help when you need it delivers you with real benefits including relationship and network building, happiness giving, stress relief and overall better health and improved productivity. 

STAY SAFE TIP #5

Further to the theme of asking for help, it’s important to help each other. By working as a team, you can increase collaboration, lessen individual workloads, thus reducing individual stress, and improving productivity. Two or more people can share the problem solving, finishing off difficult tasks and brainstorm creative ideas.

STAY SAFE TIP #6

It’s the season of Christmas parties, and the best way to make sure everyone remains safe, is to be careful how you handle alcohol, make sure everyone has transport to get home safely, and everyone looks out for each other. You also need to make sure that any party venues are free of hazards that could lead to an accident or injury. 

If it’s a work function, Section 19 of the WHS Act requires employers to ‘take all reasonably practicable steps to protect the health and safety at work of the employer’s employees’. This includes undertaking risk assessments and putting suitable risk controls in place to reduce or eliminate any hazard associated with the function or event. Employers should also set clear  boundaries for employee’s behaviour at work related functions, set clear start and finish times for functions and have developed and communicated an internal policy addressing the responsible consumption of alcohol.

If you’re a leader, read more about your WHS responsibilities when it comes to work social functions here.

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Employers & Managers: New Industrial Manslaughter Law In QLD

Employers & Managers: New Industrial Manslaughter Law In QLD

Negligent Employers & Senior Executives Can Be Charged With Industrial Manslaughter- New Queensland Laws

In a media statement from the Queensland government, Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace announced new industrial manslaughter laws passed the parliament, leaving negligent employers culpable in workplace deaths with nowhere to hide.

In response to the tragic fatalities at Dreamworld and an Eagle Farm work site in 2016, the Queensland government undertook a Best Practice Review of Workplace Health and Safety in Queensland. The creation of the new offence of industrial manslaughter was one of 58 recommendations contained in the report.  Industrial manslaughter allows the criminal prosecution of owners and employers for workplace deaths.

“Negligent employers culpable in workplace fatalities in Queensland will face severe penalties for the new offence of industrial manslaughter,” said Minister Grace.

“Individuals guilty of industrial manslaughter will face 20 years imprisonment, with corporate offenders liable for fines of up to $10 million. These penalties send out a strong message to all employers that negligence causing death won’t be tolerated under any circumstances.

“Because of increasingly elaborate corporate structures, up until now, it’s been difficult to prosecute some employers for manslaughter.

“But these new laws will hold all employers – regardless of their size or structure – accountable for negligence contributing to a worker’s death.

According to the review, worker representatives and plaintiff lawyers favour the creation of an offence of gross negligence causing death, while industry groups and other legal professional groups favoured retaining the status quo.

To date, the only Australian jurisdiction which had a specific industrial manslaughter type offence was the Australian Capital Territory.

“The legislation passed today is all about ensuring all Queensland workers can return home safely to their loved ones after a day’s work.”

Sources:

Queensland Government Media Release:
http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2017/10/12/new-industrial-manslaughter-laws-to-protect-queenslanders-on-the-job

Best Practice Review Of Workplace Health and Safety:
https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0016/143521/best-practice-review-of-whsq-final-report.pdf

Safety Dimensions will update this page as more news comes to hand about what this means in practice for the QLD safety community.

Safety Journey at Hitachi Construction Machinery

Hitachi Construction Machinery Australia (HCMA), part of the global giant Hitachi, is a leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment.  Headquartered in Japan with over 20,000 staff globally, Hitachi is a highly diversified company that operates eleven business segments which include Information & Telecommunication Systems, Social Infrastructure, Defense and Power Systems, Electronic and Automotive Systems, Railway & Urban Systems.

‘The Kenkijin Spirit’ is at the heart of everything Hitachi do regardless of their business or location. Taken from the Japanese name of HCM, ‘Kenkijin’ roughly translates as ‘citizen of HCM’ and embodies their shared values and principles, underpinned by three ideas. These are taking on challenges without fear of failure, striving to understand a customers’ needs better than they do and communication – taking the initiative on reporting, liaising and consulting.

HCM manufactures hydraulic excavators from the smallest mini to the largest 780-tonne class, as well as rigid frame mining dump trucks and a wide range of wheel loaders, marketing their products worldwide through a global network of company owned and independent dealers.

Hitachi Construction Machinery Australia (HCMA) a wholly own subsidiary of HCM , are passionate about their machines, but are even more passionate about the safety of their people and ensuring each worker returns home safe each day. They are on a mission to embed company-wide values in their culture with the key value being “Safety takes priority over everything else”.  HCMA had invested significant time and resources into the development of their “See You Tomorrow” safety initiative. This initiative included a set of Key Safety Promises and Key Safety Responsibilities for all employees.

HCMA partnered with Safety Dimensions to bring the initiative to life and to thoroughly embed the Safety Promises and Responsibilities and desired safety behaviours across all levels of HCMA.

HCMA’s journey has included design and national delivery of 1 and 2-day programs to all staff from Executives through to front line workers. Refresher programs have been delivered, and at the learners requests, support programs such as ‘Performance Management Conversations’ are taking place.

One of the key considerations in the design phase of the project was the importance of including overseas management methodologies and messages, whilst designing a program that held local relevance yet was adaptable for overseas delivery if required. The HCMA and Safety Dimensions partnership continues with ongoing support, embedding and maintenance of the HCMA safety culture.

We spoke to William Stuart HCMA’s National WHS Manager about their Safety Journey.

Bill, when it comes to safety, what are the specific challenges in your industry and for HCMA?
For us,  the difficult part is having our people work across different types of sites and environments. There’s a huge difference (safety wise) between a blue-chip mining site vs a local small firm without an entrenched safety culture. We aim for consistency across the business, whilst ensuring everyone is clear on, and apply the same behaviours, expectations and principles regardless of work locations or the environment in which they find themselves. Our goal is to set a high standard and lead the way when it comes to safety.

Why is safety important to you, personally?
Having been directly involved in a workplace fatality at a previous workplace, I’ve seen first-hand the impact something like that has on everyone, not just for the person who lost their life but also their loved ones, their workmates and the whole organisation. I make it my job to honour that worker by sharing as much as I can about what happened, why it happened and what it’s like to live through that experience, on a personal level, for other people in the organisation and for the business.  I never want to experience that again, or would I want anyone else to have to go through that. (Continued below)

What drove HCMA to take a behavioural safety approach?
We’d developed our safety culture from the ground up with Executive/employee WHS committees, safety management systems and ISO accredited systems.  We knew a behavioural safety approach would work, as several of us had seen it work in other organisations, however trying to change the mindset of the leadership team and align everyone across a large organisation is a big task.

Overall I believe the visible leadership commitment is just as important as the training. We wanted to demonstrate to all our employees and managers, Senior Leadership commitment by putting in the time, resources and commitment to rolling our message out to everyone. Part of this visible commitment was demonstrated by pulling people out of work and flying them around the country to do the program, we were absolutely unwavering in our commitment to making this work across our whole organisation.

What were the specific outcomes you were looking for?
We wanted consistency and alignment of everyone across our business – so that everyone becomes a safety leader.
We want everyone on the same page, challenging the way people see safety – safety is part of our day-to-day job, not in addition to our day-to-day job.

What were the biggest obstacles/concerns you were faced with at the beginning of the project?
That we were going to have a positive impact on the way people thought about and perceived safety at work, and get it right the first time. We were asking ourselves, is this going to work logistically, and how are we going sell the message the right way?

We were also concerned that we needed to choose the right training organisation to partner with,  our thinking was, we’d only get one go at this, and if we didn’t get it right, we would miss the boat. We wouldn’t get another opportunity to do this for several years.

You had a team of Safety Leaders to assist to drive the culture across the organisation, how did you utilise these safety leaders?
We obtained Senior WHS Leadership buy-in which involved getting our Regional WHS Advisors involved in the process, give them an opportunity for input into the content of the program. We asked our WHS leaders to be available for all the courses so they were seen to be involved and answer any questions.

Finally we had our Senior Leaders including our Managing Director there to open the training at every first session, reinforcing the notion that everyone was expected to actively participate.

What changes have you noticed as a result of the program?
We’ve had more involvement from the shop floor with an increase in reporting, participation and awareness. We’ve also had a decrease if overall injury statistical rates in LTIFR and RIFR.

 Safety Dimensions delivered programs to all levels of staff at HCMA, what were the key things you noticed at each level?
For some of our Senior Leaders the program has changed the way they view safety. For Middle Manager we saw increased commitment and accountability and from out Shop Floor teams we saw participation from all and a willingness to take on the message and act on it.

What is the biggest change you’ve seen for the organisation and for individuals before and after the program?
It’s the perception by the senior leadership team that they are responsible for driving the change within the organisation. They were committed prior but they really started to see the value in what we were doing ultimately resulting in a greater level of commitment.

Do you consider this project to have been a success?
Absolutely. We followed it up 12 months later with the refresher training to reinforce the training, and give us an opportunity to remind everyone about the expectations and the importance of what it is we are trying to achieve.

What’s next in the safety journey for HCMA?
We’re in the process of updating our Critical Safety Essentials and our See You Tomorrow initiatives with a focus on visible safety. We are also looking to expand our Key safety promises and update/ refresh our Take 5 Risk Assessments. We’re also looking at other opportunities to further educate and train our people.

Why should other organisations consider working with Safety Dimensions?
First and foremost Safety Dimensions delivered the message with a high level of professionalism from the top of their leadership, project management team all the way across to their facilitators. We encountered a few internal challenges at the start of our project and Safety Dimensions showed flexibility – they were open to feedback and had a willingness to change to meet our needs.

Safety Dimensions were like a one-stop shop, we handed over the logistics of the program and they looked after everything.


Thanks to William Stuart for taking the time to speak to Safety Dimensions.

Want to find out more?

To find out how Safety Dimensions can help your organisation transform Safety Culture, no matter where in the world you are, call us on 1300 453 555 in Australia or internationally on +613 9510 0477.

Want to find out more?

To find out how Safety Dimensions can help your organisation transform Safety Culture, no matter where in the world you are, call us on 1300 453 555 in Australia or internationally on +613 9510 0477.

When Enhancing Safety Culture Heats Up – Ducab Dubai

When Enhancing Safety Culture Heats Up – Ducab Dubai

By Dr Paul Johnston. Lead Consultant and Facilitator

Safety Dimensions recently had an opportunity to expand our relationship with Ducab [the Dubai Cable Company, a leading manufacturer of cabling], assisting them in enhancing their HSE culture via a Behavioural Based Safety [BBS] program. Already OHSAS18001 certified, Ducab’s intention is to exceed mere compliance with the required standards, and to achieve international “best practice”. Safety Dimensions is excited to be working with them on their health and safety journey.

Challenges

The challenges faced by Ducab are both physical and cultural in nature. Physically, the average temperature in summer of 40°C+, is compounded not only by levels of humidity in excess of 60%, but also by the presence of aluminium and copper furnaces on site. Culturally, the workforce is as diverse as the wider Dubai population, with most originating from highly hierarchical societies that are characterised by a significant “power distance” in relationships.

Power distance is a term that describes how people belonging to a specific cultural group view power relationships between people, including the degree to which people not in “power positions” perceive and/or accept that power is spread unequally.

Strengths

Although the cultural backgrounds of Ducab’s workforce do indeed constitute a challenge in establishing, implementing and maintaining an effective BBS program, the same also provide a solid foundation on which to build. Whilst this may seem somewhat paradoxical, although the sense of power distance is significant, so is the importance of “team” and “community” to the workforce – this is the strength that has already contributed to Ducab’s success, and this is the strength on which the roll-out of the BBS program is being based. Indeed the Australian mindset of “looking after your mates” is a reasonable comparison. The main difference, however, is the perceptions associated with hierarchical relationships, and the manner of communication that is associated with it. (Continued below)

The way forward

In moving forward with Ducab, the intention is to build on their success and cultural strengths, extending their sense of “team” to create a greater sense of “permission” to have safety conversations with others, regardless of rank and title.

Will this be easy?….No.

Is it achievable?….Yes.

One of the key reasons for these answers is what we saw during our 3 weeks with Ducab. During this time, site visits and interviews were conducted, and 3 two day Safety Leadership workshops were facilitated, as was a one day Executive Masterclass. Throughout these activities, two themes remained  constant – the intent to work diligently for the good of the company, and the willingness to have open discussions in what were considered to be appropriate settings. The goal is to extend this so that all of Ducab is seen as an appropriate setting for such interaction. This goal, although challenging, is one that I believe Ducab can achieve – with this being based on the level of commitment and willingness to learn that was witnessed of both management and front-line operators alike during our time there.

Indeed, the current pace of development in Dubai, both in terms of commercial operations and infrastructure development, is remarkable – with this being reflected in the collective willingness to establish long term partnerships and to strive for international best practice.

With this in mind, we are looking forward to our next trip to Dubai, scheduled for early next year, and to see what the future in the region brings.

What did we learn ?

From our initial site visits, interviews, the subsequent Masterclass, through collaboration we all learned more about Ducab, the challenges they face and how we can move Safety forward in a tangible way.   The experience can best be summarised in the statement “Limitations are what we put in the way, not what are actually there”.  Ducab’s willingness to understand, challenge themselves and to apply a different approach to safety was quite evident, and it something that companies both internationally and locally could learn a lot from.

Our International Advantage

Safety Dimensions has instructionally designed and/or delivered behavioural safety leadership and similar programs in 20 countries.

Read more about our international advantage here : http://www.safetydimensions.com.au/international

To find out how Safety Dimensions can help your organisation transform Safety Culture, no matter where in the world you are, call us on 1300 453 555 in Australia or internationally on +613 9510 0477.

Download our course suite below.
We can customise all our programs to your specific needs and industry.

Call us on 1300 453 555 or internationally +613 95100477

The 8 Skills Successful Leaders Need In 2018

Melissa Williams, CEO Learning Dimensions Network After a conversation with Leadership Dimensions Managing Partner Janet McCulloch, we have been reflecting on the topic of leadership. Let’s face it, being a leader today is a challenge. As we enter 2018 our world is more competitive, complex, globally connected (with speed and immediacy) and customers are more informed, and therefore demanding. Goal posts shift regularly and we work across-cultures, sometime with ambiguity and lack certainty. In the past, change was not as constant, and whilst the pressure to perform has always been there, but the speed at which this performance is now expected is unprecedented. This made me reflect on what’s changed in leadership and what the modern leader needs – distilled down to the top 8 skills that you’ll need to be a successful leader in 2018.

1. Change is the new normal

Change is now constant, and leaders are now expected to also be change managers. Gone are the days where a centralised HR team would manage all the ‘people stuff’. Now leaders are required to take on functions such as performance management, wellbeing, conflict management and mediation, training, and in many cases, recruitment of staff. Often leaders are promoted due to their ‘technical brilliance’, not their HR skills, yet this is now a core competency of today’s leader. In Australia, The Fair Work Act was designed to simplify and make transparent how we operate at work which helped with the decentralisation of HR departments. In turn, this created an environment where leaders at all levels are often made accountable for the intricacies in the Act and how this can or can’t be interpreted on a day to day level. This is a big ask if you are new to HR!

2. Smarter not harder

The old, ‘work smarter not harder’ has been replaced with ‘work leaner and more efficiently’. Enabled by better technology, leaders are now working with fewer resources coupled with higher expectations. We often hear leaders struggle with knowing how to do this. The reality is, it is a hard ask to adapt to this mindset, yet it is possible.

3. The ability to get lean

Organisational structures are flattening and doing away with more middle management. Therefore, a leader needs to know exactly where their authorities start and finish in terms of budget and finances, yet the expectations of their broader roles may be more ambiguous. Many organisations have moved to a matrix style operation where cross-functional project teams are formed. Effective leaders then need to focus less on authority and more about building cross-functional teams, sharing and collaboration.

4. The need for connection

With a significant increase in social media and overall virtual connectivity, the workplace has become a primary IRL (in real life) community for some people. A leader’s ability to create teams and increase participation and inclusion in diverse teams is directly attributable to people’s satisfaction at work, with a direct impact on people’s productivity and the organisational bottom line. Being able to foster, manage and grow cohesive connected communities, both online and in real life, is a vital skill for the modern leader.

5. Watch your words

With increased visibility on the impact of workplace bullying, leaders have tended to become far more aware and cautious about the nature of performance related conversations. In some cases, this awareness has led to a reluctance to have challenging conversations related to feedback and performance improvement. However leaders are expected to understand and implement the difference between managing performance and feedback vs discrimination, bullying and harassment and ensure they manage this balance effectively.

6. Safety starts from the top

Similar to HR,we find work, health and safety (WHS) is decentralising and is now a significant expectation of all leaders. Even if “Safety” isn’t part of your title, as a leader you’re responsible. In fact Queensland has just legislated to bring in Industrial Manslaughter laws ensuring negligent employers personally culpable in workplace deaths. Our sister brand, Safety Dimensions, who specialise in safety leadership, offers programs that focus on safety as being part of everyone’s role, not just those at the top. However just like the HR component of a modern leaders role, effective WHS requires an understanding and an ability to integrate this knowledge into day to day behaviours of your people and the organisations processes.

7. Human beings vs human resources

Emotional intelligence, mindfulness and compassion – these are words and skills that have made their way into part of the definition of leadership skills. A leader is expected to be self-aware and be able to effectively see and manage reactions in others and balance their EQ versus IQ to reach the optimal management mix.

8. Managing stress

With the changes outlined above, and the societal and family pressures our world places on us, there it’s no wonder that we have seen a significant increase in stress related illnesses in the workplace. A leader in today’s work environment is expected to notice symptoms of stress in ourselves and others, and know what steps to take. A leaders role is not to be a counselor, however they are expected to notice changes in behaviour in others (and themselves) and provide support in order to reduce the negative stress.Often the symptomology is not always ‘loud’ in terms of a persons behaviour. This means in the busyness of our day, taking the time to identify these symptoms and know what to do about it. Companies should have an expectation that staff will conduct themselves with professional maturity and emotional intelligence – even if someone doesn’t have the official directive of “Manager” or “Leader” in their title. We’ve noticed the trend in organisations to upskill ‘everyone’ to be leaders from the bottom up and this approach does make sense. However, from one leader to another, let’s face it, these expectations are exhausting. The demand to be a ‘people/change/organisational expert as well as being good at your ‘day job’ is relentless. However the simple reality is these 8 key challenges will only accelerate as the world gets smaller, technology increases and expectations for instant results intensifies. There is some good news. Whilst there is no miracle pill to developing a leader, there is an understanding that learning and development has adapted and changed to support the demands of being a modern leader. The rise in vocational training in Management and Leadership for those in professional jobs as well as trades is a testament to this change and I believe will continue to increase as the demands continue.


For more information on the content of this article or our Nationally recognised leadership and management qualifications, please contact info@safetydimensions.com.au