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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

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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 >>

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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.

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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

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How to Listen in 8 Simple Steps

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read more

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National Safe Work Month: A moment is all it takes

National Safe Work Month: A moment is all it takes

No industry should be unsafe to work in and no death or injury is acceptable. And, because the whole community bears the financial costs of poor WHS, a safe and healthy workplace benefits everyone.

Work-related injury and disease costs the Australian community $61.8 billion in a year*.

This is why, during October each year, Safe Work Australia asks workers and employers across Australia to commit to building safe and healthy workplaces for all Australians.

The theme for this October’s National Safe Work Month is ‘A moment is all it takes.

While a safety incident can happen in a moment, and in any workplace, a moment’s forethought can prevent harm.

This year, commit to taking a safety moment every day in your workplace.

This could be as simple as spending five minutes every morning talking with your team about the hazards and risks in your workplace, and how to prevent harm.

For more information, visit Safe Work Australia: https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/news-and-events/national-safe-work-month

Source*: The Cost of Work-related Injury and Illness for Australian Employers, Workers and the Community: 2012–13

Want to transform your organisation's safety culture?

Safety Dimensions offers accredited and non-accredited leadership training for leaders, safety professionals and employees
to support organisations to effectively deal with safety performance challenges.

We can train anywhere in Australia and our programs can be customised for your workplace and industry.
Call 1300 453 555 or email info@safetydimensions.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,...

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Leading change: How leaders can foster the embrace of change

Leading change: How leaders can foster the embrace of change

From the chrysalis, the beautiful butterfly is born. From the acorn, the mighty oak grows. Change is one of the few certainties in your life. It can be unexpected. It can feel disorientating and unwelcome, it creates disruption and pushes us out of our comfort zones. It can lead people to feel afraid of what the future holds.

Rather than resisting change, which is often futile anyway, people that have learned to embrace change are often better able to capitalise on the opportunities that inevitably follow in change’s footsteps.

In this article, we list 3 good reasons why people should embrace change as an important trigger for personal and professional growth – and how leaders can create the environment where change is embraced.

Reason 1. Embracing change is less stressful than fighting it

As an individual, you might not like all changes that come your way. This too is a fact of life. Instead of looking at change in fear, turn your thinking to the opportunities that follow in change’s wake. Every change is a turning point – you may not be able to control your environment and the change that goes on within it, but you can control how you manage it.

As a leader, you need to set the expectation with your team that change is inevitable. By setting expectations early, you avoid team members from feeling blindsided when change occurs. If you set your vision as a dynamic, evolving organisation, your team will be better prepared for shifts that happen.

Reason 2. Change can be habit forming.

At an individual level, every time something in your life changes, so do you. Who wants to live a completely staid, predictable and boring life? Progress is the outcome of change, not standing still. People that manage change well, especially career or role changes, understand that each change brings new skills, new knowledge and new opportunities. The days of staying in one job for life are long gone. Whether you change within your company, or move to another, there is no negative stigma these days with pursuing a career that is in line with your interests, values and skills.

As a leader, it’s important to be honest with your team. Even when change is positive, your team will immediately think “how will this affect me?” If the change is negative, don’t pretend it’s positive because your team will see straight through it. Give your team time to absorb the changes being undertaken and invite them to ask questions. It will take time to move the team in line with change, especially if it’s difficult changes that are being implemented.

Reason 3. Change can be habit forming.

Travellers learn to embrace diverse cultures, changing the way they see the world. Their mind is expanded by these new experiences and the “travel bug” is simply the habit of wanting more of it.

People that experience change more regularly learn flexibility, adaptability and to prioritise change as a positive way to build experiences, knowledge and skills. In other words, the more you experience change, the more you get used to it. Just as habit is the result of a repetitive situation, when change is a normal part of a team’s working life, they are more likely to embrace it.

As a leader, you work in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world. Leaders who can plan for change and remain dynamic, and who listen to and adapt quickly to a changing environment, are the ones who remain successful.


How Leaders can prepare for change

The process of change can be highly disruptive in the workplace. Knowing the predictable reactions to change and how to prepare for them can significantly reduce both the distraction and the negative impacts of change and improve the engagement and uptake of all those affected.

Our sister division Leadership Dimensions offers a 2-day program on Leading Others Through Change that covers human reactions to change, consistent messaging, how to support fearful staff and more.

Download the course outline: Leading Others Through Change >>

In planning change initiatives, it is important to consider the time it takes for people to transition, to learn new skills and to move through the emotional journey associated with change. Change can feel overwhelming and leave people feeling exhausted.

Leadership Dimensions offers a 2-day program on Preventing Change Fatigue that covers identifying the symptoms of change fatigue, planning for the impacts of change, developing personal coping mechanisms and more.

Download the course outline: Preventing Change Fatigue >>

When change is transformational, organisations experience a fundamental shift in “how things are done around here”. Engagement, buy-in and behavioural change are key to the change success.

Leadership Dimensions offers a 2-day program on Building Commitment to Cultural Transformation that covers the readiness for change, influencing skills, cultural change process and tools, engaging hearts and minds and more.

Download the course outline: Building Commitment to Cultural Transformation >>

Visit Leadership Dimensions

Want to elevate your leadership capacity?

Safety Dimensions offers accredited and non-accredited leadership training for emerging leaders. Through our training, you’ll learn how to effectively communicate, set clear priorities, build team cohesiveness and implement operational plans and continuous improvement.

Want this program customised for your workplace and industry?
Call 1300 453 555 or email info@safetydimensions.com.au

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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