Safety gets a boost with digital technology
Leading industry professionals discussed key themes for improving Australian workplace safety levels at the recent Safety First Conference & Expo held in conjunction with National Manufacturing Week.
Michelle Baxter, CEO of Safe Work Australia, spoke of the improvements in Australian workplace safety over the past 30 years, with Australian workers now being three times less likely to be killed at work and twice as less likely to be seriously injured than in 1985.
However, she warned there are further gains that still must to be made, if Australia is to meet its goal as ‘worlds’ best in workplace safety’. Baxter said the country needed organisations to move beyond just compliance with the laws and for them to show leadership and ‘design in safety’.
A visible and practical commitment to safety by workplace leaders is a strong motivator for safety compliance so that workers recognise their bosses care about their health and safety and so should they.
Dr Miller, also from Safe Work Australia noted beyond the legal and moral arguments there is compelling evidence for the business case to ‘design out workplace risks’ with a potential two to one return on investment. Safe Work Australia noting emerging issues, including how changing technology can be used to communicate health and safety messages. Dr Miller noted that many Australian work health and safety regulators now use digital technology to send targeted short safety messages some linked to YouTube. On this approach, Dr Miller said that it will be interesting to see the impact of this push technology to help people become better informed. Adrian Manessis, Business Development Manager of MYOSH Safety Management Software said smartphones are a powerful tool in campaigns for promoting workplace safety. The MYOSH platform was designed to work on smartphones, making it easier for people to report incidents and hazards – which can then be actioned – on the fly.
“When people see something that they can take report or take action on easily, they’re much more likely to act: which means organisations get much more data about their real safety performance,” said Manessis. “The right systems put safety in everyone’s hands.”