Last week I attended an event organised and run by Corporate Bodies International which explored the link between health and safety. The opening questions were “Can we be safe at work if we are not physically and mentally healthy?” and “Can we be physically and mentally healthy at work if we are not safe?”.
The answer is of course no, and this got us talking about the link between health and safety in the workplace. Despite a 31% decrease in serious claims over the past 13 years, there are still a substantial amount of injuries being reported and 41.7% of these are due to “Body Stressing” (aches,pains,strains,back issues).
So, with a clear link between being healthy and being safe – it is important to know what makes a happy employee. Some ideas from the Corporate Bodies Team were;
- Making WHS fun! Zoe at Corporate Bodies International showed us a fantastic video which I had to share and add to this article. The key message I took from the video is that you don’t need to force people to make a choice (to be safe at work for the purpose of this example) you just need to provide fun options and let them do the rest. Encouraging safety and encouraging people to CHOOSE to be safe rather than telling them they HAVE to be will get much better results.
- Don’t let WHS be reactive. If you are only encouraging safety and completing risk assessments,toolbox talks etc after an incident, the employees will feel that you are being reactive and may feel that you are now interested because it affects your safety KPI’s.
Something I found surprising was that when employees were asked what was most important to them (at a time of an incident or injury) was how their employer felt and treated them. This was held a higher priority than the pain of their injury and also ahead of the healthcare they were going to or were receiving. This just goes to show that we need to be proactive and accountable for the safety of our employees pre-employment, during employment and potentially during and incident and even after employment (usually with companies such as asbestos companies who provide testing and health checks for employees when they finish at the company).
I’d like to finish this article by asking a question posed to us last week which was; What do you like to do outside of work and in your free time? Walking? Camping? Watching movies? AND more importantly do you feel able and happy to complete these activities after work? After all we work to live and not the other way around!
Happy and Healthy Monday All!