About Safetyminder

Safety management is not a trending jargon nor is it particularly new; it is a remedy that has always been there. It refers to the management of business activities and the application of principles, processes, and framework that works towards the prevention of accidents, injuries and to lower other risks. With more and more organisations looking for ways to manage their safety responsibilities more effectively, this has led to the invention of a safety management software called Safetyminder.

Safetyminder is a suite of mobile-enabled applications and is user-friendly, which helps organisations improve the culture of safety and protect the workforce within the enterprise. In the current work environment, organisations must ensure the safety of workers and assets by working towards a reduced number of accidents, identification, and mitigation of safety risks, and agreeing with the occupational safety regulations, at the same time as controlling costs.

Safetyminder collects all the data on a centralised web platform, including real-time data collected by use of the mobile devices, to identify job-related hazards that are likely to create risks for illnesses and injuries. And so, a good Work, Health and Safety software program should be able to help in the transformation of the organisation by directing it to a path that would lead to improved safety performance.

Why is Work, Health and Safety software important
If you are considering introducing new health and safety software to your company or enterprise, it is important to be informed about its related importance. They include;

Compliance Management
When it comes to safety and health, compliance is the main target, and making use of compliance software is the most effective way to maintain it. A compliance management platform will keep you updated on the risks of non-compliance in real-time and it can also help in keeping the stakeholders always informed and in control.

Reduction of Risk
When you maximize the use of Safetyminder to control risk, your employees, contractors, visitors and the general public will benefit. As a result, the financial and legal security of your business enterprise also benefits.

Effective and Efficient
Safetyminder software makes you aware of every incident if you’re attending an important meeting or you’re out of town. Utilisation of software that logs reports on various incident and safety policies will always provide you with the information you need to execute business decisions.

Simple Governance
Keeping track of dates, targets and the employee’s responsibilities could be a daunting task for managers. You need to allow health and safety software to help in governance issues. Therefore, lower managerial related stress by using the software to track all the details.

Protect your Assets
Since health and safety software can allow you to maintain, maximize and monitor your investments, you should ensure the protection of your assets from a centralised dashboard. You can easily streamline the protection of your asset rather than assigning individuals to micromanage different assets.

Management of People
It can be a hard task to keep track of all the details that are related to contractors, employees, and volunteers. You must monitor their certifications and training, illnesses, manage injuries, and rehabilitation. All these issues should be handled with empathy and grace.
With health and safety software, you can easily keep track of all these details. When all the information is converged in one place, it will be easier for you to monitor the information of every person. Therefore, Safetyminder will assure you such that you won’t feel neglected and you will not worry whether every person has been trained, because you will definitely know.

 

Therefore, if your organisation is looking to make your workplace a safer environment for everyone. Then Safetyminder will assist you to develop from a reactive position to a proactive position to improve safety within an organisation. To register your interest in Safetyminder go to www.safetyminder.com.au/register/interest


Work Related Violence - Bullying

Workplace bullying is repeated and unreasonable behaviour directed towards a worker or group of workers that creates a risk to health and safety.

It is a risk to health and safety because it may affect the mental and physical health of workers. Taking steps to prevent it from occurring and responding quickly if it does is the best way to deal with workplace bullying.

Bullying can take different forms including psychological, physical or even indirect—for example deliberately excluding someone from work-related activities. It can be obvious and it can be subtle, which means it’s not always easy to spot.

Some examples of workplace bullying include:

  • abusive or offensive language or comments
  • aggressive and intimidating behaviour
  • belittling or humiliating comments
  • practical jokes or initiation
  • unjustified criticism or complaints.

Implications of workplace bullying

There are legal obligations to consider all health and safety risks in the workplace including workplace bullying.

Failure to take steps to manage the risk of workplace bullying can result in a breach of WHS laws.

Workplace bullying is best dealt with by taking steps to prevent it from happening and responding quickly if it does occur. The longer the bullying behaviour continues, the harder it becomes to repair working relationships and the greater the risk to health and safety.

Effects of bullying

Workplace bullying can seriously harm worker mental health with depression, psychological distress and emotional exhaustion common outcomes for bullied workers. These health outcomes may adversely impact the workplace with workers taking sick leave and being less productive (presenteeism), both of which damage productivity.

Managing the risk of workplace bullying

Organisations can minimise the risk of workplace bullying by taking a proactive approach to identify early, any unreasonable behaviour and situations likely to increase the risk of workplace bullying occurring.

Organisations should implement control measures to manage these risks, and monitor and review the effectiveness of these measures. This could include activities such as:

  • Regularly consulting with workers and health and safety representatives to find out if bullying is occurring or if there are factors likely to increase the risk of workplace bullying.
  • Setting the standard of workplace behaviour, for example through a code of conduct or workplace bullying policy.
  • Designing safe systems of work by clearly defining jobs and providing workers with the resources, information and training they need to carry out their work safely.
  • Implementing workplace bullying reporting and response procedures.
  • Developing productive and respectful workplace relationships through good management practices and effective communication.
  • Providing information and training on workplace bullying policies and procedures, available support and assistance, and how to prevent and respond to workplace bullying.
  • Prioritising measures that foster and protect the psychological health of employees.

Benefits of preventing workplace bullying

In 2016, we published a report that outlines how improving management commitment to psychological health and safety could be an innovative strategy to reduce lost productivity, as well as substantially improve the wellbeing of workers.

The report interrogated data from the 2014–15 Australian Workplace Barometer Project, collected via telephone from 4,242 employees nationwide.

Key findings included:

  • The total cost of depression to Australian employers due to presenteeism and absenteeism is estimated to be approximately $6.3 billion per annum.
  • Workers with psychological distress took four times as many sick days per month and had a 154% higher performance loss at work than those not experiencing psychological distress. This equates to an average cost of $6,309 per annum in comparison with those not experiencing psychological distress.
  • Relative to workers with high engagement, workers with low engagement have approximately 12% more sick days per month and an average performance loss of eight per cent, costing employers $4796 per annum.

The importance of First Aid in the workplace

First aid risk assessment

First aid requirements vary from one workplace to another, so you  must consider all relevant factors at your workplace when deciding what first aid arrangements you need to have in place, including:

  • the type of work being carried out
  • the hazards at the workplace
  • the size and location of the workplace (for example, the distance between work areas and response times for emergency services) and
  • the number and composition of people at the workplace (for example, workers, contractors, subcontractors, volunteers and visitors).

A thorough first aid risk assessment that considers all of these factors will help you to decide what first aid arrangements to provide. Through this process it should become clear what first aid facilities, equipment and training  are needed. Review your first aid risk assessment regularly in consultation with your workers to ensure your arrangements stay adequate and effective.

Equipment and personnel

You must give your workers access to:

  • first aid equipment and facilities
  • trained first aiders.

Keep first aid kits close to areas where there is a higher risk of injury or illness, as well as inside work vehicles if workers are expected to travel as part of their job.

The contents of first aid kits should be based on your first aid risk assessment. At a minimum, they should include equipment for providing basic first aid, but extra equipment may be needed depending on the nature of the work and workplace (for example, in remote areas or where there is a risk of certain serious injuries like burns).

A first aid risk assessment will also help you to decide if a first aid room is needed at your workplace. You should set up a first aid room if it would be difficult to provide first aid at your workplace without one. We recommend in low-risk workplaces a first aid room is provided when there are 200 or more workers, and in high-risk workplaces when there are 100 or more workers.

A trained first aider should hold a nationally recognised statement of attainment from a registered training organisation. Some workplaces may require more specific or advanced first aid training depending on the nature of the work or the workplace. First aiders should attend training regularly so their knowledge and skills are up-to-date.

As a rule of thumb there should be one first aider for every:

  • 50 workers in low-risk workplaces (for example, an office)
  • 25 workers in high-risk workplaces (for example,  a construction site)
  • 10 workers in remote high-risk workplaces (for example, a mine).

Mental Health in the Workplace

Mental health in the workplace

Mental health can be adversely affected by exposure to a range of hazards or factors in the workplace, including, for example:

  • high job demand
  • low job demand
  • poor support
  • poor workplace relationships
  • low role clarity
  • poor organisational change management
  • poor organisational justice
  • poor environmental conditions
  • remote or isolated work, and
  • violent or traumatic events.

Exposure to these hazards can lead to work-related stress. When stress is very high and or prolonged it can in turn lead to work-related psychological or physical injury. For example, work-related stress may lead to depression and anxiety in the long term.

Work-related stress has been linked with high levels of:

  • unplanned absences including sick leave
  • staff turnover
  • withdrawal and presenteeism, and
  • poor work and poor product quality.

Between 2010–11 and 2014–15, around 91% of workers’ compensation claims involving a mental health condition were linked to work-related stress or mental stress—mental stress refers to the mechanism of injury describing work-related stress in claims data. The most common mechanisms causing mental stress were:

  • work pressure (31%)
  • work-related harassment and/or bullying (27%)
  • exposure to workplace or occupational violence (14%)
  • other mental stress (9%)
  • exposure to a traumatic event (7%)
  • vehicle accident (3%)
  • being assaulted (3%), and
  • sexual/racial harassment (2%).

Most at risk occupations

Over the five-year period reviewed by Safe Work Australia, the occupations with the highest rate of claims for mental health conditions were:

  • defence force members, fire fighters and police (5.3 claims per million hours), specifically police (6.6)
  • automobile, bus and rail drivers (2.8 claims per million hours), specifically train and tram drivers (10.3)
  • health and welfare support workers (2.8 claims per million hours), specifically indigenous health workers (6.0)
  • prison and security officers (1.6 claims per million hours), specifically prison officers (4.0), and
  • social and welfare professionals (1.2 claims per million hours).

The highest occupation unit groups were:

  • train and tram drivers (10.3 claims per million hours)
  • police (6.6 claims per million hours)
  • Indigenous health workers (6.0 claims per million hours)
  • prison officers (4.0 claims per million hours)
  • ambulance officers and paramedics (4.0 claims per million hours).

The overall rate of claims for mental health conditions (all occupations) was 0.51 claims per million hours, and the frequency rate fell from 0.51 in 2005–06 to 0.43 in 2014–15.

The nature of these occupation groups suggests that workers who receive compensation for a work-related mental health condition tend to be those who have high levels of interaction with other people, are often providing a public service and often doing their job in difficult and challenging circumstances.

Work health and safety duties

The model WHS Act requires an employer to ensure the health and safety of their workers, so far as is reasonably practicable. It defines health to mean both physical and psychological health.

  • Under the model WHS Act, employers have a duty to protect workers from psychological risks as well as physical risks.
  • The best way to do this is by designing work, systems and workplaces to eliminate or minimise risks to psychological health;  monitoring the health of workers and workplace conditions; and consulting with workers.
  • Employers also have a duty to make sure work is safe for those returning after a workplace illness or injury.

Under the model WHS laws, an employer must consult with workers on health and safety matters that are likely to directly affect them, including on psychological hazards and risks.

It also makes good business sense to prevent or minimise risks to psychological health. Work environments that do not adequately manage these risks can incur significant human and financial costs.

Worker responsibilities

Workers have a duty to take reasonable care of their health and safety and not adversely affect others’ health and safety. They must comply, so far as they are reasonably able, with reasonable instructions on health and safety matters, and cooperate with reasonable WHS policies or procedures that they have been notified of. For example, this might include working to job descriptions to avoid role conflict or cooperating with workplace policies to prevent bullying.

People at Work online psychosocial risk assessment tool

Workplaces can use the People at Work online risk assessment tool to identify and manage work-related risks to psychological health and compare themselves to other workplaces.

This free online risk assessment tool is easy to use and includes supporting resources for businesses.

Work health and safety laws require employers to eliminate or minimise work-related psychosocial risks as far as is reasonably practical. Use the People at Work online assessment tool to help your workplace identify, assess and action psychosocial risks.

Early intervention

Employers should intervene if they identify a psychological risk or notice a worker becoming stressed, and support a worker who has lodged a workers compensation claim while their claim is being determined. The earlier a worker is identified as experiencing work-related stress, the sooner steps can be taken to prevent a work-related mental health condition developing or an existing condition worsening.

Best practice psychological claims management begins with recognising the complexity and unique challenges often seen with psychological injuries, and ensuring an injured worker is empowered and supported throughout the claims process.

Recovery and Return to Work

Recovery and return to work relates to supporting workers to come back or stay at work after experiencing a work-related mental health condition. It is important employers ensure workers return to a safe environment where psychological hazards are identified and controlled.

Support

Additional information for workers and employers are available at HeadsUp .

There are a number of services available to people who are feeling depressed, stressed or anxious. They include: