Quirky safety cards

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Conferences usually provide delegates with goodie bags of promotional material from sponsors and speakers. Most of it is dross but the bags often include quirky items such as drink bottles, stress balls, baseball hats, sunscreen, which can also be silly, but occasionally there are some that are useful and notable.

SafeWorkNSW produced a deck of playing cards where safety statements or aphorisms replaced the pictures of two-headed royalty and card symbols. This is the type of item that may be left in a glovebox of a car for times of imposed idleness, but I have only seen playing cards used once on a worksite (exempting the playing of Uno by tax office employees in the early 1980s at the morning break after the tea ladies brought chocolate and cream buns). A construction site I was working at was “rained off” one day and the cards came out.

The use of such safety playing cards is intended to be a useful subliminal way of reminding workers of the importance of safety. Given that the longevity and success fo safety posters is very limited, the card strategy may be worth considering by other organisations.

If you have an example of a useful OHS promotional item, please send through an image and/or a description via this email link.

Kevin Jones

Safe Work Australia’s COVID19 guidance

In mid-March, pandemic advice from occupational health and safety (OHS) regulators was assessed with the generic guidance from WorkSafe Victoria being praised. Many changes to workplaces have occurred since then and Safe Work Australia (SWA) has caught up with the demand for industry-specific guidance on managing work in this pandemic. SWA’s advice is very good and is discussed below.

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Young workers don’t know their OHS rights or their employer’s duty of care – Duh!

On March 10 2020, the Andrews Labor Government and the Minister for Workplace Safety, Jill Hennessy, released a media statement about a “social experiment” involving the safety of young workers, in response to the fact that “about 50 young workers are injured every week”.

The statement said that the campaign is

“… warning employers to protect young workers and making sure young Victorians are aware of their rights through a powerful new campaign …..
[and]
“…is part of a social experiment which saw young workers aged 18-25 asked to participate in a mock job information session for a research company.”

The significant finding was that

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Awards require a new purpose

WorkSafe Awards night 2019

WorkSafe Victoria has just contacted attendees at the 2019 WorkSafe Awards for an evaluation of the event. Although my response below relates to the recent event, it relates to many of the various (and expanding) awards for occupational health and safety (OHS). Here is some of my response to the WorkSafe survey and some suggestions on future Awards strategies:

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Another safety awards night

October each year contains several occupational health and safety (OHS) award ceremonies. Those operated by State OHS regulators used to feed into a national awards night in April hosted by Safe Work Australia, but that fell over. The rejuvenated Safety Institute of Australia, now renamed the Australian Institute of Health and Safety (AIHS) has taken the plunge setting up a new national award process in competition to that operated for many years by the NSCA Foundation and, to a lesser extent, the awards by the various State-based OHS regulators..

According to a media release from the AIHS:

“The Australian Institute of Health & Safety (AIHS) is proud to announce the creation of the Australian Workplace Health & Safety Awards (AWHSA), to be held 27 May 2020 at the Melbourne Convention Centre, and annually thereafter”

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