The Speak Up About Safety campaign encourages workers and others on worksites to speak up about safety and actively engage in discussions about safety concerns.
While the campaign will kick off with a series of advertisements on the sides of ACT buses, and posters which will start to appear in local workplaces, this will be an ongoing initiative which will expand into other media and forms over coming months.
"While this campaign has been initiated as just one of the responses to the Getting Home Safely report on safety in construction, this is an important message for all workplaces in all industries," Work Safety Commissioner McCabe said at the campaign's launch.
"One of the best ways to prevent workplace accidents is through active engagement of the workers at the coalface in discussions about their safety concerns. Workers will often be alert to safety issues that managers may not have noticed. Supervisors, for their part, may be aware of existing procedures or 'controls' which have been put in place to mitigate such risks. They will also be best placed to take action to address new or previously unidentified risks."
"Work health and safety legislation works best when employers and their workers cooperate to either allay worker concerns or address the real risks workers at the coalface will often be the first to identify," the Work Safety Commissioner noted.
"Workers should be encouraged to raise their concerns about safety. Some of those concerns will be about important safety issues and some may simply reflect a lack of understanding by the workers about issues which have already been addressed. In either case, workers need to be encouraged to speak up rather than say nothing."
"Speaking up may just save a life!"
John Miller, Executive Director of the MBA has indicated his support for the campaign. “MBA-ACT is pleased to join Work Safe ACT and other key industry stakeholders in the launch of this campaign designed to emphasize the absolute importance of good communication and cooperation needed in managing safety and continuously improving safety on local building and construction sites," Mr Miller said.
Both the HIA and the CFMEU have also indicated their support. “This campaign has our total support,” CFMEU ACT Branch Secretary Dean Hall said. “We want to see work environments where workers can speak up and raise their concerns. That’s why we have safety committees and other similar arrangements on construction sites. The workers are the one’s who’ll get injured if something goes wrong, so it’s important that they are encouraged to speak up.”
The Work Safety Commissioner indicated that he was particularly heartened by the support this new campaign has received from employer organisations, such as the MBA and the HIA, and from unions such as the CFMEU.
"I think this campaign shows that employers and unions both care about workplace safety and that there is a willingness here in the ACT for all parties to work together to make our workplaces as safe as they can be," the Commissioner concluded.
The following posters are available for workplasces, free of charge, as part of this campaign:
Call us on 02 6207 3000 to order your posters.
To collect posters please visit the WorkSafe ACT office on level 3 of Callam offices, Easty Street in Woden.