Top 6 Mental Health and Workplace Safety Messages so Far in 2019

workplace safety FIFO workers

With the end of the financial year quickly approaching there is mounting pressure to set out budgets for the year moving forward and plan where your business is heading for the rest of 2019. As quickly as 2019 is moving, so is mental health and workplace health and safety (WHS) training. To finish up the 2018-2019 financial year we thought we would summarise some of our most popular posts over the past six months

Best practice for safe manual handling

Earlier this year we reviewed a recent publication that provided a summary of lessons learned from companies who implemented ergonomics programs to reduce musculoskeletal injuries, as a result of manual handling activities. Companies spend countless hours training and implementing participatory ergonomics programs. However, the research questioned if this effort was actually making a positive impact on manual handling injuries or whether we have got it wrong.

Keep your employees engaged and interested in safety training

Whether you’re new to the workforce or you’ve been employed for decades, you would have sat through safety training at some point in your career. When it comes to workplace safety there are two things that are true to any business:

  1. all workplaces have hazards, and
  2. all staff need regular safety training.

There are a large number of ways that safety training can be delivered, some more interesting that others. Delivering the same ‘stock standard’ safety training will quickly lead to staff boredom, disengagement and complacency. Providing a more meaningful and impactful training schedule is imperative to workplace safety. To help you keep your employees engaged in safety training we have put together our top 10 tips for engaging training.

Get your training records in order for safety compliance

The end of financial year is a great time to ensure all your business affairs are in order – from budgets to strategy, and goal setting to compliance. Most organisations spend both time and money on ensuring their employees are sufficiently trained to meet safety compliance. But does your organisation keep accurate and useful training records that tracks ongoing evidence of competence?

In the case of a serious workplace incident or fatality, training records are imperative for a business to show it has met its compliance requirements. Earlier this year we took a look at some information provided by the MyBusiness forum around employers legal responsibilities for safety compliance. In this post, we investigated how to protect your business in the event of a serious workplace incident or accident and looked at the importance of training records to prove safety compliance.

Mental health first aid training in the workplace

Business wants to find different ways to improve the wellbeing and mental health of their employees. Sometimes when an employee requires assistance, they will seek advice and help from their direct manager or supervisor. Unfortunately, many people who are in these roles do not feel they’re prepared or qualified in how best to respond in these situations.

As a result, many organisations are turning to mental health first aid training to assist their front-line leaders. A recent paper that we read evaluated a number of research studies that looked at whether mental health first aid training is effective. The results from this paper showed that mental health first aid programs have a positive impact as they

  • increased participants’ knowledge regarding mental health
  • decreased negative attitudes
  • increased supportive behaviours towards individuals with mental health issues

Family friendly rosters for FIFO workers

If you live in Australia, particularly Western Australia or Queensland, you are probably more than aware of fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) work. There has been a large amount of research that has been conducted about FIFO rosters and the stress they place on families and relationships. In late 2018, research was published and conducted by Peta Miller that investigated the suicide risk and social support for Australian resource sector workers on FIFO rosters.

Earlier this year the Western Australian(WA) State Government released the long awaited Code of Practice – mentally healthy workplaces for fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) workers in the resources and construction sectors. We reviewed the code of practice and had a look at whether family friendly FIFO rosters are the answer to the issues surrounding FIFO worker mental health.

Employee wellbeing and productivity

Happy employees are productive employees, at least according to a review conducted by the British Safety Council. Fair wages, relationships with line managers and colleagues, job design, degree of responsibility and authority, workload, working hours and opportunities for career development are all vital components of workers’ wellbeing. Our previous article – it’s time to link employee wellbeing to productivity – looks at the research that was recently completed and assesses the link between wellbeing and productivity.

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