Launched by the Minister for Employment Eric Abetz and held around Australia throughout October, safety month encourages people to concentrate on safety in their workplace to reduce work-related injury and illness – which costs more than $60 billion annually.
Statistics show there’s still much work to do. In the past decade, the number of work-related deaths has dipped by 40 per cent to 191 people in 2013 – the lowest number on record, according to Safe Work Australia. “But it’s still 191 too many,” Abetz says. “More than 600,000 Australians are injured or made ill at work each and every year. And almost one-quarter of these require a week or more off work to recover.
This year’s event theme is Work safe. Home safe – a reminder that the most important reason for making a workplace safe, is to return home. It’s designed to encourage workers to think about the impact staying safe at work has on not only themselves but also those closest them.
But to make that theme a reality requires commitment from all levels in a workplace, which is why the campaign is designed to put safety front-of-mind not just for managers. “Safe Work Australia Month encourages everyone – workers, their employers and the community – to make work health and safety a priority,” says Abetz. “Raising awareness about this vital topic will save lives, be it someone in the community or even someone close to you – a friend, family member or loved one.
Senator Abetz hopes Safe Work Australia Month and the Virtual Seminar Series will give individuals, businesses and the general community “a platform to start a conversation about work health and safety”.
In 2014, the highlight of Safe Work Australia Month is the inaugural Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy Virtual Seminar Series (VSS), a free online program showcasing the latest research in work health and safety. It will also include presentations from national and overseas work health and safety experts, discussions with CEOs, and live online panels with business leaders.
“The safety month app [information below] contains the details of these events and is a great way to quickly search for something in your area,” says Safe Work Australia’s acting chief executive officer, Michelle Baxter.” It also allows you to watch or take part in the VSS from your mobile device.”
Ways to get your HR team involved…
AHRI events and guides
Attend a safety event
Work health and safety regulators in each state and territory are holding events throughout October for you to attend. Find out what’s happening in your state.
Watch a workplace safety virtual seminars
The Virtual Seminar Series is a free month-long event with live interactive panels and videos by business leaders, academics and work health and safety experts. Themes covered are: leadership and culture, responsive and effective regulation, agriculture and road freight transport industries, and small business.
Download the free event app
Become a Safety Ambassador
A Safety Ambassador is a workplace representative who can help get your workplace involved in Safety Month. Registered Safety Ambassadors receive exclusive access to an online resource kit. Learn more about becoming a Safety Ambassador.