Safe Work Week is the perfect time to remind people how they can continue to make Queensland workplaces safer.
What is Safe Work Week?
Safe Work Week (SWW) 2013 is part of a national event that encourages all working Queenslanders to get involved in health and safety in their workplace, helping to reduce death, injury and disease.
Why is it important?
Most working Queenslanders put in a good, hard day’s work and come home a little tired or dirty, but safe.
Tragically though, around 25 Queenslanders die each year as a result of traumatic workplace incidents, and over 5000 suffer a permanent injury.
These deaths and injuries carry with them a devastating and personal impact on workers and their families, with a significant financial cost to the Queensland community.
Forever young – Tim’s story
Forever young – Tim’s story highlights the emotional struggles and wider impacts on family and friends for Bill Martin whose son, Tim Martin, died at the age of 17 after he received an electric shock at work.
Mr Martin shared the personal story of his son to raise awareness of the need to make electrical and workplace safety a priority for every business.
Who is at risk of workplace injury or illness?
National data on work related injuries shows that in Queensland, the rural industry recorded the highest rate of serious injuries in 2005–06 and 2010–11, followed closely the manufacturing industry.
Across those six years, construction, transport and storage, manufacturing and rural were consistently in the top five industries with significantly high rates of injury among workers, well above the average rate for all industries of 15 serious injuries per 1000 workers.
Young workers are at high risk of injury and illness at work, because they have limited work experience, are still developing and maturing and are less likely to speak up about unsafe work environments or practices.
On average, 16 young workers are killed in Queensland every year.
But there is good news – Queensland’s performance has seen significant improvement over the last three years with the injury rate improving by 19.6 per cent since 2007-08.
What you can do to improve work health and safety?
Safety at work is an issue that concerns everyone — employers, employees, their families and the community.
Everyone at work plays a role in reducing the risk of injury, illness and death in a workplace.
- Hold your own event during Safe Work Week to highlight what your company is doing to make the workplace safer.
- Ensure staff are involved in identifying risks and finding solutions on a regular basis and work with companies in your supply chain to ensure the safety of all workers involved in producing your product or service.
Workplace Health and Safety Queensland has produced a range of materials designed specifically for young workers. Visit www.worksafe.qld.gov.au for information on young workers.
For most of us, the most important reason for being safe at work is our family and friends. Take some time to reflect on your most important reason and the things you can do to make sure you arrive home safe each day.
Workplace Health and Safety Queensland
WHSQ Facebook photo gallery
Last year around 9000 people attended work-based events held for Safe Work Week. This year WHSQ would love to see what your workplace is doing so send them a photo of your event and it could appear on their Facebook photo gallery.
How are you going to recognise Safe Work Week and celebrate your most important reasons to work safe?
Don’t forget to like their page so you can see when they post your photo and you can share it with your friends.
WHSQ on Twitter!
Twitter provides a convenient way to receive updates and stay in touch with all things health and safety in Queensland as they happen. Follow @WorkSafeQld and #whsq to get updates on topics such as:
- workplace health and safety legislation
- latest published items
- workplace health and safety tips for managers, safety advisors and workers
- upcoming events
- general workplace health and safety information
- incident alerts.
Use this as a guide to ensure you have not missed any important planning details.
- Decided on your event theme, objectives and audience?
- Selected a few key messages to support your overall theme and objectives?
- Selected an event date and time?
- Allocated an event budget?
- Selected an event team, started a planning timeline and allocated team tasks to help organise the event?
- Uploaded your event to the Safe Work Week calendar www.worksafe.qld.gov.au
- Sourced and booked any audio-visual (AV) requirements? (see VENUE/AV checklist)
- Chosen your venue? (see VENUE/AV checklist)
- Prepared an attendees list and distributed invitations?
- Sourced and booked any catering?
- Developed an event run sheet?
- Confirmed who will do what on the day and provided them with task instructions?
- Organised a photographer who can capture your event?
- Sourced and confirmed any approvals you may need from your team members, manager or director?
- Contacted any local media to get involved with your event, e.g. local newspapers, community magazines?
- Printed suitable hand out materials for attendees, e.g. fact sheets, posters, agenda?
- Designed thank you letters or certificates for any sponsors or key volunteers, acknowledging their support?
- Received RSVPs and confirmed final catering numbers to your suppliers?
- Scheduled in people to help you pack down the event?
- Held a briefing session prior to the event to ensure all equipment is working properly, speakers have had a practice run through and everyone is comfortable with their tasks for the day?
- Don’t forget to arrive at the venue early to ensure everything is set up in time, set up the day before if possible. Hold a de-brief after the event to discuss how successful it was and considerations for next time?
- Check that your venue has an up to date first aid kit or that you have a kit you can use in case of emergency?
- Packed an ‘event toolkit’ that includes items such as blu tack, pins, sticky tape, double sided tape, gaffer tape, stapler, lots of pens or pencils, eraser, black marker pen, scissors, paper clips, rubber bands, spare name badges, safety pins, needle and thread, paracetamol, bandaids and post it notes?
Use this as a guide to ensure you have not missed any important planning details.
Make sure you…
- Conduct site inspection.
- Check room capacity and ensure it suits your event requirements. Will it fit your estimated number of attendees?
- Confirm with the venue how you would like the room set up (theatre style, classroom, cocktail, U-shape etc) and provide them with a seating chart if necessary.
- Decide where you will position your catering area, water/coffee/tea station, AV, computer, decorations and where guests will sit/stand.
- Check where electrical power points are located in the room and ensure it suits your event requirements. If playing music or having entertainment check sound restrictions with your venue as this may impact performers and your AV requirements.
- Read any terms and conditions thoroughly.
- Book and pay deposit.
- Check what equipment you will need, e.g. PowerPoint, projector, microphone, TV or DVD player and if any of these are provided free of charge. Always consider having a back up microphone and a second copy of any presentation files on hand. Remember to sound check the microphone before the event begins.
- Do not forget about the registration area, you may need name badges for your guests. This area needs to be large enough to get guests in and out without blocking access to the room.
- Check what time you can set up and pack down, some venues let you access the room the day before a big event.
- Check the parking requirements at the venue.
- Do vehicles need permits or car park vouchers?
- Consider whether any guests require special access such as wheelchair ramps or a lift.
- Always check the toilet facilities. Make sure they are clean and presentable for guests and that the number of toilets can cater for your number of guests.
- Check for hazards, for example slippery floor surfaces.
- If your event is held outdoors, consider hazards such as wind, heat or even wildlife (snakes, ant bites) and ensure you have ways to manage or minimise the risk.
Visit www.worksafe.qld.gov.au for more information on risk management.