In this article, we look at two areas of concern – the ability of employees to recognise, recall and report a workplace hazard and how engaging training methods can help; and the management of employee’s mental health and wellbeing.
Two major concerns for workplace safety
Business is required to provide a safe workplace for their employees, contractors and visitors. Today employee safety goes beyond a physical injury focus to also include psychological injury. We look at two areas of concern – the ability of employees to recognise, recall and report a workplace hazard and how engaging training methods can help; and the management of employee’s mental health and wellbeing.
Hazard perception: We can’t see the wood from the trees!
One strategy to reduce physical injury exposure is training. Recently, there are serious calls to address the way safety training is delivered. Too many organisations have gone down the path of overloading their safety inductions. Many have ended up with jargonistic ‘death by power point’ training that fails to have an impact on reducing workplace fatalities, injuries and near miss events. Research shows that for any power point presentation your audience drifts off at the 7-minute mark. There is a serious need to train differently to encourage engagement and employee interactivity.
Safety induction training is predominantly a time where new employees can be alerted about hazards and risks in their work environment. The goal here is to inform employees of hazards to look out for as they work and to encourage ongoing hazard reporting. There are 4 recognised steps in the hazard reporting process:
1) seeing the hazard,
2) determining that the hazard is a risk to employee safety,
3) determining how likely the hazard will create harm, and
4) reporting and rectifying.
Noisy and busy work environments can make some hazards hard to detect. It is here where additional training efforts are needed to teach how to spot a hazard in your work environment.
Perception of the risk of the hazard by the employee to create harm or injury, plays a significant role in determining if the hazard poses any risk to them. This is especially problematic when employees do the same job every day and perform the same tasks repetitively. It is here that engaging training methods influence how a hazard is evaluated. Once a hazard has been recognised it needs to be assessed as creating a significant level of risk to be deemed important enough to report, record and rectify it.
Developing a mentally healthy workplace
There’s been a whole lot written about workplace mental health over the past year or so. What has come out is managing employee mental health should not be a ‘one size fits all’ approach. The answer is to offer new programmes and multiple offerings to encourage continued user engagement. The ultimate goal of any mental health programme is to encourage people who are not doing so well to reach out and seek help.
The key to successful delivery is to once again encourage user engagement. Business can provide:
- Anti-bullying policies
- Manager and leadership training
- Resilience training
- Stress management
- Employee Assistance Programs
- Support and training for employees returning to work from a mental illness
- Employees with increased job control
- Training and awareness programs for all employees to reduce stigma and support work colleagues.
How can Tap Into Safety help?
The Tap Into Safety Platform helps organisations to improve hazard perception skills and identify staff groups with mental health issues early on. You can begin your training as you usually do with some introductory slides on your company, it’s mission, vision and values and at that crucial 7 minute mark hyperlink into the Tap Into Safety cloud hosted platform to take an interactive tour of specific workplace areas using our 360 degree panoramas where your new employees work through the hazards and are assessed on controls and critical control measures.
Our mental health training helps employees to identify heightened levels of stress, anxiety and depression. Practical coping strategies are offered. The solution provides an alternative method of a non-confrontational way to encourage help seeking.
Access to the platform and substantial pre-built training content for safety and mental health is via our per use 'credits' pricing model, with no lock in contract or annual license.
For Carbon Group clients we are offering a 20% discount for the first year. Please mention your Carbon Group Representative when you contact us.
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