Delivering the Safety Message with Whiteboard Animation

Take care of itSo how are you getting the safety message across in your organisation?

We’d like to think that all of our employees are listening intently to the safety messages delivered and are engaged in making the workplace safe and inclusive for them and their colleagues.  We all know our responsibility of communication when it comes to safety and compliance.  Informing the workforce of safety initiatives and their involvement is essential so we need to know that the information is received and understood.

But how do you do this? There are many ways to communicate the safety message. For example: toolbox meetings, distributing policies and procedures, presentations, online inductions and even face to face training. With technology leading the way in proactive and effective learning, whiteboard animation is a proven technique to ensure your employees receive the message clearly and concisely.

Whiteboard animation is a time-lapse effect and sometimes stop-motion and gives the effect of someone drawing on a whiteboard. For educational purposes Whiteboard animation has had proven success in audience engagement. The message comes across “uncluttered” by delivering information creatively in the form of a story which is easy to follow and fun to watch. When someone watches, they engage and when someone engages, they learn!

Our friends at TAKE CARE OF IT have got an expanding library of these hand drawn health and safety videos for your use. A subscription to the video library is reasonably priced and will give you access to the videos as well as safety posters. Increase your engagement by more than 91% it really works! Go to the Take Care of It site to learn more the easy way.



Working in or around Mobile Plant


The interaction between powered mobile plant and pedestrians needs to be managed and monitored to keep your construction site safe. Worksafe Queensland tells us there are around 200 serious injuries involving mobile plant in the construction industry every year.


Qld’s Work Health and Safety and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2015.

Jo Kitney from Kitney OHS has this to say about the new government’s proposed changes to legislation

On 7 May 2015, the Queensland Government introduced the Work Health and Safety and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2015. The objectives of the Bill are to deliver on the Palaszczuk Government’s election commitments as part of their Improving Safety for Queenslanders’ at Work Policy.


Change of Government = Changes on the Horizon

Jo KitneyJo Kitney from Kitney OHS has this to say about how the recent change of Government in Qld affects Work Health & Safety

With the change of Qld Government in February, it’s fair to predict change ahead for WHS.  Chapter 4 of the  Qld Labor State Policy Platform 2014 tells us Labor’s intentions for IR and workers compensation. Amongst others, they have committed to restore the original elements of the harmonised Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

At a recent breakfast seminar hosted by a Brisbane law firm they advised that we are likely to see strict enforcement of the chain of responsibility legislation in the trucking and logistics industry, increased prosecution and other enforcements, as well as action to address work related health hazards such as noise and diesel particulates.

If your business is based in Queensland it is worth subscribing to WHS Queensland’s e-news to keep up to date with changes on the WHS horizon. Here is the link:


23rd Safety Awards Launched

NSCA2015The National Safety Council of Australia has launched the 2015 National Safety Awards.  

This is the 23rd year for this long running independent awards program and organisers expect record nominations from a wide field.

The awards recognise outstanding dedication to providing safe, productive and sustainable work places committed to everyone going home safe from work.

Winners in previous years have demonstrated exceptional safety solutions by integrating safety as a business priority and demonstrating innovation, proven return on investment and compliance with work health and safety standards.

The overall winner of the 2014 National Safety Awards of Excellence was Transdev Australasia for their ‘Safety Starts With Me’ campaign aimed to engage with workers to strengthen Transdev’s safety culture, further embed safety as core value and reduce injuries.

The campaign adopted a multifaceted approach with a consistent safety message tailored to their business, locations and staff.  They result was a 14% decrease in their Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate, across overall operations, between 2012 and 2013.

Other winners included Bechtel GLNG Plant Project and the Pittwater House Schools for Best Continuous Improvement of a WHS Management System, Speedie Contractors and BHA Equipment for Best Solution of a WHS Risk (Small Business category) and New Future Alliance for Best Solution to a WHS Risk.

 Aplications and nominations can be made for the 2015 NSCA Awards at



Meet The Experts – SafeAbility from the Hunter Region

SAB-LogoBusinesses in the vibrant Hunter region of NSW are fortunate to have access to a dynamic work health and safety consultancy company called SafeAbility

Caroline Burg started SafeAbility in 2013 to specialise in building capability within client organisations or businesses so their safety performance continues to improve over time and remains sustainable.

They now have a small but talented team of four providing highly skilled professional services.

Caroline is passionate about WHS and this shows in her client testimonials. SafeAbility are well placed to work with a variety of clients on a broad range of safety related projects by bringing well over 40 years of combined experience in health and safety to the table.

SafeAbility offer a complimentary 60 minute consultation with business / organisation owners and managers to assist them to determine their risk profile and what gaps they may have in managing their safety risks.

Professional Services offered by SafeAbility include:

  • Develop and implement WHS Policies & Procedures
  • WHS Consultation
  • On-site Inspections & Audits
  • Information & Coaching
  • Safe Work Method Statements
  • Risk Assessments
  • Safety Planning
  • HSR Training

Principal Consultant, Caroline has more than 30 years of experience in the health and safety arena. Caroline’s experience in occupational health and safety has been well supported by her 20 year background in nursing. She is a passionate safety and quality advocate and loves working with people.

Caroline has worked both strategically and operationally with managers, staff and volunteers from many companies and organisations in a variety of industry sectors.

Caroline’s qualifications include a Graduate Diploma in OHS (University of Newcastle) Bachelor of Nursing (University of New England), OHS Auditor Accreditation, Certificate IV: Assessment & Workplace Training, National OHS Construction Induction (White Card) and Quality in Action certificate.

Caroline also has skills and training in ICAM Incident Investigation, Project Management Fundamentals, Integrated Management Systems and Community Sector Management. Caroline is a Chartered Professional Member with the Safety Institute of Australia (SIA) and also sits on the SIA NSW Branch Committee.

You can contact Caroline @ or call us on 1300 773801 and we will put you in touch.


Does Your Safety Measure Up?

tape measureThere are several reasons why it is important to measure health and safety performance. The primary reason is to gather information and data relating to the effectiveness of the strategies and procedures in place.

Measuring health and safety provides information about how the system is working and forms the basis of continual improvement. If measurement is not carried out correctly, the effectiveness of your safety management system is undermined and there is no reliable information to inform managers how well risks to health and safety are being controlled.

Most organisations generally struggle to develop health and safety performance measures which are not based solely on injury and ill health statistics. While the general business performance of an organisation is subject to a range of positive measures like profit, return on investment or market share.  For health and safety it too often comes down to measures of failure such as injuries and lost time.

Measuring performance is as much an important part of a health and safety management system as it is to financial, production or service delivery management.
The primary purpose of measuring health and safety performance is to provide information on the progress and current status of the strategies, processes and activities used by an organisation to control risks to health and safety.

Health and Safety performance measurement should seek to answer such questions as:

  • Where are we now relative to our overall health and safety aims and objectives?
  • Is our management of health and safety efficient?
  • How does our performance compare to previous years? Are we getting better or worse?
  • How successful are we at controlling hazards and risks?
  • How do we compare with others?
  • Is our culture supportive of health and safety?
  • Is the safety management system deployed across all areas of the organisation?

The aim should be to provide a comprehensive picture of the organisations health and safety performance.

Different levels of management will require information appropriate to their position within the organisation. And there is an increasing need to demonstrate to external stakeholders (like regulators and shareholders) that the processes in place to control health and safety risks are operating correctly and effectively too.

The measuring process itself is an essential element of the safety management system and also needs to be monitored. This might be done using a team approach involving managers, supervisors, employees and safety representatives. Tracking performance is critical to continual improvement and success. Reviewing performance internally helps to continually improve your system of safety.

So how does your system of managing safety measure up?

Where performance is measured, performance improves. Where performance is measured and reported, the rate of improvement accelerates.  Thomas S. Monson


Safety Management System Essentials

Safety planA Safety Management System is part of the overall management system that an organisation uses to control and govern key activities. It contains policies, procedures, processes and resources for maintaining WHS compliance and managing WHS risks.

Having a well designed Safety Management System in place assists organisations to meet their obligations under the WHS Act.

Firstly the senior management needs to be committed to ensure engagement and leadership in WHS performance. Officers of the business must exercise “due diligence” to ensure that the business complies with health and safety duties. Best practice is for the leadership team to be trained in their responsibilities under the WHS Act. One popular tactic is to provide access to a suitable VET level training course.Many of these courses are now available online allowing busy managers to complete a government approved course without attending off site training.

Once trained managers can assess their organisation’s current WHS position. Then they should be involved in subsequent follow ups and reviews. This performance review process will identify recurring injury trends, risk hot spots and gaps in the management system.

Having an effective Safety Management System in place will assist officers of the organisation meet their obligations under the WHS Act.

Next, senior management should plan realistic objectives and targets against which they will measure the performance of the organisation. Plans should include strategies for communicating and engaging workjer, implementation and frequency of WHS audits, the activities required to being the organisation to full compliance, procedures for regular review of progress and budgeted resources allocated to achieving these ovbjectives.

The third step is implementation of a systematic approach to managing WHS compliance. One successful tactic is to bring together a core iopentation team with senior management authority. This team runs information and briefing sessions with staff,  prepares and distributes information and ensures WHS is a leading agenda item in management and workers meetings.

The team does not take away the need for senior management involvement however. It is key that the CEO level introduce the objectives and vision for the organisation to ensure everyone understand the importance of the placed on compliance.

Workers should be trained in policies and procedures as early as possible in the employment cycle. Many organisations use the initial staff induction to train new staff about the WHS policies and procedures. Many employers are now turning to low cost online safety inductions to deliver key information about the WHS policies and procedures. Online inductions can be completed by the new staff member on their own time and before they arrive on site.

The following stage is critical. Once people are trained and the WHS policies and procedures implemented, it is necessary to measure and evaluate performace In this way you can drive continual improvement and align with the stated goals of the organisation.

Systems need to be developed that measure WHS performance. Many organisations use manual systems for recording the number of incidents and accidents, lost time injury and the number of hazard inspections. These do a fine job but typically  the larger employers need systems that handle scale. These organisations turn to application specific WHS software.

Current safety management software solutions allow the capture and processing of incidents, near misses and hazards from the field, in real time. Other key functions include the ability to assign control actions and automatically follow up and escalate exceptions. Some systems even manage return to work procedures and perform risk management and internal audits.

With software all these workflows are automated and integrated in a WHS safety management system allowing the organisation to manage WHS compliance across large workforces and easily report on performance.

Finally the system should be reviewed on a regular basis to identify what is working and where improvements can be made. Engaged staff can be involved in this process and bplay vital role in the ongoing success of the system.






Bring Your Own Mobile WHS Systems


IMS Smart Device 2Smartphone ownership in Australia has more than doubled in the last four years with over three quarters of the population now owning a device.

And 57% of Australians consider their smartphone their number one device.

As a result businesses are taking note. An Aberdeen survey of a sample of medium sized enterprises pointed to evidence that the use of mobile apps designed specifically to help employees get their work done increased productivity by 45%.

At the same time operational efficiency increased when enterprise apps were made available.

This is not lost on businesses looking for the next source of competitive gain. The drive for mobility is part of the business technology agenda for most companies today.


That strategy is being helped along by the emergence of the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy. Enlightened employers are recognising they do not have to supply employees with smartphones and tablets. Workers bring their own to work every day. And when given the choice, they would prefer to use their own device at work.

So IT departments that used to focus on managing licences and controlling hardware security, now wrestle with how best to integrate the needs of the mobile workforce and still maintain security of the corporate data.

Of course some data is just too critical to be distributed onto mobile devices that are walking out the door at five o’clock.

Use of Mobile WHS Systems

Mobile strategies work best when they not only allow staff to work away from the office, they facilitate and promote connections between staff, customers and systems. Productivity comes from using mobility to connect staff in real time with each other and enabling them to share business information around freely.

Fortunately, these features are also very attractive benefits of a good Safety Management System. No wonder that businesses are embracing the growing number of mobile apps on the market today designed specifically to allow users to report workplace incidents and hazards, conduct site inspections, report on non-compliance, manage risk and conduct field audits.

Currently there are mobile safety apps available that perform just about every user interface function of a full Safety Management System. Using these light weight mobile apps hosted on the worker’s own devices an organisation can build a complete safety management system with most of the functionality of an enterprise system but at a fraction of the cost. All that is left is to solve for a secure integration with the  company database.



Return to Work Warning

Safe at workWorkSafe has issued a reminder to pay particular attention to safety when returning to work after the festive season.

WorkSafe WA Commissioner Lex McCulloch said today that people returning to work after the festive break needed to be especially mindful of workplace risks.

“Nine Western Australians have lost their lives in work-related incidents so far this financial year, and employers and workers should remain vigilant and aware of any potential risks,” Mr McCulloch said.

“Management and safety and health representatives should be conducting pre-start inspections of workplaces and worksites that have been closed down over the festive period to ensure risks are minimized.

“Unfortunately it’s all too common for workers to remain in “holiday mode” after the festive season, and a lack of proper attention to the task at hand – especially in the more hazardous areas – can have tragic consequences.

“I urge every employer and worker in WA to reacquaint themselves with the safe methods of work applicable to their workplaces and jobs before launching into a fresh year of work.

“In 2011/12, WA recorded 17 traumatic work-related deaths, with 19 in 2012/13.  There were 17 fatalities in 2013/14.

“In addition, every year around 18,000 Western Australians suffer an injury or illness serious enough to have to take time off work.

“It is particularly important to be vigilant at this time of year.  Nine work-related deaths is nine too many, and we all have the right to return home from work safe and healthy every day.”