SNG with QRMCThe first Safety Networking Group meeting for 2016 was held on 26 February, hosted by QRMC.

Topics included a ‘Mental Health at Work’ presentation from WHSQ’s Safety Leadership at Work team, and a discussion of the safety challenges when undertaking electrical works.

An overview of the Mental Health at Work presentation is detailed below.

The next SNG meeting is earmarked for May 2016.

 

 

Mental Health at Work

The Safety Leadership at Work Program is designed to improve safety culture and contribute to reducing work-related injuries and fatalities in Queensland workplaces. The program is multi-faceted with work undertaken relating to the core themes of leadership and safety culture.

As part of this work, energy is being dedicated to developing a framework to target Mental Health at Work. This recognises that employers have a responsibility under the WHS Legislation, as part or general risk management duties, and that there is considerable benefit, both to the organisation and the individual.

Jennie Hunter and Teegan Modderman from the Safety Leadership at Work team presented on Mental Health at Work at the recent Safety Networking Group function, outlining that Mental Health is viewed along a continuum ranging from ‘Healthy’ (which involves normal functioning) to ‘Injured’ (with functional impairment) and ‘Ill’ (with a diagnosable mental illness).

With a clear view of what is a mentally healthy workplace – one which identifies and manages work-related mental health hazards including stress, bullying, occupational violence and physical and mental fatigue – the recommended approach is to design a mentally healthy workplace that is built on a solid foundation of an effective OHS management system.

To promote a mentally healthy workplace, organisations should:

  • Utilise visible leadership, engaging with workers to positively influence culture and provide the necessary resources
  • Foster a supportive culture and environment, encouraging workers to actively participate
  • Identify and control risks by using the information provided in available resources (see below) to work towards managing the risk factors, with a focus on engineering out the risks by workplace redesign
  • Learn, and continually improve, communicating and celebrating the small wins to build momentum, and ‘test-run’ any initiatives via a pilot program.

While a Strategic Plan and Industry Action Plans are in development, a range of resources relating to mental health at work are currently available at:

https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/injury-prevention-safety/mental-health-at-work

http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/swa/about/publications/pages/good-work-design

The Safety Leadership at Work team have an ongoing relationship with the Safety Networking Group and this will assist in keeping the SNG members up-to-date as the pipelined activities develop.

A webinar series is scheduled for April, exploring the findings from national safety climate and culture studies across a range of industries. Information is available at:

https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/whats-on/safety-leadership-at-work-workshops/slaw-events-calendar/events/webinar-introduction-to-safety-culture-and-climate

 

ABOUT THE SNG:

In 2005 QRMC founded the Safety Networking Group for senior safety professionals working in the greater Brisbane metropolitan area. QRMC continues to coordinate and arrange for speakers to present at quarterly meetings and discuss information on contemporary WHS issues. Group members also share information from their workplaces or industries, which other members frequently find interesting and useful.

More information on the Safety Networking Group can be found on our website. Senior safety professionals contemplating attending meetings in Brisbane can contact QRMC to express an interest.