Safety in Action Sydney was held over three days early last week at the Sydney Showground with workplace health holding centre stage at the expo.
Drawing delegates and visitors from multiple sectors across Australia, Safety in Action Sydney had several free seminars and panel discussions covering the importance of a healthy workplace, with the long queues an indicator of the relevance of the seminar topics to all kinds of industries. Participants displayed keen interest in such areas as mental health in the workplace, and the impact of drugs and alcohol on productivity.
Commenting on the safety exhibition’s success, Exhibition Director Tony Francis said that a high number of people from a really good cross-section of industries reflected the importance of the subject.
In the panel discussion titled ‘Happy Workers = Higher Productivity’, Dorienne Spennato from AccessEAP emphasised the importance of a mentally healthy workplace based on the fact that one in four Australians will experience an anxiety disorder at some point in their lifetime. The Mental Health Foundation Australia (MHFA) estimates anxiety and depression to be the cause of 6 million working days lost each year in Australia and 12 million days of reduced productivity.
Sharon Leadbetter of the Mental Health Association of NSW cited the example of PwC Australia, which found that for every $1 invested in workplace mental health, there was a $2.30 return thanks to the massive increase in productivity.
During the panel discussion on ‘Drugs, Drink and Work’, Phillip Collins of the Australian Drug Foundation quoted the alarming statistic that $6.04 billion of the total societal cost of alcohol misuse can be attributed to the workplace sector, accounting for much more than other sectors including criminal justice, traffic accidents and the health system.
Ian Jameson from Integrity Sampling stressed that no organisation was immune from drug and alcohol misuse and offered the implementation of a ‘Fit for Work’ policy as an effective solution.
Safety in Action Sydney also had a busy exhibition segment, which showcased various new products and services on the showroom floor. Highlighting the opportunity that Safety in Action offers its exhibitors to market their products, Francis said they received lots of positive feedback about the amount of business accomplished right on the show floor.
The hotly contested Stand Awards saw Millsom Materials Handling winning the Best Stand 18m² & Under award for their hoists and industrial lifting equipment; while the Best Stand 18m² & Over went to Visionsafe for their cutting-edge ear/eye face and head protection equipment. Evac+Chair International was awarded the prize for Best Stand by a New Exhibitor with their innovative range of evacuation chairs and accessories to help those with restricted mobility.
CleanScene, a trade expo focused on the cleaning, hygiene and safety industries was co-hosted with Safety in Action Sydney.