A harmonica, mandolin and life lessons learned from toddlers could be the new weapons in the war against workplace injuries estimated to cost Australia $31 billion annually.
April’s Safety In Action Conference organised by Australian Exhibitions & Conferences , will hear how the offbeat entertainment style of Victoria's Health Services Commissioner, Beth Wilson, has helped the medical profession discuss its failures.
Beth Wilson will perform her signature song, “There aint no bugs on me”, at the Safety In Action Conference with her band, the Disinfectors.
And while Beth Wilson loves to entertain, education is not far behind. The audience of occupational health and safety professionals shares the need to communicate serious and often, sensitive messages and as Victoria’s Health Commissioner, Beth Wilson has shown that fun is every bit as effective as fear.
“We want to encourage people to come forward rather than to discourage them,” Beth Wilson explains.
“We depend on goodwill to be effective and need to be approachable. Fear has its place only when someone is recklessly negligent and that is the right time to point out what the law requires.”
Working with human nature to enhance safety will also be advocated by Cristian Sylvestre of workplace safety consultancy, Safetrain. Cristian Sylvestre will tell conference delegates that the number one cause of workplace injuries is simply rushing.
Cristian Sylvestre said a Canadian survey of 400,000 people in 300 organisations found most injuries were caused by one or a combination of four critical errors, including eyes not on task; minds not on task; people moving into or being in the line of fire; and a loss of balance, traction or grip.
Researchers also found that when the critical errors were made, workers were usually in one of four states: rushing, fatigue, frustration and complacency.
“Although human error is a part of everyday life for everyone, there has been reluctance and, in some cases, a great reluctance, to look at reducing the unintentional mistakes we all make that can get us hurt. It is much more popular to try and fix something.”
“While blaming someone is useless or worse, doing nothing means you accept that the injury was not preventable.”
“If you look at the four critical error states, you can recognise the ones that most apply to you and learn to overcome yours.”
Sponsored by WorkSafe Victoria and hosted by the Safety Institute of Australia (Victoria Division), the Safety In Action Conference will be held from April 29 to May 1 at the Melbourne Convention Centre, while the concurrently held Safety In Action trade show will be at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre.