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Workers Urged to Snap, Speak Up, and Save Lives.

media release
October 18 2019

The NSW Government has unveiled a new mobile reporting system that will give workers the ability to anonymously report dangerous working conditions to the workplace healthy and safety regulator, SafeWork NSW.

The tool, called ‘Speak Up. Save Lives’, was announced by the Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation, Kevin Anderson. Anderson, via a statement, said it would “make it easy” for workers to report potentially fatal workplace  risks.

The tool, a smart application for mobile phones, will allow workers to send up to three photos to SafeWork NSW. The app will use keep the user’s location and details anonymous if they so wish.

The app is expected to go live in early 2020 and will be free of charge.

Senior Workplace Health and Safety Manager from Employsure, Larry Drewsen says, the principle of the initiative is simple: “No one should go to work and never return home.” Adding, that safety is easier when there is a collaborative effort, “From front-line workers and employees all the way to upper management, it’s essential that everybody works together to ensure every Australian worker arrives home safely and without injury after each and every shift.”

Mr Drewsen says safety is a collaborative effort: “Whether you’re a worker, an employee, employer or business owner, everyone has the right to feel safe at work. No workplace should be unsafe to work in, and injuries or fatalities should not be tolerated.”

“Whether your workplace is in the offices of the corporate headquarters city buildings, in a warehouse, in the field, on the road, or anywhere else, making sure your workplace ensures you and your team are safe when doing their job is the number one priority.”

“Lives change forever when there’s a serious injury or death in the workplace. The victims, their families, employers, co-workers, paramedics, and all those involved.”

Mr Drewsen said while the initiative was positive, he had some concerns about the effectiveness of the app.

“In principle, a forum for workers to have easy access to report issues to the regulator is a positive initiative, particularly in situations where issues are not being addressed by management,” Mr Drewsen said.

“However, my concern is that because of the ease of access, workers will be more inclined to go straight to the regulator and bypass the consultation process, thus undermining one of the key objectives of the health and safety system.”

“My real fear is that issues may not be addressed until the regulator, who is already stretched, is able to respond. The potential consequences [there will be] injuries that may have otherwise been prevented through the consultative process.”

“A focus of Employsure’s service is to assist clients in building a positive health and safety culture within the workplace, a critical factor in achieving continuous improvement in the management of health and safety.”

By sharing your knowledge, you can help prevent your workplace and co-workers from becoming a statistic:

  • Over 100,000 serious workplace injury claims are lodged in Australia every year1
  • Untreated mental health conditions cost Australian workplaces approximately $10.9 billion per year2
  • 81 per cent of Australian small businesses admit they don’t fully understand their workplace safety obligations3
  • 1 in 3 small business employers don’t know where to go to find help; admitting they rely on Google for answers4

The initiative coincides with the annual National Safety Month run by WorkSafe Australia in October to spotlight the importance of work health and safety. As the leading workplace specialists for over 25,000 small and medium businesses across Australia, Employsure encourages employers to get involved in the annual awareness event and welcomes the announcement, as a step forward to create healthier, safer and happier workplaces.

To access the tool visit Speak Up on your mobile device.

 

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Media Enquires.

[email protected]
tel: 1300 651 415

 

Notes to Editor.

  • Employsure is Australia and New Zealand’s leading workplace relations specialist, helping over 25,000 small businesses to confidently manage their staff each day. For more information visit employsure.com.au
  • Interviews with Senior Workplace Health and Safety Manager at Employsure, Larry Drewsen are available upon request

 

Sources.

[1] https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/statistics-and-research/statistics/disease-and-injuries/disease-and-injury-statistics

[2] https://www.headsup.org.au/docs/default-source/resources/bl1270-report—tns-the-state-of-mental-health-in-australian-workplaces-hr.pdf?sfvrsn=8

[3-4] https://employsure.com.au/research/workplace-safety-index/