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Returning home is the most important reason for working safely

November 17, 2016

Returning home is the most important reason for working safely
Driving a heavy vehicle is considered to be one of the most dangerous jobs in Australia (SafeWork Australia, 2011; Transport Workers’ Union of Australia, 2011). There are also many roles within the transport and logistics industry that have their inherent safety risks.

The reason Chain of Responsibility (CoR) laws have been introduced is to help protect heavy vehicle drivers, workers in the transport, freight and logistics industries – and all road-users – from incidents caused by fatigue, speeding, loading, dimension and mass compliance breaches.

Often, CoR is viewed as a ‘stick’ approach to enforcing the rules. But WorkSafe Victoria has reminded workers that the most important reason for staying safe at work isn’t at work at all (or avoiding fines) – it’s at home.

The Victorian safety regulator runs an annual campaign called ‘Jobs at Home Day’, which encourages Victorian workers to order a personalised name badge with their ‘job at home’ title from www.jobsathomeday.com.au and wearing it at work on Friday 9 December 2016, the official Jobs at Home Day.

An example of a job title is provided by the Victorian WorkSafe Chief Executive Clare Amies, who says her badge reads: Homework Monitor.

Ms Amies says the idea behind the campaign is to get employers and workers to discuss safety and the reasons to stay safe at work – so they can return home to their loved ones safely.

In 2015, more than 9,600 Victorians participated in the Jobs at Home Day. Now in its fourth year, the campaign aims to influence safety discussion among workers by celebrating special jobs they do when they get home from work.

Strategy to succeed

Is this a strategy that might succeed at your workplace, regardless of which state or territory you operate in?

Are your workers not connecting with your messages of why it’s important to obey CoR laws – are they missing the point of a safe working environment?

“Too many families will not get to wake up and enjoy Christmas morning with their loved one because they never made it home.  When someone is seriously injured or loses their life in a workplace incident, it has a ripple effect on everyone connected with that person – their family, friends and co-workers,” Ms Aimes says.

Is that a toolbox talk or a safety chat your workers need to hear, followed by a reminder about their CoR obligations?

For the latest details about CoR, written plain English by the transport experts at Holding Redlich lawyers, subscribe to CoR Adviser – a monthly newsletter full of CoR-specific information that’s easy to read and digest, all located in the one place.

It makes sense to know and understand your CoR obligations. As WorkSafe says “Everyone deserves to go home from work safely, every day.”