A new worksite safety awareness initiative that aims to “democratise safety” is set to launch across Australia.
Site Safety Alliance will provide site managers and safety supervisors with the tools and information they need to engage workers about the dangers of worksites.
The program takes the form of a monthly information pack that contains safety messaging materials that make workplace safety issues relatable. The information can be used by site managers to hold monthly safety meetings with their workers.
“In my 22 years in the construction industry, I haven’t seen anyone else presenting safety talks in such a way that enlivens workers and actively engages them in safety messaging relevant to their site or sites,” says Site Safety Alliance co-founder Garry Mansfield.
“This is unique internationally.”
Having spent more than 15 years in executive safety roles within the construction industry, Mansfield understands the challenges of communicating workplace safety issues.
“Construction companies today typically approach safety communication through consultation, and usually through a meeting called ‘Toolbox Talk’,” he says.
“But it can be challenging for management to meaningfully connect with workers when there are so many rules and regulations messages coming ‘from the top down’.”
Site Safety Alliance developed its monthly safety packs specifically for these Toolbox Talk meetings. Each pack addresses a specific on-site safety issue chosen on the basis of industry statistics, such as falls from height, nutrition, housekeeping or electrical hazards.
“The Toolbox Talk packages save time and cost by providing site managers with everything they need to present an engaging, effective and consistent safety and wellbeing message for one or multiple sites,” Mansfield says.
The monthly pack includes a comprehensive brochure for managers or supervisors on how to present the information to their workplace, a series of posters and stickers that support the theme, and access to the Site Safety Alliance Facebook group, which provides further tips, giveaways and light-hearted content.
The packs are delivered directly to site, ready for presentation. Mansfield believes the material encourages workers to take a positive approach to safety.
“Our role is to complement compliance and connect from the ground up in a way that cuts through complexity, language and cultural barriers that exist on site, with messaging that resonates with workers as individuals,” Mansfield says.
“We leave the legislative stuff to the regulators.”
Site Safety Alliance co-founder Michael Blumberg says the program’s look and tone of the messaging is unique in that involves workers rather than simply telling them what to do.
“Our research and experience in the field over the past five years has demonstrated higher worker engagement levels with regards to specific messaging by using intriguing visuals and captivating headlines that genuinely invoke interest and consideration, and motivate action,” he says.
Blumberg is a 30-year veteran of behavioural marketing and advertising, and currently the CEO of Target Tradies, a site visitation dedicated to safety and wellbeing in the construction industry.
He says Site Safety Alliance was created due to requests for this kind of content from site managers from worksites big and small across Australia.
“By achieving this in context with the compliance information and requirements around specific issues on site, we get higher levels of attention, engagement and involvement around the topics in a collaborative and positive way.”
The duo believe Site Safety Alliance has the power to reach all tradies and workers at a practical level, encourage them to look out for each other and, in doing so, “shift the dial” on on-site safety and wellbeing.
Site Safety Australia is set for a nationwide launch in May. For more information visit www.sitesafetyalliance.com.au.