Safety experts get their chance to shine

“The harmonisation of Australia’s OHS laws has given health and safety a place in the sun. How we take advantage of that is a question safety professionals need to answer.”

This will be WorkSafe Victoria director Stan Krpan’s message to delegates gathered at the Safety in Action Conference on April 22.

During his presentation Mr Krpan will give his views and report on Victoria’s progress toward the National OHS Strategy’s 2012 targets.

“It’s time to convert the energy from the controversy of the harmonisation debate into
making better safety outcomes,” he says.

Many of those in the audience will be members of peak OHS professional body, the Safety Institute of Australia, which is presenting the Conference.

Mr Krpan says they should be confident Australians now put a higher value on workplace safety.

“WorkSafe urges safety professionals to hold the faith that safety is important and the community is behind you,” he says.

“Now is the time to start preparing for the introduction of the new laws. The indicators are that the economy is recovering and when business begins to invest again, it should be in safe outcomes. This has an enormous impact on attracting the right workers.”

Mr Krpan attributes the growing awareness of workplace safety to WorkSafe Victoria’s social marketing and repositioning of inspectors’ roles. While workplace safety is
yet to garner the same media attention as car crashes, Mr Krpan says WorkSafe Victoria’s advertising campaigns have been effective.

“Workplace safety incidents are generally less public and less graphic than the aftermath of a car crash and, at the same time, the workplace toll is about one-tenth of the road toll, so media coverage is more muted,” he says. “We have learnt a lot from the TAC and our advertising positions the importance of safety in terms of family and
the community.”

Mr Krpan says national targets for 2012 are “aspirational”, but Victoria is the best-positioned state to meet them.

“The need to push harder to improve safety has worked very well for us and
challenged the health and safety community,” he says.

The Safety Institute of Australia will hold the Safety in Action Conference from April 20
to 22 at the Melbourne Convention Centre.

Mr Krpan will address the conference on April 22.

Australian Exhibitions & Conferences Pty Ltd
Ph: 03 9654 7773