EXEC 10 TIPS : Workforce safety starts at home

In some workplaces, non-work injuries make up more than 90 percent of lost hours caused by injury, and the majority of these occur at home. These absences have significant impact on productivity and profitability in the workplace. Try these ideas to keep your staff injury-free at home and save your business time and money.

1 Promote good health and safety practices in your workplaces
If health and safety is priority in your workplace, this will influence your staff’s awareness of the importance of home safety and lead to good habits at home.

2 Get Safety WorkOut
Every year thousands of working days are lost due to staff being injured at home. Safety WorkOut is programme for organisations to use to address non-work injuries and lost work hours which can be tailored to meet your specific needs. For more information call your ACC account manager or local injury prevention consultant on 0800 844 657.

3 Analyse your workplace data on lost work days
Audit the causes of lost work days at your organisation to spot common trends and enable you to tailor your programme. By knowing the extent of the problem, you can better manage the impact of home injuries. It will also give you reason to talk with your staff about helping reduce the number of home accidents and lowering the impact on workplace productivity.

4 Use team meetings to reinforce safety messages
Here are some talking points you may want to include: around one in seven Kiwis will be injured in the home this year; more injuries happen at home than anywhere else – including the road or sports field; 40 percent of home injuries are caused by slips, trips and falls.

5 Use internal communications
Include simple home safety statistics or tips in your staff newsletters, on payslips or on your intranet.

6 Run competition
Encourage staff to send in photos or stories of them doing something in their home to make it safer or to send in ideas of how to make the home safer.

7 Display posters with safety tips
Put up posters in busy areas promoting simple home safety tips to help keep your staff injury free. Refresh posters every couple of weeks to keep the interest of your staff. You can download posters at www.homesafety.co.nz.

8 Organise home safety presentation
Give presentation on the shocking number of home injuries and simple ways your staff can prevent accidents from happening at home. You can download selection of different ‘Did you know?’ presentations to show your staff from www.homesafety.co.nz.

9 Play an online game
Circulate the following link to ‘Fame or Shame’, an interactive video-based tool designed to get people talking about home safety: www.fameorshame.co.nz/.

10 Get involved in Safety NZ Week
To help prevent injuries in the home, ACC is running Safety NZ Week, its annual campaign, from Monday August 30 until Sunday September 5. If you would like to be updated and involved with this year’s campaign, email [email protected]. M

Keith McLea is the ACC’s general manager, injury prevention.

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