October 30, 2019

Safe Work Month

Safe Work Month is a national health and safety awareness campaign developed by Safe Work Australia. This year’s theme, “Be a Safety Champion,” is about highlighting that anyone, employers or employees from any occupation, can be a champion for work health and safety. Everyone can support a safety culture in the workplace.

At Northern Health, we have Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) who have taken on the role of being a Safety Champion for their work group. HSRs are the highly dedicated representatives who work to maintain a safe and professional workplace.

One of them is Steven Micallef, who works in the Engineering team. To him, safety means the, “team gets to go home at night without incident and feel that they can work in a safe environment every day.”

“At the start I wasn’t sure why I was voted in, but I took on the role and have been able to provide information to our team at meetings. Also, I was making sure we were always doing things in a fashion which meant that we could reduce the risk of injury significantly to the point where we don’t have any incidents at all,” he said.

His colleague, Nathaniel Gee, is a Senior Clinical Physiotherapist in Acute Services at Broadmeadows Hospital.  He is the HSR for the Allied Health area and safety to him means, “we all go home happy and well.” He put his hand up to become an HSR because he is involved in the Physiotherapy Wellbeing business plan.

“I think that wellbeing and safety go hand in hand. I also believe that safety is good for everyone… patients, staff and the organisation as a whole,” he said.

I see my role as HSR as providing a listening ear to my workgroup on the ground and also being an advocate for safety. Being a HSR also allows me to help push through safety issues to management and make sure they don’t fall through the cracks,” he added.

Today, at the Melbourne Health and Safety Month Conference, Suzanna Tan, Manual Handling Risk Coordinator, will present on the Patient Handling Injuries Review of Systems (PHIRES) toolkit she has worked on with WorkSafe Victoria to improve and reduce patient handling injuries.

The month of events culminates in WorkSafe Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner on 31 October, where Winnie Tjong, Injury Management Coordinator,  has been nominated as a finalist for the RTW Coordinator Excellence award – good luck Winnie!

Steven Micallef, HSR

Featured Image (left to right): Julie Mason, HSR for Support Services; Roderick Greig and Sivanjini Devi, HRSs for Ward 17 (ICU); Jaxxon Roberts, HSR for Quality and Safety