Safe Work Australia Chief Executive Officer Michelle Baxter has encouraged all Australians to make work health and safety their 2015 New Year’s resolution.

“The beginning of the year signifies the ‘fresh start’ the majority of us use to make personal improvements or strive to be better,” said Ms Baxter. “So in 2015 rather than committing to just a personal change, focus on something that will also benefit your work-mates, family and the broader community. Improvements to workplace health and safety don’t have to be difficult or expensive tasks. They can increase productivity, and could save someone’s life.”

If you have not already done so, Safe Work Australia recommends introducing a system of managing the health and safety risks in your workplace using a risk management approach. The model Code of Practice on ‘How to manage work health and safety risks’ provides a step by step guide to: identifying hazards, and assessing, controlling and reviewing risks.

If you want to improve your management of health and safety, Safe Work Australia recommends:

  • Make health and safety the first agenda item on both your management and team meetings.
  • Review your risk management systems.
  • Consult workers to identify areas for improvement.
  • Organise training or refresher training.
  • Organise speakers from work health and safety regulators, industry associations or professional bodies relevant to your workplace.
  • Host or attend work health and safety training sessions or events.

You could also view some of the educational presentations and information from the Australian Strategy Virtual Seminar Series on the Safe Work Australia website, or visit the Commonwealth, state or territory work health and safety authorities for resources.

“Getting people committed to health and safety only happens if they really understand why it matters to them, their workmates and their employers,” said Ms Baxter. “This year why not make sure everyone at your workplace knows the real costs of getting safety wrong and the real benefits when we do it right.

“By focusing on these issues employers, workers and the broader community can bring about real change not only for the New Year but for years to come—helping us all achieve the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-2022 vision: healthy, safe and productive working lives.”