National HSE Manager James Elward – ‘Generation Safe and Healthy’

As we approach the 2018 World Day for Safety and Health at Work, it’s an opportune time for reflection on this year’s theme ‘Generation Safe and Heathy’ and what this means to us here at Enviropacific.

The theme this year is aimed at raising awareness globally of the risks faced by young workers, and the need for frameworks that protect them from harm and exploitation.

The vulnerability of young workers to serious workplace injuries in Australia is well established. It is often thought that the lack of experience and exposure to high risk workplaces creates a lack of appreciation of risk, and in a traditional safety environment this stands true.

For our team at Enviropacific we are not immune to this, however whilst we must always remain vigilant in the face of risk, our younger team members present a positive opportunity to innovate and see things in a different light without the biases of ‘that’s the way we’ve always done it’.

Embracing change, innovation, open mindedness and inclusivity in all our efforts will undoubtedly present the best opportunity for success, bringing balanced and diverse views to the table. After all, ‘if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got’.

Two-thirds of our people at Enviropacific are under 40, close to half of those being under 30, whilst not lacking in some level of experience this represents a large proportion of the business who are still developing their careers along with their understanding and perceptions of risk.

This also uncovers a cross section of generational demographics to whom social expectations of health and safety have evolved from the traditional regulator led landscape of previous generations.

The principle that everyone who goes to work should expect to return home safely has become a societal expectation, and the moral obligation placed on organisations to protect their workers from harm is stronger than ever.

Every day is a great day for Safety, however initiatives such as World Day for Safety and Health at Work provide a great opportunity to take time to reflect on what’s important, and look for opportunities to harness the diversity within our teams to deliver the best outcomes for everyone.

It is a time to shift the drivers for positive safety outcomes away from the fear of legislative non-compliance and towards one that focusses on our people, the social acceptance of harm prevention and the moral obligations that we owe each other to create safer and healthier communities for all.

James Elward
National HSE Manager

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