A new national safety initiative called the Site Safety Alliance aims to make it easier, faster and more cost-effective to engage workers in a culture of safety.
The campaign’s approach avoids top down messaging that may not be relevant to the current issues on the worksite. Instead, it has developed monthly safety packs for the building and construction industry.
Each pack deals with a specific top-priority issue around safety on site that is based on industry research and statistics, delivered directly to the site or head office for presentation to workers on the job.
“Construction companies today typically approach safety communication through consultation and usually through a meeting called a ‘Toolbox Talk’, but it can be challenging for management to meaningfully connect with workers, when there are so many rules and regulations messages coming ‘from the top down’,” Site Safety Alliance Co-Founder Garry Mansfield said.
“Our aim is to democratise safety and make it relatable to workers on all levels. We provide the tools to allow managers and supervisors to work collaboratively with workers to achieve mutually beneficial safety outcomes.”
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Site Safety Alliance’s Toolbox Talk packages are designed to save time and cost by providing site managers with the materials they need to present engaging, effective and consistent safety and wellbeing messages for one or multiple sites.
“In my 22 years in the construction industry, this is unique internationally – I haven’t seen anyone else presenting safety talks in such a way that enlivens workers and actively engages them in safety messaging directly relevant to their site or sites,” Mansfield said.
“We leave the legislative stuff to the regulators. Our role is to complement compliance and connect from the ground up in a way that cuts through complexity, language and cultural barriers that exist on site, with messaging that resonates with workers as individuals, encouraging them to act in positive ways around the content being presented.”
Site Safety Alliance Co-Founder Michael Blumberg said that what makes this program unique is that the look and tone of the messaging does not ‘tell’ workers ‘what to do’, but instead, involves them in the theme and content by connecting them in positive ways that influence attitudinal change.
“Our research and experience in the field over the past five years has demonstrated higher worker engagement levels with regards to specific messaging by using intriguing visuals and captivating headlines that genuinely invoke interest and consideration, and motivate action,” Blumberg said.
“By achieving this in context with the compliance information and requirements around specific issues on site, we get higher levels of attention, engagement and involvement around the topics in a collaborative and positive way.”