Video Blog: Do You Know What Your Problem Is?

How do you know what your problem is?

For some of us, the problem is we don’t know what our problem is – or at least not all of them.

Why is it that the most frequent incidents are typically the least reported?

There are many contributing factors why many incidents are under reported including, “Because it happens all the time!”

Many organisations have a feel for what their safety challenges are. However, often they lack robust incident data.

We often hear of organisations seeking evidence-based solutions. Yet evidence-based application to confirm that a particular solution fits the work environment appears to be less common.

Improved incident reporting offers the opportunity to analyse incident data in order to identify emerging trends. Following stakeholder consultation, mitigation strategies can then be implemented, monitored and reviewed for effectiveness.

Did you know that for injured workers who have time off work:

  • 52% of those who have not returned to work within 4 weeks will not return to work within 6 months? ^

  • 38% of those who have not returned to work within 4 weeks will not return to work within 1 year? ^

Did you also know that for claims for work-related mental health conditions:

  • The typical compensation payment per claim is around $25,000 which is around 2.5 times the average for all claims. *

  • The typical time off work is around 15 weeks compared to 6 weeks for all claims? *

How many of these claims result from cumulative exposure to the high frequency incidents that are not reported … “because they (the incidents) happen all the time”?

With the rise in workers compensation claims for work-related mental health conditions, perhaps the significance and cumulative effect of smaller higher frequency incidents needs to be reconsidered.

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Take a moment to think about travelling in a vehicle. Every time you travel in a vehicle you put on a seatbelt. Think of the thousands of times in your life that you have put on a seatbelt.

Now think about how many car crashes you have had which is probably very few.

Now, think about those very few car crashes. For some of those crashes, your point of impact might have been only 20 or 30 km/h and you did not need a seatbelt to survive.

So if we rarely have a crash, and knowing that even if we do have a crash we can survive some crashes without a seatbelt, why do we bother to wear a seatbelt every time we travel in a vehicle?

Though it is highly unlikely that we are going to need the seatbelt, we are wearing it in case today is the day we have THAT crash. And on that day, the best time to put on our seatbelt is before the crash, not after it.

The different types of crashes are the problems that you may or may not know you have. The seatbelt is one evidence-based solution for those problems.

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What are you doing to gain clearer insights into the specific safety challenges (crashes) your team is exposed to before the “crash”?

How are you developing continuous think–test–learn–apply loops to implement the best evidence-based solutions (seatbelts) for your safety challenges?

^ Return to Work Survey, The Social Research Centre, 2016.
* Safe Work Australia, 2018.

Image of Travis Holland presenting

Travis Holland
Managing Director
Holland Thomas
Travis Holland email address

My Safety Buddy. Find out more.

Should you wish to discuss strategies to improve your staff’s safety in their work environment, please feel welcome to contact Holland Thomas.

Our goal at Holland Thomas is to create safer workplaces that enhance wellbeing for all concerned whilst also delivering improved operational and financial performance.

This blog draws on our years of experience delivering our M.A.B.™ Staff Safety Training (Contextualised Prevention and Management of Aggressive Behaviours) across Australia and the development of My Safety Buddy, our smartphone app and web portal based lone worker safety solution.

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