A recent study has found that the level of safety knowledge amongst workers varies with some key demographics, organisation characteristics and regulator influence.
It was found that lower levels of safety knowledge were more common among young and less experienced workers*, especially within the production industry, agriculture and fishery sectors, but also in sales and marketing. It was also quite low in those who worked on temporary contracts or in small businesses.
The study concluded, that this self-reported lack of knowledge, indicates a poor level in the general duty of care of many companies to provide adequate instruction and training to these worker groups. In manycases, this may be linked with the way training programs are designed *.
Interestingly, it also found countries with a higher rate of inspectorate visits reported higher knowledge levels, and companies with a well-defined health and safety plan also had higher safety knowledge amongst its workers.
So, what should you do?
- Ensure your company has a documented and clear health and safety plan.
- Improve your training programs to inform at risk workers e.g. young workers, and sales staff, etc…
- Seek assistance from external providers such as the regulator and consultants, if required.
* A recent project conducted by Safety Action also supports these findings. If you would like to know more about common at-risk worker groups and improving your safety program to meet their unique needs, contact Stephen Weber on (03) 9690 6311.