What is a Safety Champion?
A Safety Champion is a person who works with the organisation’s health and safety system to set a good example, and to encourage and inspire other workers to make positive changes that help create and maintain a safe and healthy workplace.
The specific role of a Safety Champion may vary depending on what best suits the organisation that they work in and the level of authority they have been given by their employer. In some organisations the Safety Champions might have volunteered for the role, in other organisations they could be elected by workers or selected by the employer.
Safe Work Australia says;
“Using the campaign kit, everyone can support a safety culture at their workplace and promote best practice work health and safety initiatives.
Anyone can Be a Safety Champion—workers, employers and organisations, from any industry, can all champion work health and safety at their workplace every day. Everyone can promote and mobilise the values, attitudes and behaviours for work health and safety at any workplace in any industry”. (Use this link to find the Safety Champion resource materials on Safe Work Australia’s website https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/national-safe-work-month )
Safety Champions can be particularly useful in organisations that have numerous worksites and can be an important factor in helping to establish a positive safety culture and compliance with WHS legal requirements even though the worksites are geographically widely spread out.
Tips for Successful Safety Champions
Here are 4 basic tips on being successful in your role as a Safety Champion. You may want to consider and amend the 4 tips below to suit your needs and workplace.
Every day complete actions that will forward your purpose as a Safety Champion. Keep a diary to record what you did and the wins you had. The time for reflection in making a diary record can assist you greatly in staying motivated and to come up with bright ideas to handle situations that may arise.
By your actions, words and attitude let others see your care and commitment to the health and safety of everyone in the workplace and the environment.
Stay focussed on creating and maintaining good working relations with all managers and workers at your worksite.
Be aware of the environmental requirements and the hazards and risks that exist in your workplace and how those risks have to be controlled in the context of health and safety and environmental legal requirements.
Safety Culture and Safety Champions
The word “safety culture” covers the things that people in an organisation do or don’t do, their ways of doing things and their behaviour about safety and it also covers the attitudes, beliefs, opinions and values that they have generally agreed upon that are the reasons for their behaviour and doing what they do or don’t do about safety. The activities of a Safety Champion can have a very positive effect on the safety culture in their workplace.
What members of the group do, and their ways of doing tasks.
The attitudes, beliefs, opinions and values that the group shares that are the reason for their behaviour and doing what they do.