The impact death and injuries can have on a small town

Risk Matters - Autumn 2020

Great Eastern Wheatbelt RRC Chris Gilmour tells a story about a local grader operator who had a near miss with a small child.

“The (grader) driver was a grandfather and it really shook him up,” he said. “We had a meeting and reviewed workplace practices and added kids running out as a potential risk. “The guy had a day or two off because it really did affect him.”

Regional Risk Coordinators play an important practical role, helping members proactively identify potential risks and developing strategies to reduce them. They also connect members with specialist LGIS services such as manual handling, which aims to reduce worker injuries on the job.

Slips, trips and falls are seemingly minor, but can also have a big impact on a farming community.

“Guys think it’s okay to just jump down from the truck steps, but they can do a knee or an ankle,” Chris said.

RRC’s work with staff to make sure they consider the safest way to carry out their regular work tasks. Toolbox meetings and training are a vital avenue in tooling people with the knowledge to understand the risks and look after their own safety.

“If someone’s injured and they are away from work, jobs aren’t being done at the local government, so works programs can fall behind and that can in turn cause big issues in the community,” Chris said.

“There’s a moral expectation that people will return home from work in the condition that they left for work.

“Death or injuries in regional WA can have an impact on the community because these towns can be like an extended family.

“If someone is seriously injured and ends up in the hospital it brings the mood of the whole town down.

“If someone dies, it shatters a community.”

Call 08 9483 8888 to talk to your Regional Risk Coordinator about manual handling or any other health and safety issues in your community. 


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