Staying safe down under

2007

You've got to give Australians their due for being quick to notice and quick to take action! A billboard erected as part of the WorkSafe campaign in Australia resulted in a number of phone calls reporting unsafe work practices with respect to the billboard itself.

In 2006, Australia suffered 29 work-related deaths. The more cynical among us might scoff at that number, which does seem relatively low. Still, those are 29 families torn apart over a useless death. Any number other than 0 is unacceptable and should be every employer's goal.

As part of the WorkSafe campaign, mannequins were installed on the billboard in unsafe positions and performing unsafe tasks. Over 40 calls reporting the "behavior" were reported to authorities.

As campaign director John Merritt pointed out, such response shows that people are finally realizing (and accepting) that unsafe workplace practices are not the norm and should be dealt with, indeed stopped.

I applaud the notion of civic duty showed by Australians in helping to reduce workplace accidents.

Despite our best efforts, governmental intervention isn't always the most successful solution and it's good to see people taking an active role in reducing the number of work-related deaths in Australia. Maybe that's why the number was already low to begin with!

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