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National Safe Work Month: What it means to KINNECTers

Announcements 28 Sep 2023

October is National Safe Work Month. An initiative led by Safe Work Australia, it aims to “Encourage all individuals and organisations to prioritise safety in their workplaces and work towards reducing the number of work-related injuries, illnesses and fatalities.

Safe Work Australia data shows that each year up to 200 workers are fatally injured at work and around 120,000 workers are compensated for a serious work-related injury or illness.  While the number of serious injuries and fatalities have significantly reduced the last decade, much still needs to be done to embed a conscious safe work culture in all organisations around Australia.

The concept of ‘safe work’ at KINNECT signifies the embodiment of our core commitment to ensuring every individual can perform their tasks without harm or hazards. KINNECT’s Chief Operating Officer, Dave Hughes explains:

“Safe work is aligned with our core values of highly, skilled, happy people creating sustainable value. It reflects our dedication to fostering highly skilled professionals who prioritise safety, while also ensuring that their well-being contributes to creating sustainable value, ensuring a happy. safe productive work environment for everyone involved.”

That’s why we’re taking part in the “For everyone’s safety, work safely” National Safe Work Month campaign. To promote this message, and understand what safe work means and what we can do on a practical level, we’ve collected the perspectives and advice of KINNECTers around the country on this year’s four key themes.


1.     Working together to manage risks.

At KINNECT this signifies a collaborative approach where all stakeholders actively engage in identifying, understanding, and addressing potential challenges. This ensures not only the safety and well-being of everyone involved but also the sustainability and success of our operations.

What you can do:

“Injury prevention services (job dictionaries, manual handling training, onsite physio/exercise physiology programs) are a great way for employers to better understand the job demands of the role and empower workers with skills to manage these demands.” – KINNECT Sydney Team

“The most important way to manage and reduce risk in the workplace is to eliminate a risk altogether. If a risk cannot be eliminated, it must be substituted, engineered, isolated or PPE application used to reduce the risk.” – Drew Bettison, Lead Project Manager

What we do:

“Managing risk for KINNECTs clients firstly involves discussing with the client what the high-risk areas of the company are. From there KINNECT can employ a range of workplace health safety strategies from manual handling training, risk assessments, ergonomic assessments, drug and alcohol testing, fatigue management training, respirator fit testing, onsite health surveillance medicals or workplace assessments. The Projects team will coordinate with our clients their needs, then coordinate with the clinical team to deliver the services need to create health certainty for our clients.” – Drew Bettison, Lead Project Manager


2.     Working together to protect workers’ mental health

Being experts in preventing and managing workplace injuries, KINNECT are acutely aware of the impact mental health issues can have in the workplace.  We believe that every employer, including ourselves, should not just be identifying the physical risks in their workplace but working with their team members to identify and implement strategies to mitigate psychosocial risks that can have a severe impact on their people.

What you can do: 

“Look out for early warning signs. Staff will rarely ask for help as this may be looked at a sign of poor time management or productivity. Early signs include quality of work decreasing, motivation lacking, changes in mood.” – Jake Dornan, Team Manager, Nundah

“Employers can organise regular face-to-face meetings with employees individually, so everyone has a chance to express any concerns they have privately.” – Hazel Ng, Occupational Health Nurse

What we do:

“The K10 and DASS questionnaires are a great tool to use to help protect our client’s mental health as they give us an indication of mental health symptoms and a progression of those symptoms with each subsequent use.

“Even simple skills like active listening and validation can be critical for our clients in showing them that we hear their concerns and are here to support their recovery and return to work.” – KINNECT Sydney Team

“KINNECT has many systems in place to assist with our employee’s mental health including regular meetings to review workloads, monitoring of productivity and caseloads to ensure no burnout, flexibility within the workplace to complete your work where you feel best and should all this fail, the ability to have counselling with a psychologist free of charge,” – Jake Dornan, Team Manager, Nundah


3.     Working together to support all workers

Successfully creating a safe and healthy workplace rests on fostering an inclusive environment where every individual’s needs are recognised and addressed. We prioritise collaboration and engagement, ensuring that everyone regardless of their vulnerabilities, has equal access to opportunities, support, and growth. We aim to empower and build capability of all our employees and clients to make workplaces safer, healthier, and more productive.

What you can do:

“Have an accurate understanding of people’s differences whether this is ethnicity, religion, sex, or gender so that workers are not exposed to unintentional bias within the workplace. This can be achieved through diversity and inclusivity training.” – Jake Dornan, Nundah Team Manager, Nundah

“In-person appointments are a great way to support vulnerable workers by providing a greater sense of interpersonal connection.” – KINNECT Sydney Team

What we do:

“We review all job tasks and the requirements of the role then provide training to everyone on the correct way to perform that work task. For example, KINNECT can perform customised manual handling training, where our consultants attend the workplace, review the requirements of a job role, then provide customised manual handling training to all workers in the same session so everyone gets the same training to reduce the risk.” – Drew Bettison, Lead Project Manager


4.     Working together to create a safe and healthy workplace in the future

We’re acutely aware that the face of work, and consequently safe and healthy work practices, is changing. With the adoption of new technology such as AI, and emerging industries in sustainable energy production and environmentally friendly product manufacturing, new roles will be created that each have their own risks and hazards.

New technology and treatments in healthcare will also change how we approach health surveillance, rehabilitation and injury management in the workplace. KINNECT are committed to staying abreast of these changes, adapting and innovating approaches that will help us keep our clients and our employees safe and healthy.

What you can do:

“The future of WHS takes a more biopsychosocial approach to work health and safety. Employers will need to take into consideration the workers mental health, physical health and home situations, to manage risks at the workplace. Are they keeping up to date with their required health monitoring? Do they adopt healthy lifestyle patterns outside of work, and how can the workplace help in promoting it?” – Drew Bettison, Lead Project Manager

What we do

“With the increasing exposure and reliance on AI and machinery, we are moving away from a lot of hard and labour-type industries as these become automated. Also, we are having increased debate and conversation about working patterns (four-day work weeks for example), which may allow people to lead healthier and safer work lives.” – Jake Dornan, Team Manager, Nundah

“WHS has increased over the past few years, and its significance will only continue to increase in the future.  For KINNECT, this future will involve more injury prevention services like manual handling training to better equip workers with tools and strategies to ensure they can operate safely at work.” KINNECT’s Sydney Teams


Where to next to improve workplace health and safety?


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