At this time of the year we are all busy, often feeling tired, our nerves can be a bit raw and sometimes we are just “over it”. Everyone gets a bit tired and rundown, from kids at school to mums and dads at home or at work.

We all know there’s lots of work to get done to get us through to the end of the year. This may include finishing the harvest, various stock work, that last FIFO swing before holidays, getting that last job finished and having kids end of year school events to attend. This can lead to us working beyond our limit.

We all have a varying capacity to both absorb those extra things thrown at us and our ability to get the job done, this can differ depending on an individual’s work ethic. We should never assume “what I can do is the norm”, then place that expectation on family members, employees or work colleagues.

Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) gives us a legislative framework to guide us, but it doesn’t allow for the cultural context in which us blokes sometimes operate. The cultural context means our approach to risk taking (we are hard wired risk takers); our need to get the job done (task orientated/deadlines); and our approach to winning. These behaviours can cloud our judgement around keeping safe both in the workplace and in our personal life. We need to be aware and manage our behaviour otherwise we will invariably fail in our responsibility to stay safe.

Keeping safe needs to start somewhere, it is no different to our individual health. I always say that my health is my responsibility, it is not my doctors, my workplace or my wife’s. However, my wife is very good at giving me a good kick up the backside to get me to the doctor to do my annual service visit, my dentist appointment or my skin check.

So, when it comes to keeping safe it is everyone’s responsibility. It is up to all of us whether we are in the workplace, belong to a community group, or within our family setting to be vigilant about keeping safe.

Tips to keeping safe:

  •  Constantly remind ourselves about work protocols;
  •  As employers, have realistic expectations of our employees;
  •  Look out for work colleagues, be aware and respond to behaviour changes. Talk to them about it!
  •  Try and maintain a balanced life, we can only do so much before fatigue becomes an issue;
  •  Outside busy times, take time out;
  •  Enjoy what we do.

As another year winds down let’s keep safe by staying focused on the job at hand, so we all can get to enjoy the upcoming holiday break.

Merry Christmas and we wish everyone a safe and festive new year.

Owen and the Team

The Regional Men’s Health Initiative
delivered by Wheatbelt Men’s Health (Inc.)
PO Box 768, Northam WA 6401
Phone: 08 9690 2277