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Making health and safety work for your company

The Fulton Hogan Seymour Whyte Joint Venture (FHSWJV) is delivering the Bruce Highway Upgrade – Caloundra Road to Sunshine Motorway.

Four years ago, FHSWJV invested time and energy to incorporate health and wellbeing into their project charter. There was no way they could’ve predicted the COVID 19 pandemic would make their three charter project behaviours even more critical to worker’s health, safety and wellbeing. The behaviours of Do the things you say you will do; Do your best and Look after your mates was incorporated into every single interaction at every level of the upgrade project.

Project Manager Roger Murphy said the venture always had an employee assistance program available but felt that it needed to do more for workers’ health and wellbeing, and so developed its own initiatives.

It introduced toolbox talks and awareness sessions covering suicide awareness, financial, behavioural, nutritional and physical wellbeing. Health topics included how to read food labels to choose the healthier option; how to pack a healthy lunchbox to meet a day’s energy needs and information on how poor health and poor relationships can impact personal and work life, increasing the risk in injuring yourself or a work mate.

Another initiative involved working with MATES in Construction to take 80 per cent of the workforce through general awareness training, with another 10 trained as connectors and four with Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST).

And the popular Trademutt high visibility shirts were introduced to start a conversation about mental health, with CR2SM recommending local service providers for their Mental Health Awareness Month sessions so workers could seek assistance outside work hours.

For COVID 19, apart from having COVID plans in place to manage the site and minimise the risk, the personalised message from the management team was: keep COVID outside the gate to keep our project family safe.

For companies wanting to invest in worker health and wellbeing, a good start is the Work Health and Wellbeing Toolkit which has a free Healthy Worker survey and workplace audit tool to help identify your main risks.

Mates in construction
Mates in Construction and CR2SM crews at a mental health toolbox talk.

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