If you’ve ever witnessed the human consequences of poorly guarded machinery you will no doubt be motivated to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

The traumatic injuries associated with this hazard are as horrific as they are avoidable.

Unfortunately, they are occurring all too frequently in the wood and metal manufacturing industry.

We’re in the early stages of creating a tool to make manufacturing workplaces safer, better places to work in.

But we need your help.

Skye Buatava, Director of SafeWork NSW’s Centre for Work Health and Safety said the field of injury prevention has progressed beyond engineering, education and enforcement to improving resilience and safety culture.

“It’s not just about having technical systems in place; ‘safety culture’ is as much a part of the picture as any of these other factors when it comes to injury prevention,” Ms Buatava said.

“The safety culture concept takes a holistic approach to injury prevention and reflects an organisation’s shared perceptions and behaviours in relation to safety.

“It’s about why you do safety as much as how you do it.”

The Centre is teaming up with the Griffith University Safety Science Innovation Lab to improve safety culture and leadership within the manufacturing industry.

The research aims to demonstrate the link between management characteristics, safety culture, and safer use of machines by young workers in ‘traditional’ heavy manufacturing industries (e.g. metal and wood).

“Over the next six months, the Centre will be developing and trialing an industry-specific safety culture toolkit that includes: a free safety culture survey, results report and debriefing; as well as a free online training course for supervisors and managers,” said Ms Buatava.

“This information will help each business identify opportunities and learn how to improve its safety culture.

“We want the toolkit to reflect the industry so we’re talking to managers and workers in wood and manufacturing who are willing to share their experiences and insights.

“We will use this information to develop the toolkit, and then invite participants to take part in two short surveys between May and October this year.

If you run a manufacturing business, know someone who does, and are keen to get involved, please email us.