Wellington staff grasp the importance of safety

Every year, New South Wales’ Wellington Council looks at new and innovative ways it can send the OH&S message to its employees. In 2009, Council used an innovative mock trial to demonstrate just that.

Council’s OH&S and Emergency Manager, Bryson Rees, said the aim of the trial was to further educate staff on roles, responsibilities and the consequences when safety goes pearshaped.

He said an outstanding 106 of Council’s 135 employees attended the OH&S mock trial.

“This was a fantastic result, especially when you take into consideration staff on leave and the need for a skeleton staff to keep essential services running,” he said.

Five staff members were involved in the trial by roleplaying a scenario that involved an untrained person using a loader and causing an accident.

“Our Operations Manager, Paul Polansky, took on the role of the loader operator, while staff member Trent McQuillan played the role of General Manager,” Bryson Rees said.

“Other staff members played the supervisor, judge and the clerk of the court.

“These role reversals added to the overall experience, providing participants with a new perspective of their colleagues’ roles and responsibilities.”

The trial was held at the civic centre, with former police prosecutors travelling down from Sydney especially for the day.

Bryson Rees said the day was very successful as it gave all staff a realistic impression of what could happen when OH&S guidelines are not adhered to.

“It also highlighted what would happen in a trial in that situation and has made staff more aware of the need for training,” he said.

“Feedback following the trial has been very positive, with staff more appreciative of OH&S as a result.

“Some comments from people were that it was interesting, and that they hadn’t thought about OH&S and its consequences in that way before.

“We are always looking at different ways to get the message across and keep reminding staff about safety.”

For further information contact Bryson Rees on (02) 6840 1757.