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Your Trades is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all our workers. Your Trades further recognises its responsibilities to provide a safe and healthy work environment for contractors, clients, visitors, and the public.

Safety at Work, Zero Harm were not phrases that appeared in the work place when I commenced in a shipyard in the early 1960’s as an apprentice the safety message when using an Adze (a sharp tool for shaping timber rather like a chipping hoe) was stand in a drum in case you slip or mishit and you would keep your legs intact.

Today we hear the catch words Work safely, Drive safely, Be safe. But if I may be so bold Safety is a case of Personal Perception.

 While driving to work this morning I saw many different Personal Perspectives of driving safely eg.

  • The speed limit is a guide only, 10klm over is okay! NOT SO
  • The double line, it’s okay to pass as long as you get away with it! NOT SO
  • The Red light at the intersection, meant I still have time to make it across the intersection! NOT SO
  • The pedestrian can wait it easier for them to stop not me! NOT SO

Sadly Personal Perception of the rules and regulations and not obeying them is the reason so many do not complete their journey and arrive home safely.  Things are no different in the workplace for many say it’s OK as long as you don’t get caught or are involved in an incident or an accident resulting in injury, pain, and suffering.

This morning I made a commitment to my family as I left for work, I will see you tonight, and it is my responsibility to honour that commitment.

Now that I have your attention let us consider how to PLAN, PREPARE, PARTICIPATE & PERFORMANCE REVIEW. to honour that commitment


Planning needs to be an essential activity when we are involved in a high risk activity. When working in Construction we are involved in a number of high-risk activities.

  • In the Construction Industry we recommend your planning should include the formation of a document, SWMS (Safe Work Method Statement) this document draws on the personal experience and knowledge of each member of the team and reflects the relevant acts, regulations and codes of practice to identify the hazards and risks associated with the task and draws up a procedure which will put in controls and steps in place to complete the task efficiently and safely.
  • Always remember a SWMS is a live document which can be changed at any step through the process when a new hazard is identified or a simpler, safer procedure is identified.


Preparation requires the team:

  • To prepare the work area
  • All unnecessary waste and equipment to be cleared away to allow clear access to the work area
  • Have the right tools for the task
  • When we use the correct tools for the task we reduce the hazards and risks which can be associated with incorrect tooling
  • Ensure all tools and equipment are in good working order and suitable for the task
  • Review the SWMS to satisfy ourselves that each team member has a good understanding of the work process and completely understands each of his individual responsibility, when all agree with the written work statement have each person sign off the document
  • Ensure we are fit and rested and ready to perform the task


  • Now its time to put our planning and experience into action with each team member completing the task in a safe manner following the agreed steps of the SWMS
  • Taking the time to look out for our team members and other workers in the vicinity ensuring we do not cause our fellow workers to be subjected to unnecessary hazards and risks
  • Always remember if you feel unsafe at any time STOP, ASK, REVIEW and when happy move forward
  • Our objective should always be to complete the task efficiently and safely always meeting the relevant acts and regulations and codes of practice
  • Lets reflect on the commitment we made with our families when we left for work this morning, I will see you tonight!


It is always important to review each activity on completion. We need to ask ourselves these questions:

  • Was the task completed safely with no injuries to our fellow workers?
  • Was the task completed with no damage to plant and equipment?
  • Did we follow the steps of the SWMS?
  • Do we need to modify the SWMS to ensure a more efficient and safe completion of the task? If yes, make the notes NOW!
  • The task has now been completed let us now honour our commitment to our families by travelling home safely.

Our Commitment to safety does not only apply to the workplace.

We need to adopt the safety attitude in all that we do.


Article written by Russell Cobine