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Health and Safety reporting is not just about filling out forms when something goes wrong. The sharing of information around all sorts of workplace occurrences help form a robust representation of your organisation and what your Workers experience. There is another side to storytelling than we may not have realised.

While you do need to report incidents and events internally, and sometimes to WorkSafe NZ (see our examples of Notifiable Incidents), you also need to ensure your team are aware of what happened. They also need to know what is being done to minimise the risk and likelihood of it happening again. Discussing it at your Toolbox meetings and asking for input helps everyone to see the whole picture and makes your Workers feel valued for their ideas.

  • Use a ‘no blame’ approach.
  • Use good questioning techniques such as “What was different about how the job was approached today?” (following an incident). “What could be done better?”

But also, and just as important, is recognising when things go well or when someone does a great job. This ultimately benefits the whole team and creating a culture of good storytelling is key in your communication plan.

Storytelling Example One

A staff member notices a colleague has tightened up a loose lunch table leg. They share this with the team and/or management and everyone feels grateful that the table now won’t collapse, drop a glass onto the floor and perhaps cut someone. Or someone suggests a light be fitted at the top of a staircase that was previously missing, and it gets done.

In PeopleSafe, the cloud based team software we partner with, this is inputted into the Nice Job part of the Stories section.

Storytelling Example Two

An apprentice arrives on site one morning and notices last night’s heavy rain has shifted some gravel including a large rock, making the site entranceway uneven. He levels it out and compacts it so that people can walk over it more safely, plus vehicles have a smoother ride and can deliver goods to site in a safe manner. This then becomes part of his morning checklist when arriving on site.

'Nice Jobs' make people feel valued and part of the process of improving Health and Safety in your organisation. It’s great if it can be officially reported but an additional verbal recognition or handshake from a supervisor or manager is great to add in too. It encourages everyone to keep up the good work and keep looking for the good.

Showing all the good stuff you do is important as it demonstrates that you do have plenty of positive health and safety experiences and outcomes.

So, storytelling is to be encouraged and shared.

What good stories would you share?


For more on Peoplesafe click here. Or ask us by calling 0800 023 789 or emailing info@allaboutpeople.co.nz

Nikki Davidson, All About People Business Development – Online Marketing


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