Having passion for your work is something we all aspire to, but when your job revolves around workplace health and safety that passion can surprise some people. Such is the case for Amanda Flavell, whose role asTradestaff's National Health and Safety Manageris much more than just a day job to her.
Amanda comes from a background of HR, and has been with Tradestaff since 2005. As the National Health and Safety Manager, she's responsible for ensuring not only that Tradestaff complies with health and safety legislation, but that its policies and processes actively work towards keeping its workers safe. She also manages a team of health and safety representatives stationed in each Tradestaff branch who relay information from her to their teams.
As Amanda puts it, "our ultimate goal is to ensure the safety of our workers."
A personal focus on health and safety
Tradestaff value health and safety for both business and personal reasons.
"From a business perspective, without our workers we don't have a business," Amanda says. "But my passion has always been people."
Amanda's focussed approach stems from a serious incident that happened when she was new to Tradestaff. An accident led to one of their workers needing a serious surgical operation, with a fifty-fifty chance of success.
"I hate it when our guys get hurt. Nobody wants to have that talk with a family."
"I did a lot of soul searching and decided that I was going to do everything in my power to ensure that this scenario didn't happen again," she says.
Amanda takes it personally when any Tradestaff worker gets hurt, even though the circumstances are out of her control.
"I hate it when our guys get hurt. Nobody wants to have that talk with a family. I certainly don't want to have to say 'your husband's not coming home tonight'. That's my worst nightmare. I don't even like talking about it," Amanda says.
Health and Safety in New Zealand
New Zealand doesn't have a very good track record for health and safety compared with other Western countries. In a 2013 study that compared fatal workplace injuries between nine countries, New Zealand was ranked worst at the bottom of the list, which included Australia and the UK. WorkSafe New Zealand reported 32 fatal work-related incidents in the past five years in the construction industry alone.
Change and adaptation
It's a continuous job making sure safety processes are working as well as they can be. For example, Tradestaff are currently giving their health and safety quiz a makeover to make it more visual. Amanda and her team are taking account of the increasing number of millennials coming into the workforce, and these days promoting health and safety in the company is a multimedia campaign, incorporating Facebook, monthly newsletters and a regular safety text message to all workers.
Tradestaff's health and safety focus carries onbeyond the initial training, says Amanda. "It doesn't stop once we've placed the guy. Health and Safety is ongoing, and because of the transient nature of our staff the messages are often repetitive."
From one month to the next you might be dealing with a whole new group of workers, andthis temporary workforcecreates challenges.
"But it doesn't take away the importance, to me, of keeping those guys safe," Amanda says. "It doesn't matter whether they've been with us for a week or a year, I care that communication is good enough, and they're getting everything they need, to keep them safe on the job."
Health and Safety culture at Tradestaff
"It's hard for me to get across to a lot of people that I do have a passion for health and safety because most people are bored by it," says Amanda. "I've been told that I take things too personally, but it's a challenging environment, and I do care."
It still comes back to that accident early in her career. Amanda's passion for people had carried over with her from her previous HR career, but seeing firsthand the devastating effect a workplace accident can have, not only on the injured worker but also on the people around them like their coworkers and family, drives her health and safety focus.
"I think all the consultants feel that way," she says. "They don't want their guys getting hurt, it's as simple as that. Because they're our colleagues, they're Tradestaff workers. We all are."
The company has an internal culture that can be summed up as "doing the right thing even when no one is looking".
"The guys care," Amanda says. "They do. And it's more than just the fact that without our temp workers we wouldn't have a business. It stems from not wanting to be the one that makes that call to a family."
Amanda's passion defines Tradestaff's high standards for health and safety. Whether you are a permanent or temporary member of staff, you can be confident that you will be looked after and your personal wellbeing will be a priority. If you'd like to talk about the work possibilities Tradestaff could offer you, please get in touch today.
almost 5 years ago by Will Percy