26 September 2023

SafeWork ‘Speak Up’ app is saving lives

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More than 1,000 incidents have been anonymously reported to SafeWork NSW since the launch of its Speak Up Save Lives app two years ago according to Minister for Fair Trading, Eleni Petinos, who said that anonymity was a major concern for workers who feared that speaking up could lead to punishment or even the loss of their jobs.

“Speaking up can be intimidating,” Ms Petinos said.

“I want to reassure workers that any identifying features of your submission will not be made visible to your employer,” she said.

“Everyone is entitled to a safe work space.”

Ms Petinos urged anyone who had seen anything risky or unsafe at work to report it immediately as “we all have our part to play to ensuring everyone’s safety”.

The Minister said the app had helped SafeWork NSW prevent injuries and deaths, with 1,297 reports since its inception two years ago.

“In January, we received a report about scaffolding on a construction site that had no edge protection, no safety ties and was within proximity of live power lines,” she said.

“Inspectors attended the site and issued a prohibition notice immediately.

“Somebody could have easily fallen to their death or been electrocuted.”

Ms Petinos said in another example of the apps’ effectiveness, SafeWork inspectors responded to reports of unsafe demolition and found unlicensed removalists dismantling a storm-damaged house riddled with asbestos.

“Not only was the house at risk of structural collapse, but improper asbestos removal can release deadly particles into the surrounding air.”

She said businesses were still required to report all notifiable incidents, including death, serious injury or illness, or a dangerous incident, by calling 13 10 50.

The Speak Up Save Lives app can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play, or accessed on SafeWork’s website at this PS News link.

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