Pull no punches when it comes to workplace safety

The Australian Football League has made changes to the way their Match Review Panel operates to stamp out “jumper punches” in the game.

A jumper punch occurs when a player holds onto an opposition player’s jumper and then strikes his opponent under the guise of pulling on the jumper.

Mid-season rule changes in professional sporting competitions is unusual, but the AFL stated that this was of such significant concern, that the rules should be changed with immediate effect to stop the on-field behaviour from occurring.

Contrast this decision to the recent inaction by the AFL for on-field “sledging”, which was another issue that has been raised recently after Carlton Captain Marc Murphy lost his temper following personal verbal taunts from an opposition player.

This kind of discrepancy is representative of how inappropriate workplace behaviour is often addressed in workplaces in other industries that do not receive the same level of attention as a national sporting competition.

If one employee physically struck another in a workplace, the reaction from a business owner or manager would almost always be the same – the employee who physically assaulted the other would be in serious risk of their employment being terminated.

However, if an employee verbally abuses or insults another employee, or repeatedly intimidates them without creating any physical harm, this conduct will often be dealt with in a much less serious manner, or even completely overlooked which in the long term can create serious occupational health and safety and other workplace risks and to the business.

If this kind of behaviour is left unaddressed, it is likely to lead to increased absenteeism, reduced productivity, increased bullying and harassment claims, workers’ compensation claims and an increased turnover of staff so it is important that any inappropriate conduct in the workplace is given proper consideration and dealt with promptly to ensure that it does not continue.

If you need any assistance in dealing with inappropriate workplace behaviour, CCI’s Workplace Consulting team can help. Contact 9365 7500 for more information.

Avert danger with a good culture of safety  

A simple way of building and sustaining an effective safety culture is by taking a human approach and focusing on the people within your business.

WorkSafe continues to see advances in the way many employers manage safety, including the mandatory five-day safety and health representatives course.

A voluntary option for trained safety and health reps is the option to have their training recognised as part of the Certificate III in Work Health and Safety.

► CCI offers a range of safety courses to help you build an effective safety culture, including our one-day Safety and Health Representatives’ Refresher and our five-day Safety and Health Representatives Training. View all upcoming training here.

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