Free tradie breakfast to serve up mental health strategies

Paul Eyers
By Paul Eyers
3 Min Read

Work safety authorities on the Victorian-New South Wales border will go together better than bacon and eggs this Friday as they cook up discussions on work-related mental health. 

The complimentary breakfast meet-up will take place later this week as safety experts reveal the not-so-secret ingredients behind sizzling-up prevention strategies for workplace bullying and fatigue. 

The eggcellent free breakie comes ahead of a construction site safety blitz scheduled early next week when safety investigators from both states are set to crack down on workplace psychological hazards. 

SafeWork NSW Regional Director Construction Service Laurence Richey encouraged local employers to attend, who he says are an essential building-block in constructing a psychologically healthy work environment.

“SafeWork NSW has noticed an increased number of psychosocial hazards in the workplace, such as extreme workload and bullying, and reducing these numbers is a major focus for us as a regulator,” Mr Richey said.

“Business owners must create safe, healthy, and productive workplaces. This involves identifying and managing workplace risks that could potentially result in psychological harm to employees.”

Mr Richey says the cost of living crisis, alongside continual construction firm collapses, have caused many employers to overlook mental health safety as they focus on staying afloat in tough economic times.   

“Continued economic pressures, such as inflation and supply chain disruption, have sadly caused many businesses to overlook the health, safety, and wellbeing of workers. Businesses must not put productivity or profit above workers safety.”

Easy steps employers can take to limit psychological risks: 

  • Regularly ask employees how they are, encourage conversation regarding work-related concerns and suitable support.
  • Have systems in place for workforce planning and workload management to reduce burnout and fatigue.  
  • Develop leadership skills through coaching, mentoring and training to improve the support of employees in the team.
  • Seek and act on feedback from employees.
  • Ensure workers are informed about entitlements if they become unwell.
  • Provide appropriate and confidential avenues to support workplace mental health and wellbeing. 

Experts hope the talking will continue even after bellies are full on Friday, with experts asking staff to construct positive work cultures that lead to trust, respect and better communication.

Such open-door policies help encourage employees to come forward or open up when psychological health risks have been identified, allowing employers to implement appropriate measures to help. 

This includes pre-developed policy procedures every employer should have in place to enable a swift and appropriate response to psychosocial hazards such as workplace trauma, bullying, interpersonal conflict, violence and aggression, and their subsequent review. 

The WorkSafe Victoria and SafeWork NSW Trade Breakfast will occur at Dahlsens Albury Wodonga on Friday, 12 April from 7 am. All tradies and employers are welcome.

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Paul Eyers has worked as a journalist for a range of media publishers including News Corp and Network Ten. He has also worked outside of Australia, including time spent with ABS-CBN in the Philippines. Stepping away from the media, Paul spent five years sharpening his tools in construction - building his skill set and expertise within the trade industry. His diverse experiences and unique journey have equipped him with an insider view of Australia’s construction game to dig deep into the big stories.