More than a thousand Sydney Water staff members across New South Wales stopped work to take part in safety activities for National Safe Work Month.

Sydney Water’s infrastructure planning and delivery group organised a large-scale synchronised event for over 500 staff and contractors across more than 50 sites, ranging from office buildings to treatment plants, and even residential streets and backyards.

Sydney Water staff across other divisions also engaged in safety activities, including discussions on hazard management, safety inspections, the impacts of injury, spine health and how to prevent fatigue, along with participation in physical activities like volleyball and walking.

Healthy cooking demonstrations were also conducted by a nutritionist.

The sessions weren’t all about physical well-being, as activities to improve mental health, including meditation and yoga were conducted across all sites.

Each team reflected on safety statistics relevant to the construction industry in Australia, and agreed to support a safe Christmas campaign, to counteract the sharp spike in incidents typically experienced by the construction industry during the festive season.

Sydney Water also used the opportunity to focus on employee and contractor wellbeing, with the teams participating in a concurrent 45 minute tai-chi session across all sites.

Sydney Water Delivery Manager, Mark Simister, “We were willing to think outside the box to help lift our safety culture as we believe one person injured at work is one too many.

“Sydney Water’s theme for National Safe Work Month is ‘Lifting the Standard’. For us this means creating energy and momentum, and strengthening our commitment to looking out for ourselves and one another.

“It means creating a work environment where everyone genuinely feels it’s okay to speak up and challenge anyone about health, safety and wellbeing. It means celebrating all the great work we have done in safety and then taking it to an even higher level together.”

Speaking at the end of the tai-chi session at the wastewater treatment plant at Malabar, Sydney Water Safety Manager, Rob Goodburn, said, “I’m proud to be part of Sydney Water where we take safety and well-being seriously.” 

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