HR Series Week 5

HR Best Practices Series 

Week 5 – Health and Safety:

A healthy and safe workplace means every team member gets home at the end of the day—and everyone plays a role.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), a healthy workplace is defined as:

“A healthy workplace is one in which workers and managers collaborate to use a

continual improvement process to protect and promote the health, safety and well-being

of workers and the sustainability of the workplace….”

World Health Organisation (WHO)

Along with standard physical safety practices, it is important to keep mental health front and center.  Trends are embracing technology with AI-powered chatbot counselors like Woebot to offer employees quick answers and a judgment-free zone, which can reduce work-related stress and anxiety.  Establishing a Wellness Program benefits employers, employees, and society.   Use any available data to identify health risks and help you understand what employees may want in a wellness program.  

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has an excellent guide on How to Establish and Design a Wellness Program

Ensure guidelines and protocols are clearly defined and well communicated.  Employee participation is essential—keep them engaged and mindful with consistent communication and signage.

“Mind the G.A.P” delivery system is:

  • creating a process for safety by building a Farm Safety Plan.
  • a tool to communicate the Farm Safety Plan and particular hazards and their hazard control measures on the farm.  
  • engaging the slow part of the brain through training which in turn will reduce incident & injuries and increase farm sustainability.

Did you know we have a fast and slow part of the brain?  The fast part of the brain uses pre-conscious, automatic, reactive and habitual thinking and only takes about 4/10 of a second to activate but is subject to frequent errors.  The slow part of the brain is for conscious, analytical, reasoned, reflective and thoughtful thinking and takes at least one second to activate, even longer if fatigued.  

Engage the slow brain, train your brain to “Mind” the G.A.P.!  You can do this by changing the messaging for urgent thinking and behavior to take your time, think it through, focus on doing the job right the first time and first always right minded (FARM).  Develop clear concise work procedures that reflect a focused approach; right method (FARM), that align with the way the brain works, and manage the risks for fatigue through fatigue at risk management (FARM).

For assistance with building a Farm Safety Plan or to access other safety resources, visit