Forestry safety group focuses on mental health training

Friday 20 Apr 2018

As part of its ongoing commitment to safety, OneFortyOne and its contractor partners in the OneSafeGroup are continuing their work improving safety across the region’s forestry industry, expanding their focus into mental health and wellbeing.

OneFortyOne’s Emma-Kate Griffiths recently organised an accredited St Johns ‘Mental health first aid course’ for Group members, teaching people how to provide initial support to adults who are developing a mental illness or experiencing a mental health crisis.

“We know that mental health has taken over physical injury as the largest cause of absences from work in Australia, and so it was important to all the companies in the OneSafeGroup to prioritise mental health training in the same way we train our people in first aid”, Mrs Griffiths said.

Local harvesting company, Harvestco, was keen to participate and support the mental health of its workers. Safety Officer, Tim Stapleton said “At Harvestco, we want to actively influence the positive mental health of our team, and this training provided the perfect opportunity for me to learn how to recognise and respond appropriately to signs of mental illness.”

Chipping and Logging contractor LV Dohnt & Co were also delighted to take part in the training, sending 7 of their team to participate with plans to send all their supervisors and team leaders in the future. LV Dohnt’s Alicia Geue said “We know how important mental health awareness is. Unfortunately, we make judgements on the unknown and I personally misunderstood so much about this topic, but because I was fortunate enough to participate in the course I am now more prepared to deal with my own emotions and behaviours, and those around me.”

LV Dohnt’s WHS and Compliance Manager John Bruttomesso thanked OFO for organising the training, finding the course exceptional in helping to understand mental health illness. “I am confident that I now have the tools to identify persons that could be affected by this illness, and my approach would definitely be different at home and my workplace as a result of the training”, said Mr Bruttomesso.

The nationally recognised OneSafeGroup who will be presenting at the Australian leg of the upcoming WoodFlow 2018 event in Melbourne on 20-21 June, was formed to foster collaboration and improve safety across the forestry industry and the wider Green Triangle region.

“We know through our industry collaborating in all aspects of safety, physical and mental health and wellbeing, our people can have a positive impact at work and in the wider community”, said OFO’s Emma-Kate Griffiths.

Source: OneFortyOne



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