Lift literacy for safety

Article image - Lift literacy for safety West Tamar Councilís Ricky Penney, Plant Operator; Shane Stones, Road Maintenance Supervisor; and Rolph Vos, General Manager with Deb Guntrip from TasTAFE.

During a recent update to the performance review process at West Tamar Council, Tasmania, written feedback was sought from staff which identified that many employees struggled with literacy and numeracy skills.

On scratching the surface of the issue, the lack of reading and comprehension was soon seen to negatively impact employee’s access to and compliance with relevant workplace information. It also had a personal impact.

Through the 26Ten project, a network of organisations and individuals formed to promote and support adult literacy and numeracy in Tasmania, West Tamar Council will aim to increase both the Workplace Health and Safety, and workplace efficiency of the organisation.

Working in conjunction with TasTAFE, Council will implement improved written documentation (including timesheets and Safe Work Method Statements).

The project is expected to improve the quality of general communication not only among Roads Maintenance Crew, but also across the organisation.

As this project progresses, and into the future, Council anticipates participants will not only have a safer and more efficient work life, but will be empowered to practice and exercise their improved skills at home and in their personal lives as well – stories with children, assisting with homework, reading for enjoyment and understanding financial and legal documents are some examples already being heard..