A champion for safety
A violent incident on the day Fadi Ramadan started a nursing position sparked a passion for workplace safety.
“On my first day, a patient came from behind me and tried to strangle me with a TV cord,” Fadi said.
“This wasn’t an isolated incident. We are a small hospital and it includes some patients with dementia. It’s challenging as you don’t know where or when aggression will occur.”
Fadi’s experiences led him to become a champion of workplace health and safety in his hospital.
“I don’t want similar issues happening to others, as the result could be tragic. I became a health and safety representative (HSR) because I’m passionate about the wellbeing and safety of my workmates.”
While in some workplaces becoming an HSR involves nominations from staff and a ballot, it was a simpler process in Fadi’s workplace.
“I had already been involved in health and safety work, so I was chosen by my colleagues to take on the role in an official capacity.”
Fadi takes care to involve his work colleagues and consult with them regularly in his role.
“Being part of a larger organisation means that we have got to work together to be safety conscious.
“As an HSR I help with the workplace inspections that we do at Bulli Hospital & Aged Care Centre (BHACC). We don’t wait for something to happen, we try to be proactive, not reactive.”
Fadi added that his role is to “give staff a voice to express their concerns. We then work to come up with a solution to fix an issue. If an issue comes up, I try to solve it straight away, and if I can’t, I’ll speak to the line managers.”
The NSWNMA also provides Fadi with resources and support.
“It gives me confidence knowing that if a colleague has a question, I can either answer them or point them in the right direction or ask an official in the association.”
He added: “It’s really nice to meet awesome people who support me across the NSWNMA organisation as well.”
Under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act), Health and Safety representatives are entitled to five days’ paid training per year. Fadi says he would “like to develop my environmental health and safety knowledge, including equipment tagging, fire safety, hazardous substances, security and personal protective equipment”.
When asked what advice he would give someone considering becoming an HSR, Fadi says: “I would say go for it! It brings confidence working in an environment that is safe for staff and patients, and knowing you are helping the organisation in a role that helps ensure that safety.”