Powering the reduction of young worker injuries with YOLO

27 October 2021

Continuing our recognition of National Safe Work Month, we turn our attention to the final theme – be safe. The theme considers the ongoing process of managing and monitoring work health and safety risks, and at Stanwell these enduring processes begin with the proactive education provided to our young workers starting out their careers at one of our sites.   

Contrary to what the acronym often suggests, Stanwell’s YOLO program doesn’t seek to encourage our young workers to take adrenaline fuelled risk, whilst proclaiming #YOLO. Instead, the phrase ‘you only live once’, aims to increase our young workers understanding and learning of the cognitive and behavioural safety factors that may affect them whilst at work and at home – it is about providing them with the tools to better manage their world.

Delivered across our sites since 2013, Stanwell’s YOLO program innovatively employs psychological principals to capture attention and transfer skills to young workers, their mentors and workplace leaders.

Stanwell Health, Safety and Environment Specialist, Kirsten Williams, said she believed the success of the initiative stemmed from its consideration of young people’s risk perception.

“When the program was first developed, it was important that it considered why young people do things the way they do, and then proceed to work backwards from there, tailoring the program to relate to its audiences’ human developmental stage,” she said.

“Living true to Stanwell’s value – we care, our sites also extend the invitation, to participate in YOLO, to contractors.

“We truly believe in the power of the program, to the extent that we offer it to everyone under the age of 25, even external contractors that are onsite for overhauls.

“We are an organisation that believes all workplace injuries and occupational illness can be prevented, and arming those who are starting out their career at our sites with the tools to mitigate potential harm is an extension of this.”

Physical safety isn’t the only topic on the cards during Stanwell’s YOLO program, it also recognises the potential harm and impact psychological safety can have on our people.

“It is important to us that our young workers are aware that their psychological safety does not come second to their physical safety,” she said.

With National recognition and similar programs replicated across various industries, Stanwell’s YOLO program provides confirmation that sometimes a slightly different approach to the health and safety of our young people can create real value and provide real results.