Staff Profile - Marie Mercante
Meet Marie Mercante - Safety Advisor, Vic
Marie Mercante is dedicated to ‘creating an active safety culture in the workplace’.
As Safety Advisor for the Advanced Buildings team in Victoria, it’s Marie’s responsibility to ensure a safe and healthy workplace.
“I’m always looking for ways to keep safety top of mind on every project. I ask a lot of questions. I want to understand the nature of each worksite so I can come up with the best safety methodology to protect our team and other trades onsite.
“My aim is to get everyone thinking and being more safety-minded, more proactive. By always questioning how we do things, I make sure no one forgets the importance of maintaining a safe working environment at all times.”
An experienced workplace safety professional
For the last 8 years, Marie has held key leadership roles managing safety in a variety of organisations.
Her knowledge and experience cover the breadth of OH&S responsibilities including: injury and return-to-work management, reviewing and planning for claim impacts on premiums, quality and safety management systems and certification, auditing, implementing safety initiatives, analysing injury hotspot data, managing and developing internal training material.
“Before I started with Advanced, I worked at a manufacturing and construction company in the joinery and engineered stone sector. During my time there, the problems of working with silica dust were starting to become apparent.
“There was a spike in new laws around protecting workers from this common building material. I worked hard to educate workers on our sites, helping to implement effective control measures and minimise possible health problems. “
Maintaining a safe workplace through constant vigilance
Keeping on top of new workplace safety laws and practices is a key part of Marie’s role. That means regularly attending courses and reading-up on industry practices for risk minimisation and worker safety, then passing on that knowledge to others.
“There’s important new state legislation coming into effect on July 1, 2020 around negligence and workplace manslaughter. Since the threat of the coronavirus became apparent, I think there’s been a heightened awareness of workplace safety.
“My constant priority is compliance and to keep all of our employees and trades safe at all times. But I also need to keep an eye on the other trades we work with onsite to make sure they’re also working safely. It’s especially important to raise the awareness of workplace health and safety with the younger, less experienced workers.”
It’s a continuous, ongoing challenge to drive and enforce a positive safety culture – but it’s so rewarding to see the results.
“With the right attitude, focus and approach, you can educate anyone and everyone on doing the right thing. I’m particularly proud of my Advanced Buildings colleagues. When we talk safety, it’s clear they have a good understanding of what safety is and what systems are in place to implement safety. I feel happy that I’ve been able to make a difference and really put a footprint on safety at Advanced Buildings.”
Out of work time, Marie enjoys spending quality time with her family.
“We enjoy water-skiing activities, going to plenty of birthday parties with my son, baking new recipes and shopping and videography.”.
At some stage, Marie would like to venture overseas and see the ‘Northern Lights’ “I can’t wait to capture that moment on camera"