Health and safety

GWA continues to ensure that it provides a safe workplace for its employees, contractors, visitors and customers whilst driving a positive safety culture, to ensure everyone is safe… every day.

To highlight the importance placed by GWA on the proactive management of workplace health and safety (WHS) and positive safety culture development, the National Safety Manager prepares a monthly report and attends Executive Leadership Team (ELT) meetings for a joint discussion on WHS matters and to develop plans and strategy.

The ELT discussions include Group WHS performance, improvement plans and strategy updates.  As an important safety initiative for FY17 each ELT member will sponsor and report on key safety topics including incident management, risk management, traffic management, chain of responsibility, product and packaging, health and wellbeing and contractor management.

There were a number of WHS undertakings during FY16, including the development and implementation of the three year safety strategic plan, a Group wide safety culture review, and the introduction of the integrated GWA WHS management system called SafetyOne.  SafetyOne integrates 10 key elements of WHS and will continue to be imbedded throughout FY17 with business unit specific safety plans developed.

The management structure of Group WHS also transitioned from the business units to a GWA central-led structure with a National WHS Manager.

GWA measures a range of balanced safety performance indicators.  Proactive ‘LEAD’ indicators such as number of hazards reported and actions closed were measured during FY16, as were four key ‘LAG’ indicators that measure our lost time and medically treated injuries, hours lost due to injury, and our total injuries (which represents a combination of lost time and medically treated injuries) as frequency rates. Total Injury Frequency Rate (TIFR) is our main LAG measure for FY16.

In FY16 GWA delivered on a reduction of total injuries with less lost time and medically treated injuries than the year prior, as well as a reduction of total hours lost due to injury than the prior year.  Overall these are positive results for GWA.  However, as the FY16 LAG measures are frequency rate based (calculated based on labour hours worked) the GWA TIFR presents as negative.

The TIFR performance for FY16 is attributed to the significant reduction in head count, which in turn has significantly reduced the labour hours worked (total labour hours worked during FY16 was a little over a million less than the year prior).  This was driven by the divestment of non-core businesses in FY15 and GWA’s transition from a domestic manufacturing business to a supply chain organisation following the business restructure.

Given the significant reduction in head count and labour hours worked, this has led to a review of the structure in which we measure safety and the parameters.  Moving forward, GWA will continue to monitor and report on ‘frequency rates’, however as they are affected by labour hours worked, GWA will also report on the raw data which is a better measure to demonstrate year on year performance.

Further, a commitment from the ELT is to remove any GWA safety based incentives for managers, particularly around incident and injury reporting, as they can drive an adverse effect. We will however include individual key performance indicators for selected ELT and Senior Leadership Team members to participate in the Safety Interaction Program, which is aimed at driving a positive safety culture and employee engagement.