Health and safety

GWA continues to ensure that it provides a safe workplace for our employees, contractors, visitors and customers, while driving a positive safety culture and actively reducing and mitigating risk. With “we care for each other” as a cultural pillar, GWA’s objective remains to ensure everyone is safe... every day.

The GWA management structure for Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) is centrally led by a National WHS Manager. The National WHS Manager addresses the Board and Executive Leadership Team on a regular basis to discuss all matters relating to WHS. This provides an opportunity for updates, scope discussions and to monitor progress of the WHS strategy and performance.

The ELT members continue to sponsor key risk areas aligned with our business risk profile. These include Chain of Responsibility, Health and Wellbeing, Environment and Waste.

Substantial progress was made in FY19 to improve the Group’s safety culture with a number of safety initiatives implemented, and with ownership and accountability for safety existing at all levels in the business.  These safety initiatives include: 

  • All sites underwent external auditing for WHS compliance, and the Group achieved accreditation to the Australian Standard for safety management AS4801 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems. In addition, an external legal review of the audit outcomes confirmed that GWA is meeting its requirements to ensure the health and safety of its workers under WHS legislation.  GWA plans to transition from AS4801 to AS4501 over the next two years;
  • Safety Homecoming training is into its second year and was rolled out to all employees across the Group.  Safety Homecoming is designed to develop and drive safety behaviour engagement for staff at all levels. The intent is to acknowledge and celebrate safe demonstrated behaviour whilst engaging and addressing at-risk behaviour; 
  • GWA implemented a wellness program called Ritualize and this was made available to all employees and their families.  Ritualize is a neuroscience based health and wellness platform delivered via a mobile and web interface that helps people build healthy habits that lead to a positive lifestyle change;
  • The Move 4 Life manual handling program was further embedded into the business. Training was rolled out to QLD, WA and NZ by qualified in-house staff.  To accompany this initiative, and similar to the Safety Interactions Program initiative introduced in FY17, GWA practises Move Interactions to encourage frequent physical movement behaviour. Daily routines known as the ‘60 Second Investment’ have been entrenched at all warehouse sites to prevent workplace injuries.

A strategic safety plan has been implemented for FY20 which will continue to improve safety at all locations and change behaviour and culture to drive towards zero harm and to improve employee health and wellbeing.  Longer-term safety plans are also in place to deliver an improvement in safety culture and behaviour. 

Examples of the safety initiatives planned for FY20 include: 

  • Mental health ambassadors will be identified and trained in mental health first aid to ensure the wellbeing of staff;
  • The third Safety Homecoming training is planned for FY20;
  • Safety training programs will be reviewed and updated to ensure all training is relevant and being undertaken by the right people at the right time; 
  • Onboard monitoring devices have been introduced to all company owned cars to assist with changing driver behaviour;
  • Driver safety awareness training will be rolled out to further embed a safe driving culture.

Safety Performance Indicators

GWA measures a range of balanced safety performance indicators. We continuously identify, implement and monitor our activities to ensure we eliminate unsafe acts and practices.

These activities, identified as proactive ‘LEAD’ indicators, include the number of Safety Interactions conducted, hazards reported, site inspections and actions closed.

GWA also measures key ‘LAG’ indicators that measure lost time and medically treated injuries, hours lost due to injury and total injuries which represent a combination of lost time and medically treated injuries.

GWA Total Injury Frequency Rate (TIFR)

Case Study – 365 days LTI free at Caroma Innovation & Distribution Centre

In June 2019, the Caroma Innovation and Distribution Centre at Prestons, NSW reached a significant milestone – Lost Time Injury (LTI) free for 365 consecutive days. This is a significant achievement, particularly in the context of the transformation at the site during the year which included over 10,000 pallet movements across two facilities.

The performance reflects the complete revamp of safety Standard Operating Procedures with all staff trained and increased consultation with Health & Safety Representatives and Safety Committee members. It also includes a more structured approach to hazard/safety inspections, contractor management and traffic management plans.