Health and safety

GWA’s focus remains on ensuring that we provide a safe workplace for our employees, contractors, visitors and customers, while driving a positive safety culture and actively reducing and mitigating risk. “We care for each other” is a cultural pillar of the organisation that drives our objective to ensure everyone is safe...every day.

The GWA management structure for Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) continues to be centrally led by the Head of Risk, Safety and Compliance. This executive 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 regularly review key risk areas aligned with our business risk profile. These include chain of responsibility, health and wellbeing, environment and waste.

During FY20 GWA continued to make substantial progress on implementing our safety strategy.  This strategy focuses on leadership and behavioural aspects of safety together with identifying and mitigating physical risks in our operations.  The increased focus on cultural and behavioural drivers has resulted in a significant improvement in the Group’s safety performance in both lead and lag indicators.

Key achievements during the year included:

  • The integration of all Methven sites across Australia, New Zealand, China and the United Kingdom into the GWA safety system, SafetyOne, has been completed.  This has been a significant task to standardise operating procedures to deliver a consistent and measurable approach to safety across the Group;
  • Safety Homecoming training is now into its third year and continues to be rolled out to all employees across Australia and New Zealand.  The roll-out into China and the United Kingdom was delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  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 meets the requirements to ensure the health and safety of its workers under WHS legislation and continued the external auditing process for WHS Compliance at its sites.  During FY20 the Group commenced the transition from Australian safety standard AS4801 accreditation to the new international safety standard ISO45001, and by the end of FY21 GWA expects that all sites across its network will be accredited to this new standard;
  • Installation of monitoring devices called CTrack in all company vehicles to assist with the improvement in driver behaviour and reduction in accidents;
  • Mental health ambassadors were identified and appointed across the business and trained in mental health first aid as part of our continuing focus on the wellbeing of staff including metal health issues associated with the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • The wellness program called Ritualize continued to be 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.

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.

Lag Indicators

During FY20 GWA's safety performance measured by Lag indicators improved on all metrics as outlined in the table below:

GWA Total Injury Frequency Rate (TIFR)

As outlined in the chart, GWA recorded a material decrease in TIFR from 6.2 in FY19 to 0.9 in FY20.  The FY19 data did not include the Methven business which has been captured in the FY20 data. The decrease in FY20 is a significant improvement particularly in the context of the Methven manufacturing sites in New Zealand and China being included in the FY20 data.

The safety performance outcomes for FY20 reflect the positive safety culture in the Group and our proactive approach to identifying and mitigating safety risks.

Case Study – Zero Medically Treated Injuries in FY20

GWA maintained a MTIFR (medically treated injury frequency rate) at zero for FY20.

This result has been achieved from a focus on safety culture and behavioural change at all sites across the GWA network, including Australia, New Zealand, China and the United Kingdom.  More specifically a focus on preventative measures, including hazard reduction and near miss reporting at each individual site is helping to drive cultural change in the way we interact at our sites which has led to this improvement. 

The continued roll-out of Safety Homecoming is continuing to deliver a major improvement in safety culture across the business.

Additionally, an increase in site specific activities such as daily tool-box meetings, site audits and root-cause analysis of incidents is assisting in driving the ongoing behavioural change to deliver this improved result.