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Systems review improves consultation and safety culture

Coffee chain Zarraffas Coffee Group had grown significantly over the years, but as business boomed management realised its work health and safety policies, procedures and processes needed to be reviewed and updated.

That’s where the Queensland Government’s Injury Prevention and Management Program was called in to review all health and safety and injury management processes, identify what worked well and to help Zarraffas build on its existing systems.

IPaM is a joint initiative of WorkCover Queensland and Workplace Health and Safety Queensland. IPaM is free and available to any Queensland employer with a current WorkCover Queensland policy, regardless of size or business maturity.

By participating in the IPaM Advance program, Zarraffas has improved its safety management system and injury management processes.

Zarraffas’ WHS manager Tony Webster championed the program to the company board and saw it through to completion. He recognised that a more structured approach to the continuous improvement of their injury prevention and management systems was needed and that their systems must be tailored and specific to their operations.

A worksite review was carried out to ensure all priority hazards had been identified and included in the SMS, with gaps in the system identified as opportunities for improvement.

In consultation with IPaM, Zarraffas identified the need to focus on:

  • systems to manage hazards/risks particularly in the area of manual tasks, hazardous chemical storage and traffic management
  • improved consultation with workers to develop safe work procedures
  • improved communication of safety specific information, training and instruction
  • embedding verification of competency processes.

By working with IPaM, Zarraffas improved its SMS, gained knowledge, and improved consultation and confidence with its employees. This has reduced near misses, incidents and WHS concerns, with return to work processes also strengthened.   

Having independent advice and a detailed action plan has helped identify priorities such as:

  • a review and update of the site induction process
  • review of consultation processes
  • implementation of a traffic management plan
  • risk assessment and development of safe work procedures for tasks
  • review of hazardous chemicals registers, safety data sheets and storage requirements
  • risk assessment of manual tasks leading to the introduction of improved higher level control measures
  • introduction of a verification of competency process
  • completion of a training register
  • training of rehabilitation and return to work coordinators
  • development of rehabilitation process for injured workers.

All policies, procedures and processes were developed, reviewed and implemented over a year.

“One of Zarraffas’ many key achievements was improved consultative processes and communication of the importance of WHS in the workplace and this has resulted in increased worker input and interest in safety matters,” said Tony.

“IPaM has given the WHS team a sense of focus and enhanced our confidence and knowledge allowing us to find the right answers and solutions in accordance with legislation and codes of practice.”

Further information

Read more about the Injury Prevention and Management Program.