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Michelle Oberg

Michelle Oberg is Downer Utilities’ Safety Innovation Lead and has proactively and collaboratively shifted the business approach to safety from purely traditional methods to one that includes progressive safety theories, ideas, and applied practices.

Her approach is to develop, test, and implement a human-centred framework to improve organisational and safety performance in three core areas—enabled people, enabling systems, enabling leadership.

Michelle has been able to apply her philosophy by engaging with all levels of the business from the senior leadership team to frontline workers to make meaningful changes that have a sustained impact. Michelle’s approach allows for input, feedback, insights, knowledge, and expertise of the organisation to have an impact on the way workers view safety.

Some of the ways she achieved this was through:

  • discovery tour—to identify strengths and opportunities in the business
  • leadership sessions—to shift to a proactive approach to safety
  • safety workshops—to engage with staff
  • young worker professional development—to provide networking opportunities.

In the words of her colleagues, ‘Michelle’s support in turning our culture from compliance-based to psychological-based safety cannot be underestimated. Without her assistance, we could not have achieved the improvements in our management and field attitudes to safety, the reduction in significant physical and mental health injuries, and the development of an amazing tool to interact with our remote workforce.’

Michelle Oberg