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2016 Safe Work and Return to Work Awards

Darwalla Group, Mt Cotton

Darwalla is a poultry producer with hatcheries, breeder farms, broiler farms, live bird catching, live bird transport, feed transport and maintenance sites across South East Queensland and northern New South Wales.

Darwalla has designed and implemented a customised, fully integrated quality and safety management system to meet the unique nature of their operations. 'Beyond best practice', is a holistic safety management system with a three phase approach:

  • safety at all stages – risk management, injury prevention and minimisation.
  • safety communication - reporting and feedback
  • safety assistance.

From the inception of 'Beyond best practice'', Chief Executive Officer David Greaves has been involved in establishing program goals, frameworks, resources and support.

Darwalla shares its learnings, tools and resources throughout its supply chains. It provides lease growers with guidance on legislative requirements, technical training and job safety analysis' for broiler farms and offers growers and contractors the opportunity to complete a Certificate II in Poultry Production.

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Darwalla Group - Safe Work and Return to Work Awards 2016

My name is Juan Corredor. I'm the human resources and quality assurance manager for the Darwalla Group of Companies. The Darwalla Group of Companies is a fully-integrated poultry producer, chicken producer with more than 80 years' experience in the poultry business. We have different industries within the company, incorporated in the company such as manufacturing, farming, transport, maintenance services, administration, so we are required to have a fully-integrated system to make sure that we manage safety at a supply chain level.

Our Darwalla safety system is made of three phases. It is the safety at all the stages which includes risk management. It is a safety communication and safety assistance. Our CEO, he has played a critical role in implementation of the system. He meets every new employee at induction process. He introduces himself. He commits to safety from day one, and he delivers a safety message to every single employee. A visible management team going out there, talking the safety message, it has had a huge impact. It has affected positively. People do believe on the message. People do believe in Darwalla is basically just looking after them in the safety side.

On the engagement side, we combine training, consultation and recognition to make sure that we're sending the message through. It is just communicating successes in the company. It is just recognising people doing great in the companies, recognizing new projects. It is recognising safety ideas. It's recognizing quality ideas, continuous improvement, and it is letting all the organisation know, "Hey, we can do it. We're doing it. We are continuously improving the organisation."

We have several contractors and several business partners. Some of them are farmers. What we have done with the system is we have offered them the opportunity to benchmark our systems and implement in their own organisations. We're sharing our learnings and our knowledge across the supply chain. When you see one year back or five years back or ten years back and you see the vast improvement that we have done in this company, not only in safety but in other areas, it is very rewarding. It is when you see, 'we are doing a good job.' We want people to come here to work safely, produce quality birds, but come back home with ten fingers and, you know, complete as they came here to work for us. Simple as that.RUN TIME: 2 min 47 sec

Jeremy Clay, McNab, Wilston

Jeremy Clay is the Health Safety Environmental and Quality Coordinator for McNab, which operates in a high risk construction environment with projects involving the use of subcontractors. Jeremy developed the 'Injured Worker Pack' for the employer (if not McNab), injured worker and doctor to assist all the stakeholders with the return to work process. He has also developed supervisor training (including subcontractors), a corrective actions reports register and a job dictionary as a result of some subcontractors not receiving training in the return to work process. These resources are available to managers, workers, subcontractors and their employers, and anyone else in McNab's supply chain.

Jeremy engaged experts, colleagues and senior management develop and to roll out his initiatives. McNab's WorkCover premiums have been falling year on year from a solid injury management platform to now less than 25 per cent of the industry rate.

"Jeremy is prepared to lead by example, demonstrating a passion for proactively managing work injuries, while delicately balancing the personal and commercial implications of such circumstances" - McNab's human resources manager

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Jeremy Clay, McNab- Safe Work and Return to Work Awards 2016

My name is Jeremy Clay. I am the health safety quality environmental coordinator for McNab constructions. McNab construction is a construction company so we service industrial, educational and civil construction. We have about 200 employees and we reach between 2,000 and 4,000 sub-contractor employees. My personal philosophy is is that injury is not part of the job and that people who return to work recover quicker. People who return to work quicker actually have reduction in their injury management time so work is actually good for them. They return to work, they feel better. The most important thing to do is get an injured worker back with their peer network.

We encourage workers to participate in their return to work process by providing a clear direction about the injury management, providing a new by medical centre that we know that they are going to get the treatment they need and also providing an injured worker pack that's available right next to the first aid kit. It's the first thing to grab when you assess that that worker needs to go to a medical centre for review.

One of the roadblocks we found is that not all workers can access work cover for whatever employment reason. They might not be directly employed by an employer so we also pay for the first consult for our sub-contractors as well. With that comes direct reduction in our insurance premium so the industry average in the construction industry is about 2.3 per cent. We've managed to reduce that to now only half a percent. Reduction of injuries overall is going to increase our productivity, so it's number one saving in time and cost will be beneficial in all avenues including our rehabilitation and return to work.

My advice to other return to work coordinators is to understand what the job requirements are, put those down into a job dictionary and get some assistance from an external party to formalize that. Understanding that there's this person who's injured, that you're helping them on their journey to get well again is very beneficial. Also, learning about injuries, how to best treat them and so forth, I find personally rewarding as well.RUN TIME: 2 min 19 sec

Ostwald Bros, West End

Starting out as a civil construction company in 1990, Ostwald Bros has expanded to include contracting, mining services, construction materials, facilities and accommodation, transport and bulk haulage, and rural enterprise.

Chief Executive Officer, Brendan Ostwald and the senior management team, lead and drive the work health and safety culture at Ostwald Bros as evident in their 'daily, now, always' (DNA) programs.

The DNA positive safety choices program, DNA supervisor development and DNA lead programs are tailored Certificate IV programs in work, health and safety and civil construction supervision. Importantly and uniquely, the programs offer every front-line leader at Ostwald Bros access to industry relevant and nationally accredited certifications.

With a strong focus on upskilling, the DNA programs empower staff to realise the importance of their contributions to safety, driving a culture of proactive safety awareness.

In matching vocational education to the actual needs of the industry, Ostwald Bros has set a new standard of industry led training for the vocational education and training sector, leading the way in their own workplace and in the wider industry.

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Ostwald Bros - Safe Work and Return to Work Awards 2016

My name is Dominic O'Brien and I'm the Chief Governance Officer at Ostwald Bros. Ostwald Bros provide services across a range of sectors that predominantly the mining, infrastructure, energy, and agricultural sectors Australia-wide. The CEO of the business outlined a vision. He wanted people to be truly effective leaders in the areas where they operate and he wanted them to be equipped with the skills for them to be able to carry out their work safely and be empowered to make changes in the way that they work.

We coined the phrase 'DNA'. We believe safety should be part of our own DNA, but importantly, really something that we do Daily, Now and Always. We refined the DNA program to be a supervisor development program and we pulled together all of the supervisors across our business in a series of training. It's combining that leadership understanding and capability with some core knowledge about how to act safely in a specific scenario that confronts them in a workplace.

Our consultation and our engagement with our workforce has shown that there has been a significant improvement in the quality of conversation that we are having around safety, which has really unlocked the change for us. We definitely believe that the suite of training initiatives that we have implemented here at Ostwald Bros has direct translation across the industries in which we operate, but really across other industries as well.

Good leadership at a project level can be virtuous for the whole organization and it can beneficial for the whole organization. We're very proud of the DNA program that we've implemented at Oswald Brothers. We've seen an improvement in the quality of conversations that we're having with our employees about working productively and safely. We have a zero total recordable injury frequency rate on all live projects.

We look forward to continuing that exemplary safety performance and to continue to improve the quality of our workforce and their understanding about how to work safely and productively.RUN TIME: 2 min 26 sec

Sharon Vandermaat

Sharon led the implementation of the PErforM program in the maintenance branch at City of Gold Coast Council (CGCC). This branch has over 580 staff working across road works, parks and building maintenance and city cleaning.

Sharon uses a participative and proactive approach that enables her workers to solve their health and safety problems by embedding a clear framework into work health and safety systems, gaining management commitment, establishing clear communication and engaging with the workforce. Sharon's communication, commitment and passion are key elements to her work.

As a result of Sharon's leadership and excellent interpersonal skills, the PErforM program in CGCC has been hugely successful. CGCC reports a 50 per cent reduction in manual handling injuries, a reduction in the cost of claims and the lost time injury frequency rate. Since the success in the city maintenance branch, other areas of CGCC have contacted Sharon to share her knowledge and provide guidance to them in implementing the program.

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Sharon Vandermaat, City of Gold Coast Council - Safe Work and Return to Work Awards 2016

My name is Sharon Vandermaat. I'm the Business Compliance Facilitator for the City of Gold Coast, and I work within the City Maintenance Branch.

We were having a lot of manual handling type injuries within our branch. Our worker's compensation claims, and days lost due injury were steadily increasing. We needed to look at something to put into place to get that under control. The initiative that I put in place within City Maintenance was the PErforM program, which is Participative Ergonomics for Manual Tasks. Our PErforM facilitators take a risk assessment form out into the field, and they observe the task being undertaken while asking the workers about the forces and pressures they're feeling on their body. From that, they use the hierarchy of control to consider whether that task can be eliminated or put controls in place to reduce the risk of injury.

A senior management team was involved in the initiative. They've been fully supportive right from the beginning. Initially some of the line mangers were a little sceptical, but once the program began and they saw the results that were being achieved, they came on board quickly and have been fully supportive.

I felt a real shift in the culture really early on when we had our first big win with one of our crews. They had several musculoskeletal injuries, and asked us to have a look at their equipment and setup. Once we had resolved those issues with them, the flood gates opened. We received lots of enquiries, and from there the program just took off.

My advice to other industries or work places that are looking to implement PErforM, would be try and embed it into your risk management system. Then it's not seen my management as something else that they have to do. For the workers, it assures them that their issues and concerns are going to be followed through and looked at.

I find my roll so rewarding in that I've been able to put things in place to reduce the number of injuries to our workers, which ultimately is what we all want is to make sure that our workers go home each night safe and well. That is the greatest reward there is.RUN TIME: 2 min 26 sec