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McAleese Group: accelerating towards a safer future

McAleese Group

The McAleese Group is a medium to large employer in the transport industry with 400 employees in Queensland and another 200 throughout the rest of Australia. It provides the provision of heavy haulage, bulk haulage and lifting solutions, liquid fuels distribution and the manufacture of specialist fluid handling equipment.

It operates throughout Queensland with a large truck depot in Brisbane and crane operations in Northern Queensland. Their transport arm trades as McAleese Transport; their crane division trades as Walter Wright Cranes; and their workshop services trades as McAleese Pty Ltd.

The McAleese Transport arm has improved safety while reducing workers' compensations costs by setting various measurable and achievable actions.

In 2011/12, their premium rate was 58 per cent above the industry's rate, but in 2012/13, it became in line with the industry's premium rate. This is a 50 per cent reduction, which was achieved over three years and is indicative that the work they've been doing has been working.

To achieve this, safety and rehabilitation became a huge focus for the organisation and its people.

What changed?

McAleese implemented various strategies to promote workplace safety and wellbeing, which aided the development of a productive and positive safety culture.


  • Workers attend weekly toolbox meetings which covers various safety issues, which they sign verifying they attended and grasped what was discussed.
  • Safety warnings with images are attached to pay slips, which workers read and sign.
  • A green cross is placed at the driveway, which indicates no accidents have occurred and a red cross is displayed when there has been an incident.
  • Workers are re-inducted every two years and issued with a new safety booklet.
  • Workers over 50 are offered yearly medicals and workers under 50 have medicals every three years. This ensures workers have the relevant physical capabilities to safely perform their job. Any workers unable to meet the requirements of their specific job are redeployed.


As well as reducing their premium so that it is in line with the industry's rate, the organisation has also achieved better stay at work outcomes. In 2010/11, their stay at work rate (workers who do not have time off following injury) was 59.38 per cent (industry's was 31.33 per cent). In 2011/12, there was a slight improvement as it changed to 45.83 per cent; and YDT, it's 44.44 per cent – 17 per cent above the industries.

Average days off after an injury is 49 per cent below the industry's average and their final return to work rate is five per cent above the industry rate, which indicates very good results for workers injured at work as they're able to return to the workplace.

McAleese Transport has taken a proactive approach with both safety and workplace rehabilitation, with employees having involvement and ownership.