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Pressing ahead with safety initiatives delivers results

If RockPress looked into the future six years ago, when its premium was double the industry rate, with significant common law claims, and no return to work policies, they could not have anticipated the incredibly positive results they are now achieving.

Today, RockPress (Rocklea Pressed Metal) has no common law claims, has an incredibly strong safety culture, and its premium is about half of the industry rate.

How did RockPress, a manufacturing firm in Acacia Ridge, Brisbane, turn this around? This case study explains the steps they took.

Vicky Dawson, RockPress administration manager (pictured below right) says the key steps they took to create a safe work environment and reduce their premium included:

  • Conducted a safety survey to see what employees thought of safety
  • Organised WorkCover to come and visit the site
  • Invited a local doctor to visit the business to show him what we did. Vicky said this doctor is now the preferred doctor and we drive any injured employees to him
  • Stopped automatically paying employees their WorkCover excess until we received the approval letter back from WorkCover.

She adds they changed their safety culture by:

  • Counselling or warning employees who were breaking safety rules
  • Improving record keeping
  • Documenting conversations with employees
  • Promoting the cost of WorkCover premiums to employees and how it directly affected our bottom line
  • Offered an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for our workers
  • Received accreditations for Quality processes, Health & Safety & Environments
  • Requiring all employees to re-sit all of their safe working instructions
  • Introducing a number of programs to promote health & safety throughout the workplace
  • Introducing compulsory hearing tests every two years
  • Occupational therapist visits on site
  • Introducing a Drug and Alcohol policy after employee consultation
  • Installing surveillance cameras throughout the premises for Health & Safety reasons
  • Recording all incidents be it a near miss, or a lost time
  • Making their own safety posters
  • Encouraging all employees to do stretching exercises within their teams as they return to work after their lunch break.

RockPress premium has is now $1.708 per $100 in wages, against the industry standard rate of $3.544. “This is despite us having much higher level of wages than we did six years ago, as the business has grown,” Vicky said.

WorkCover Queensland Customer Advisor Debbie Ferguson commended RockPress on all of their great health, safety and wellbeing initiatives.

“This example shows it is possible to have a positive impact on premium by focusing on prevention, reviewing your safety systems and processes, and working together with medical providers, and WorkCover.

“What we've seen at RockPress is a great example in an industry that can create challenges in reducing premium, purely due to the nature of the work they do,” Debbie said.

“But RockPress has led the way and has some great examples for others to follow.”

For more information about safety management and prevention, or to find out more about some of the initiatives RockPress has taken, please contact your Relationship Manager, or phone 1300 362 128.