Shred-X: Developing a national safety plan
Shred-X Document Destruction (Shred-X) provides secure destruction services, from paper shredding to digital media destruction.
Shred-X services thousands of commercial sites and households across South-East Queensland on a weekly basis. Trucks regularly visit Bundaberg, Gladstone, Rockhampton, Toowoomba, Emerald and northern New South Wales.
Shred-X was invited to participate in the Injury Prevention and Management Program (IPaM) in 2012 following a high number of workers' compensation claims, putting them above the industry average.
IPaM is a joint initiative between Workplace Health and Safety Queensland and WorkCover Queensland. IPaM assists businesses to develop better work health and safety and injury management systems.
What was the problem?
A transient workforce means Shred-X experiences a consistent staff turnover, with many workers from non-English speaking backgrounds. Workers' compensation claims also identified that a number of injuries were soft tissue injuries occurring from slips, trips and falls.
An IPaM advisor visited worksites and reviewed the Shred-X safety management system, then identified opportunities to improve injury rates and problems associated with a transient workforce through consultation, communication, training and supervision.
What was the solution?
A range of work health and safety initiatives were implemented including:
- work health and safety training activities including risk assessments and hazard identification
- inductions, toolbox meetings and team meetings to provide an opportunity for workers to ask questions and speak up about safety concerns
- daily pre-start meetings including reminders about safety instructions, working safely and pre-start checks on consumable items such as gloves
- focusing on a particular area of risk for each monthly safety audit
- regular site audits to help the safety management team identify and fix potential risks.
All staff were made accountable for meeting their safety responsibilities, and staff who repeatedly failed to comply with health and safety procedures were performance managed by supervisors, and in some cases terminated.
Instructions were simplified to be suitable for workers from non-English speaking backgrounds, and given a focus on slips, trips and falls.
All initiatives were driven and supported by senior management and made part of the Shred-X national safety plan. This gave branch and departmental managers clear responsibility and accountability for work health and safety.
What were the benefits?
- Workers are more involved and have more opportunities to discuss safety concerns with their supervisor.
- Improved staff productivity and increased production levels.
- Success in winning more contracts.
- Lost time injuries are the lowest in six years and below the industry average.
- Significant reductions in new claim registrations.
- Major reductions in slip, trip and fall injuries.
For injury prevention and management information and resources:
- visit www.worksafe.qld.gov.au.
- call 1300 362 128.