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Norship IPaM film

A case study film showcasing the achievements of Norship who have graduated from the Injury Prevention and Management (IPaM) program.

Download a copy of this film

Safe worker is a happy workers, you know like I guess there is a million different analogies, but it just makes sense.

Ensuring the staff feel valued in the business that their heard, that we are genuine about driving safety culture improvements and getting better safety outcomes then staff directly benefit from it and our product are our people so keeping them safe is of upmost importance to myself and I know to everyone else involved in the projects.

So Norship is a ship repair and maintenance company. We do deliver others services but predominantly it's in the maritime industry.

Most of what we do is high risk construction work, there is a whole range of trades that work here at Norship, electricians, boilermakers, shipwrights, you know we had a lot of people in a very small space, a tight environment for the guys, a lot of work trying to be done, manual handling working with live electrical installations. Since I've been here, Norship has doubled in size and there was a developing need to have a permanent safety role

Everybody knows that change is always needed. The ship building industry is one the industries that has always been a little bit relaxed

We had a pretty good you know safety record the were no major incidents, however there were minor injuries they were quite often relatively common and there were opportunities for improvements particularly in those areas

Before IPaM came in the culture was different there was a real sort of 'do it just because' mentality, it's the way it's always been done, that sort of approach, you know

When IPaM came on board we had a more detailed look, did a gap analysis on those procedures and policies that we had in place and we had a very close look at the hazards that the guys were facing on a day to day basis

IPaM stands for Injury Prevention and Management and IPaM is a partnership program between Workplace Health and Safety Queensland and WorkCover Queensland, it looks to improve the injury prevention and injury management outcomes from identified businesses. IPaM supports the business through a safety advisory services and also agreed business improvement plan but also goes a little bit beyond that and also looks at the systems of the business and also looks at the culture of the organization.

When IPaM first arrived here with us again it was an education process and I think they really lead us on a whole lot of things that we hadn't really thought of.

It was a collaborative approach that we had so there was one on one interaction between the members of IPaM and the workers here on site and that they were able to speak their mind without management of Norship looking over their shoulder and I think their first reaction they were a little bit wary, that changed straight away, they knew why they were here and they looked forward to it

The approach to it is really getting the people to understand why we are doing it to be seen not to be the bad guys not so much as coming in police point of view and picking them up for it but really coaching the guys working with them so they can the benefits of it as well you know

I think the whole process is a learning process there are repeat visits and the follow ups reassures the guys we are serious about improving safety here on site and leading by example, by not walking past the problem by dealing with them then and there

If you don't have that commitment from the top it doesn't totally work. They have to lead by example in the way that they conduct themselves and be committed to the processes that they implement

There not doing things safely because they are told to they are actually doing it because they want to, it makes them safe, makes their work mates safe. The guys feel they have ownership of them and when they have contributed to the procedures and the way that we do things, it's wonderful

Before I felt like I was managing down onto the guys when it comes to safety you know – you will do it and we tried to enforce it but now it's really them managing up as well so they sometimes highlight things that we're not doing correctly they have a much, much bigger buy in the approach and the changes that we are trying to make. It's actually a self-policing culture so instead of us picking it up it's actually picking it up themselves.

It makes the job easy for us. Anything we need we can always go to senior management and it gets implemented immediately

Once we actually started putting safety first and actually start having robust discussions around it inevitably it finds its way from you know the board room through to the senior leadership team through to the actual workforce. We have had some injuries in the workplace, but we haven't lost a shift as a consequence but even those injuries are being aggressive driven down by taking learnings from incidents that not just have happened here but in industry and applying those to our business.

Having people solely focused on safety has made a huge improvement. I think return on investment they should definitely consider it, its money you are going to save in the long run, absolutely. With the company growing we have been able to reduce our actual premiums that we pay

It is a return on investment, what you put into it you are going to get more than that back to it. There is nothing worse than going into an environment where things are unsafe, you don't feel like coming to work. It shows in your attitude, it shows in your productivity.

The broader benefits when you look at return of investment, are really much more significant, the risk profile for instance the key customers will ask, they will look for low risk suppliers. These type of results feed into their risk assessments and they feed into our ability to actually retain work and continue to conduct activities that we conduct here today. The future for Norship is very much about becoming a centre of excellence in what we do and safety is just an integral part of actually getting that piece right.

I think we all think we do the right thing but it is really good to get another set of eyes across your business. It really just highlights things that maybe you hadn't thought of. At the end of the day I want my guys to go home the same way they come to work you know.

It's seeing everyone go home at the end of each day, seeing them proud to actually come to work, is really, really important to me