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Tarmac IPaM film

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

Download a copy of this film

My name is Grant Tucker, I am the Group Manager of Tarmac Company, we're timber wholesalers and resawers, timber treatment. Traditionally back in the day there would be very few wood machinist that had all their fingers. It was just kind of an acceptable risk.

IPaM stands for the Injury Management and Prevention program. It's a WorkCover and a Workplace Health and Safety Queensland initiative to help businesses foster positive change towards safety and injury management.

I feel a very high level of personal responsibility, having been out there myself I know how dangerous it is and I know from experience what that the results of an accident can be.

Safety responsibility needs to be owned by all workers, at all levels especially given the fact that they're working with large, loud and dangerous equipment often unsupervised. Tarmac Timbers had a wide range of injuries because they had a wide range of hazards. Those injuries may have been caused
from poor design of machinery or dated machinery or a lack of sufficient guarding.

From the beginning I think the hazards were all around us and seeing people actually work around the risks and the hazards that we see day to day, I think that was the main thing.

You hear more about the safety kind of thing where as before I guess it wasn't really something you spoke about, it was sort of just put into place but you never really it wasn't really something you really went over.

Through the IPaM program with initial audits we identified some machine guarding that was obvious perhaps but definitely improvable we added some rails and walkways, changed some guarding around chains. We have readdressed some machines and changed the way they operate so that the operator can be away
from the hazard.

A systems assessment with the Injury Prevention and Management program is a tailored approach, so that systems assessment may be sitting down and reviewing a system of work or their paperwork and documents, what works, what doesn't work, what they need to add or perhaps remove, or what they need to
refine further. That's often done with the highest level management so that everyone has an understanding and it is also about testing that system of work with the workers on the floor.

Traditionally there has been a disconnect between the two sides, those that are actually doing and those in the office.

Within the IPaM framework there is a lot of open communication. Communication flows quite easily which allows you to identify opportunities for improvement and to work closer with the workers on a consultative level. They feel like you are one of them.

When I met Shannon, he said we don't have to do everything at once, so he explained to me everything is done by stages you know if we can do step by step stages, don't have to throw everything into it week by week. To this day, those stages are still ongoing but we have come so far since that first
stage, it's incredible.

So the attitude towards health and safety has definitely changed because we get more input from like management and the people in the office where as previously I guess it wasn't really so much like that so it's good to have guys like Noel and Grant.

Grant as our boss if we bring something to him we will have it fixed within that week every time.

Workplace health and safety has always had a high focus and policy and procedures but I think the difference for us has been in transitioning from having our paperwork in a row to actually being able to apply those principals and policies.

Eighteen months on from commencing the IPaM program with Tarmac Timbers the organization now still fosters positive incident reporting and you can see the physical change in the workspace you can see the more practical changes with regards to hazards and risk management and you will also see the systematic
changes and the workplace culture also changing.

Stepping up in workplace health and safety hasn't been overnight thing and to involve people in it to get people on board has taken some time. Friday arvo everyone would knock off half an hour earlier and we would have a health and safety meeting with a bar-b-que and that's become a monthly event here
and as well as addressing the workplace health and safety its given us a forum for discussing other production issues or just helping to build a team.

So communication is definitely the most important part if everyone is on the same page then we all know what needs to be done and if someone is doing something unsafe then you can pull them up on it let them know this is the procedure. Making sure your staff are all up to speed, they all know the procedures,
their all on the same level knowing what they can do to change things if somethings unsafe as you sort of go through things in life, you might get married or have kids or what not you definitely become more conscious of the safety.

Now that IPaM have stepped away from us a little bit I think day in and day out the routines are there now if we can respect each other, the way we work and how we work and the procedures that we can put in especially from IPaM that I think it will help out in the long run for all of us.

It has always been at the back of my mind what if and although we've not had a serious accident here what if so the peace of mind over that is some that is worthwhile but as well as that the attitude of the workers when they can see management implementing change it has definitely improved and I think
that's definitely something that quite be measured in dollars and cents.