Craig Hatchard, Transport and Main Roads

Category eleven – Best demonstrated health and safety work design

Craig Hatchard, Transport and Main Roads

Craig has been on a two-year journey to improve asbestos management across the Transport and Main Roads business. He successfully used his own expertise to build organisational knowledge, increase awareness and implement a structured system to control risks.

With the support of Transport and Main Roads’ leadership team, Craig demonstrated his commitment to learning about the needs and capabilities of the people involved and visited worksites and operational depots. He dedicated a significant amount of time to meet shift workers and made himself available around the clock with the ‘Better call Craig’ initiative.

Showing real innovation, Craig led the development and implemented of a digital asbestos register (GECO). Taking into consideration the different work and geographic location of Transport and Main Roads’ workers, this application contains information about more than 9,000 asbestos locations. This register allows for the reviewing and directing of action on a case-by-case basis.

Craig’s expertise is valued by his colleagues and the organisation. His hands-on attitude and effective engagement with all levels of staff has transformed Transport and Main Roads' attitude towards training, education and ultimately resulting in a complete cultural shift towards working safely with asbestos.

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Craig Hatchard: My name is Craig Hatchard. I work for Roadtek, who are the construction arm of the Department of Transport and Main Roads and on I'm the principle advisor for occupational hygiene. Roadtek delivers road and construction activities on Queensland's roads and bridges, with approximately 1200 employees. Within the business, it was identified there was a gap in regards to knowledge regarding as asbestos. So, I was brought in as a specialist, provide advice regarding the management of specialists in transport infrastructure.

The plan started with talking with senior management, trying to understand their concerns and where they wanted the focus to be. Then the next step was to go out and talk to the guys on the ground, to find out what have they seen, what are their concerns and trying to match the two up and find a solution that works for everybody.

The asbestos improvement project had three main deliverables. Setting up an asbestos register, developing an asbestos management plans, and also developing training that was appropriate to our workers. One of the activities with asbestos registers for transport infrastructure is, it's not like a building, so you can't say, go to the bedroom and look at the ceiling. We had to come up with a register where we could locate these items, but also, it wasn't a big wad of paper. So, we came up with a system, an app, which indicates when we find asbestos. So, guys just need to go onto the site, open up the app, find out what's around me by pressing one button and straight away, they can see any asbestos products that have been identified on a work site.

One of the biggest part of my role is to provide specialist advice. And so, I made myself available to call me at any time. If you had a question regarding asbestos, a campaign was developed, Better Call Craig. So if you had an issue regarding asbestos, the word was, you better call Craig. From this, I was able to get a better understanding of people's concerns, better understanding of the work they're trying to achieve and where some of those gaps were, in regards to knowledge, and the actual perception of risk.

So from this, I'm hoping that I've taught my kids about asbestos. I'm hoping that the workers go home and teach their kids about asbestos. That's the biggest thing I take away from this, is that I'm hopefully changing their lives for the better. Just not at work, but also at home.

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Last updated
10 December 2019