Mendi Construction has been operating for 60 years and is a second-generation family business offering integrated civil construction services. Senior management prioritised investing in a large recruitment drive after it became apparent that the safety department was under resourced and it was having a direct impact on the safety performance of the business.
Mendi Construction hired five new full-time safety professionals whose priority it was to engage the workforce, review and improve reporting and develop a plan for continuous improvement of the integrated safety management system.
It committed to building workforce capabilities and over 35 per cent of Mendi Construction employees participated in a registered training program or apprenticeship over a 24-month period. It also offered mentoring and on the job training to improve performance and importantly, to reduce turnover and implement succession plans.
Since the new safety team came on board, Mendi Constructions has surveyed staff several times and surveys indicate higher levels of productivity, better staff morale and engagement and better manageable cash flow.
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Jason Fowler: The Mendi Group are a civil construction company. We also do bulk haulage, contract crushing, and project management, and Mendi Group, they've got approximately 70 employees at the moment.
Jeff Doyle: It was decided several years ago that our safety culture needed to be more representative of all of our business. A lot of tenders now require the non-price criteria, and safety and training is a huge component of a non-price part of our work. So we invested a lot of time in finding the right people and Jason and his team have taken it to the next level and got the safety well beyond where I thought it'd be at this stage.
Jason Fowler: I've got a safety team of four full-time employees. I think the key initiatives were improving in communication and consultation with the workforce, implementing a no-blame philosophy so that people were encouraged to talk about their mistakes and make sure that we don't repeat them, those mistakes in the company again, so we gave our employees a reason to follow our management systems. We analysed fatalities in our industry and how they could affect our roles on site and how it might affect their lives and their lives of their families and their workmates.
Jeff Doyle: It's important that staff members go home to where they came to work. It's also important that we value people's health and safety is a priority in our business, well before any profits or any business attributes. Our safety culture has improved while at a site far beyond what I'd thought it could be. And it just goes to show the more effort you put in, the more results you get out of it. It doesn't need to be expensive. It's expensive if you don't do it right. So if you hit the cost upfront, you're well rewarded at the end.
Jason Fowler: The culture is now something we are very proud of within Mendi. A level of safety performance can't be attributed to just one thing. It's been a combination of a lot of things and some great teamwork.
- Last updated
- 10 December 2019