Skyline Landscape Services

2019 SWRWA Winner

Category ten – Best demonstrated leadership in return to work

Skyline Landscape Services - cat 10

Skyline Landscape Services is a nationally recognised leader in the provision of landscape and horticultural management services in Queensland.

Skyline Landscape Services’ rehabilitation and return to work culture has been developed collectively through leadership, communication and training. Management prioritises workplace rehabilitation and this is supported by the organisation’s workplace rehabilitation policy. The messages in the policy are reinforced in training, campaigns, awareness programs and daily activities.

Return to work is always discussed in an open, positive and supportive way and each illness or injury is treated individually, taking into consideration all aspects of the worker’s recovery. This involves contributions from the return to work coordinator, injured worker, treating health professionals, occupational rehabilitation providers, managers, supervisors and co-workers to minimise the impact of the injury or illness on the worker and their family.

Skyline Landscape Services collaborates with key stakeholders to deliver rehabilitation and return to work initiatives that are practical, safe and workable in the field, including:

  • suitable duties
  • external rehabilitation providers
  • modifications to tasks, equipment or work schedules
  • upskilling or retraining opportunities
  • transition to new employment.

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Read transcript

Jackie Watson: My name is Jackie Watson and I worked for Skyline Landscape Services. I'm the National Worker Health and Safety Advisor. Currently, we have an excess of over 400 staff nationally. We're a national landscape maintenance company. We currently look after residential areas, industrial areas, government and infrastructure.

So, just over four years ago, just after I started, I noticed how many reported injuries there were in Queensland. And also the amount of accepted workers' comp claims was much higher than any other state. Well, management knew that we needed a change, especially with the premiums that we're paying and the amount of workers comp claims. So, we had to start with a safety culture and ensure that there is buy in from employees, make sure that they were working safe and they realize the importance of why.

We realize that an injury can have an enormous impact on someone's life, just not only on their own life, but their family life. The longer that someone is incapacitated and at home, the harder it is mentally to get them back to work. We want to make team members still feel part of the team and feel welcome. We want to provide them meaningful duties and get them back to work as soon as they can. The most important factor in getting the team member back to work is building that relationship and building the communication. It's not just with the injured worker, but it's building the relationships with other key parties, such as the GPs and the physios and the chiros and it's having an open communication, and understanding what the work needs.

We maintain constant communication with the injured worker. From the time that they injured, we maintain regular communication and it's about educating them on the importance of recovering at work. What duties we have available and we get their input, along with their doctors and their physiotherapists. We have open discussion about work duties and where we can put people.

I'm extremely proud of what we've been able to achieve over the past few years. Seen a dramatic reduction in the amount of injuries that our team members have sustained. We've been able to reduce that by half. Safety's always going to be at the highest priority for Skyline. We realized our team members are our greatest asset and looking after their safety is always going to be our number one priority.

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Last updated
10 December 2019