Connecting safety and culture - getting started: Integra Packaging Pty Ltd., Yeerongpilly

Integra Packaging embarked on a safety culture and leadership journey when the company recognised that the key to continued safe and efficient production rested with its people. Beginning with a shared language around safety culture (including use of a cultural maturity model), the business has established a compelling vision for change. This vision is supported by a comprehensive change strategy that recognises the interactions and dependencies between people and systems. Integra Packaging understands that the road to sustainable change in its safety culture requires a combination of management commitment and vision, as well as workforce engagement through consultation. Importantly, to be successful, safety leadership must be shown at all levels.

The safety culture vision

Integra Packaging realised that its health and safety strategy was missing a crucial enabling component – a positive and consistent safety culture across all operating locations and at all levels of the business. Specifically, Integra Packaging recognised that the effectiveness of its safety system had reached a limit because the company did not have a shared understanding of, and value on safety. A compelling vision for safety was developed and communicated to bring the workforce on this new path forward with safety: 'HSE with Integrity: A clearly defined health, safety and environment culture that enhances productivity, profitability, corporate image, and loss control through reduction of accidents and incidents'.

Defining the vision in this way has helped the employees understand what the company is trying to achieve when it comes to safety culture change. Also, treating safety as the lynchpin between productivity, efficiency, and reputation has helped convince the workforce that the change is an important one they should support.

Putting safety leadership at work principles into action

Integra Packaging is just beginning its safety culture journey, however, many of the safety leadership at work principles have already helped the company organise a change strategy and obtain support throughout the company.

Safety leadership at work principle Actions

Good leaders value safety and set a positive example.

  • Senior management endorses the new vision and secures resources to implement it.
  • Leaders acknowledge their part in the solution and participate in soft-skill development through training and coaching.
  • Defining leading indicators of safety that target positive behaviours and supplement lagging metrics.

Commit to safety, get involved, and inspire others.

  • Introduction of monthly safety KPIs to inform progress toward the vision and increase accountability at all levels.
  • Leadership skills gap analysis and a training plan to close these gaps, with emphasis on leading by example and empowering the workforce around safety.

Build a safety culture through engagement.

  • Health, safety and environment knowledge and competency will be built through workforce training.
  • Active program of consultation and involvement at all levels of the company in introducing the health, safety and environment vision and developing initiatives.
  • Formalising employee involvement through establishing a health, safety and environment committee.
  • Survey workforce safety attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours to build a picture of the company safety culture.

Integrate safety into business practice.

  • Focus on improving safety communication quality through toolbox talks and company messaging.
  • Integrate safety with production and quality goals, with safety positioned as an enabler of good business performance.
  • Health, safety and environment becomes part of the performance appraisal process, with opportunities to develop employees in a structured way.

Safety leadership in detail

The approach taken by Integra Packaging highlights the importance of safety leadership at all levels (from senior management to frontline workers) when preparing for safety culture change.

Creating a shared understanding

An important ingredient in Integra Packaging's safety culture recipe is developing a shared understanding. The company tackled the issue of uncertainty, which can be distressing and lead to resistance, by introducing key concepts to the workforce and providing a scaffold on which to tell an engaging story about the company journey to date and where it must head toward. This was achieved through a safety culture maturity model, which gave leaders a tool to communicate to the workforce and describe what was required from them to move forward.

Involving all employees

One strategy taken by the company was to consult with leaders at all levels and spend time explaining and discussing the vision and strategy. Through this consultative approach, the ground was laid for safety culture change because there was a critical mass of support – people were on the same page about where the company was headed and felt heard by management.

Using systems to support a safety culture

Closing the gap between how things should work and how they actually work is one way that Integra Packaging can achieve its company vision. Taking the position that safety systems support the safety culture the company wish to obtain, Integra identified a number of gaps including health, safety and environment performance appraisal, reviewing policies and procedures, health safety and environment incentives, and an updated health, safety and environment training plan.

Defining an evaluation plan up front

Integra Packaging plans to use several methods to evaluate their safety culture journey, which will give greater confidence that what has been done is actually resulting in change and richer information to inform future health, safety and environment planning.

More information

For further information about this case study, the concepts discussed, or the Safety Leadership at Work Program, visit our website or call 1300 362 128.

Last updated
17 January 2017