When Winstone Aggregates engaged an external review of company-wide review of their safety systems during 2019 through 2020 and were shocked to find some areas scored poorly. As a result they instigated various mechanisms to improve their safety performance. It was not a one-off but a continuous evolution of things happening, and it is reported “the momentum is just getting better and better all the time”.
Systems reviewed included blasting procedures, electrical procedures, access to fixed plant for maintenance, as well as heavy vehicle use and all of the procedures around that.
To date they have spent over $1.5mil on improvements on fixed plant at their sites and changed the way they work completely. Winstone Aggregates’ workers were seeing the commitment from the management team; the managers got ideas from other sites as to what they identified, and soon an initial list of 120 climbed to almost 600 areas that needed improvement.
They found that breaking up the safety improvements journey into small achievable bits, by use of a “roadmap” which clearly showed the next steps, a key to the programme’s success. “We spent lots of time on making plans of how to improve engagement, how to improve the safety culture, how to get to the hearts and minds of all our people so that we can all go home safely. We also identified during our many workshops that we had that first on the list was to ensure that all of our critical risks are controlled all of the time. We developed, with the help of our Learning and Development team, a Risk Containment Workshop that we ran throughout the country.”
The answers received to several questions posed to each of their 12 New Zealand operations were pivotal to the next stages:
- How well is the continuous improvement approach integrated into the overall operations of the company?
- What are the demonstrated improvements in health and safety in the workplace as a result of the continuous improvement and health and safety leadership?
- How much potential is there for this approach to have broader application across other workplaces, agencies, and the industry?
- Demonstrate how the organisation has influenced others within the extractives industry to effect substantial and sustainable change to health and safety standards.
- Statements from Workers and or Worker representatives about engagement with workers, health and safety improvements made and leadership
The next part of their journey starts soon. Winstone Aggregates have developed a Safety Leadership programme specifically targeted for their people, and delivered by senior leadership team to help new managers and remind existing managers not only what tools are available for them as leaders, but also to encourage and challenge them on areas that they might need to improve to become better safety leaders, and how to bring their team along with them.
Congratulations to Winstone Aggregates who were clearly this year’s winners.