This past year has really hammered home the need to think holistically about safety, health and wellbeing in the workplace.
COVID-19 has placed very real pressures on people, redefining and changing how we work and live. Studies and news reports have documented the rise in mental health challenges including anxiety and depression, and from a practical viewpoint, workplace processes and procedures have had to adjust to cater for necessary public health measures.
The cognitive load placed on people, as they grapple with this new world we live and work in, raises the potential for distraction, for fatigue and accidents in the workplace.
Which is why I’m a very proud today, on World Day for Safety and Health at Work Day – and coincidentally World Steel Safety Day 2021 – to reflect on the efforts of my team and people over this past year.
InfraBuild has always had a strong focus on safety – the safety of our people, our customers and community. But against what has been a trying year for everyone, where we have adapted and maintained our operations, keeping our doors open to continue to supply essential steel to the Australian construction industry, we have set a new benchmark.
Our third quarter was our best ever, with no Lost Time Injuries (LTIs) and a 37% decrease in recordable injuries when compared to quarter two. We also notched up 135 days lost-time injury free this year. In line with our continuous improvement mindset, these measures can now inspire us onward to increased safety performance and measures.
Our implementation of the global Be GFG Safe safety strategy has guided our efforts, along with the incorporation of the strategy’s Life Savers – a set of life-saving behaviours covering over 80% of our critical incidents. They form part of the critical incident prevention pillar of the Be GFG Safe strategy and reinforce the behaviours we want our people to follow.
But strategy and guidelines are only ever as good as the implementation and application of them day in day out. It requires ongoing vigilance and dedication because the steel industry, like all industries, can never be accident free. The goal for everyone to get home safely at the end of each day can only happen when safety, health and wellbeing becomes a 100% commitment from everyone at all levels.
Part of our safety approach has included a focus on being ‘fit for work and fit for life.’ To this end we have placed great emphasis on ensuring our people have access to mental health and wellbeing supports and programs.
The pay-off for steel companies that have a committed and deliberate focus on safety is simple. Strong safety and health performance requires excellence and attention in all operational areas. It’s no surprise that successful steel companies have strong safety records.
Worldsteel data shows there has been significant improvements in eliminating accidents and injuries from the industry in recent years, with the Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) data from member companies decreasing by 82% from 2006 to 2019.
At InfraBuild, where we want all members of our extended family to be safe, we’re proud of the role we’re playing in contributing to a safe and sustainable industry.
CEO of InfraBuild
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