Grow­ing a safety cul­ture

New Zealand Logger - - Safety Summit -

A SAFETREE PRO­GRAMME CALLED ‘GROW­ING OUR SAFETY Cul­ture’ is be­ing rolled out across New Zealand af­ter tri­alling with a small num­ber of con­trac­tors and for­est own­ers.

It’s be­ing cham­pi­oned by the For­est In­dus­try Safety Coun­cil (FISC) as a way to help cre­ate a work­place cul­ture among log­ging and sil­vi­cul­ture crews that sup­ports good health and safety prac­tices.

The new pro­gramme was pi­loted with ten for­est own­ers and con­trac­tors, large and small, in the sec­ond half of last year, with 364 peo­ple tak­ing part.

Psy­chol­o­gist and safety ex­pert, Dr Hil­lary Ben­nett was in­volved in the pi­lot study and told the For­est In­dus­try Safety & Tech­nol­ogy 2018 con­fer­ence in Ro­torua last month that “speak­ing up isn’t al­ways easy, but it’s cru­cial” to im­prov­ing safety in the bush.

She stressed the im­por­tance of “fa­cil­i­tated con­ver­sa­tions” that al­low mem­bers of the crew to talk freely about their ex­pe­ri­ences, what they see and what can be im­proved, and about mak­ing sure their in­put is wel­comed, val­ued and acted upon.

One of the things that came out of the pi­lot study was that we do not learn well from in­ci­dents and she says we need to take that on board.

One par­tic­i­pant, Tim­ber­lands, found the pi­lot so ef­fec­tive it has de­cided to run the pro­gramme with all its teams – in­clud­ing the board of di­rec­tors.

FISC’s Fiona Ewing ex­plains it fur­ther in a blog on the Safetree web­site, say­ing: “This pro­gramme helps busi­nesses build a work­place cul­ture that sup­ports suc­cess­ful work and good health and safety out­comes.

“The pro­gramme can be used with crews to im­prove at­ti­tudes and prac­tices. It helps build stronger re­la­tion­ships within the crew by im­prov­ing things like com­mu­ni­ca­tion, en­gage­ment and re­port­ing. Th­ese are all ar­eas that have been iden­ti­fied by crews as cru­cial to hav­ing a good day at work.

“Im­por­tantly, this pro­gramme can also be used by for­est own­ers and man­agers to help them un­der­stand how their be­hav­iour might be sup­port­ing or hin­der­ing safety on­site.”

It builds on the Safety Cul­ture tree ini­tia­tive cre­ated some years ago and the orig­i­nal con­cepts have been up­dated and pack­aged into a pro­gramme that pro­vides sup­port to put them into prac­tice (see the ‘tree’ illustration).

Ms Ewing adds: “This pro­gramme helps you un­der­stand the true state of health and safety in your busi­ness. It helps you har­ness the ex­per­tise in your teams to make im­prove­ments. It also en­ables you to reap the wider busi­ness ben­e­fits of hav­ing more mo­ti­vated teams.”

The pro­gramme in­volves:

• A team as­sess­ment to un­cover what’s re­ally go­ing on with health and safety

• A re­port-back on the re­sults of the as­sess­ment that high­lights what’s go­ing well and what can be im­proved

• A feed­back ses­sion to iden­tify ways to make im­prove­ments and de­velop ac­tion plans.

Ms Ewing says it’s not an au­dit, “it’s about iden­ti­fy­ing prac­tices that sup­port or un­der­mine health and safety, then sup­port­ing team mem­bers to come up with im­prove­ments.”

For more in­for­ma­tion go to the Safetree web­site.

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