Building and OH&S Culture
by Ian Pratt
In my early years as a manager I were employed to turn around the performance of a timber mill that was losing about $300,000 per month and had a dreadful OH&S performance, so bad that the business was regularly audited by government inspectors.
Despite me spending 50% of my time on improving OH%S standards in the business, the employee would tell the inspectors that management did not care about OH&S we were only concerned with productivity.
I reflected on my work day and realised that every time that I went into the mill I would ask how the machines were running, and only discussed OH&S in OH&S Meetings.
I made one change to my leadership style, every time I went into the mill I would ask about OH&S then the equipment.
The next time the government inspectors came and audited us was the last time because the employees told them we had great concerns for OH&S.
Over the next year we managed to reduce injury frequency rates by 85%, reduce lost time injuries to none and reduced cost per claim by 95%.
Being passionate about people, listening to their perceptions and changing my leadership contributed to a significant improvement in our OH&S performance.