In September 2018, the ABC’s hit documentary series Australian Story tracked ...
Safety is everyone’s business. It takes a true team effort to make sure we can all return home safe to our loved ones. Industrial sites like ours are inherently risky, which is why ‘Be GFG Safe’ was launched in 2020 to help us build a safer workplace. For World Day of Safety and Health at Work, we caught up with our Global Head of Safety, Fran Nores, to ask how we can keep ourselves and our colleagues safe all year round.
Fran, World Safety Day this year is all about acting together and speaking up to create a positive safety and health culture. Why is this important for us?
Fran: This year’s message from the ILO (International Labour Organization) is “Let’s Act Together”. In 2020, we started a five-year journey by launching our “Be GFG Safe” vision and strategy. One of the four pillars of our strategy is to develop an interdependent safety culture. This is only achieved by empowering our employees across our operations to stop any job if it is not safe and work together to make it safe to proceed.
We work to develop a safety culture of shared vigilance where everyone takes ownership of their own safety and that of their colleagues.
What differences have you seen since Be GFG Safe launched?
Fran: We have come a long way since we launched GFG Life Savers in July 2020. Today, we have a global safety network with more than 40 safety managers across the world who meet quarterly to discuss, share and analyse critical incidents and internal and external practices. We have designed a set of critical risk standards based on industry best practices and country regulations.
We have also rolled-out a global Health & Safety platform, Cority, to report, investigate, track and analyse all incidents with or without injuries. This has increased the transparency of our record keeping, and it has contributed to exchanging incidents and learnings across different businesses in different countries across the globe.
How are we doing on speaking up when we see something unsafe?
Fran: Over the last 12 months, our employees have intervened almost 38,000 times against an “At Risk Behaviour”. To put this in perspective, a year earlier we only reported 8300 interventions.
I am convinced this is the main reason behind the significant improvements we have achieved over the last 12 months across most of our businesses.
Our InfraBuild business in Australia has achieved their best performance ever with a 23% reduction in their recordable injury frequency rate compared to FY21 and 41% compared to FY20. Within Primary Steel and Mining, our coal mine in Australia (Tahmoor) has achieved their best safety performance in the history of the mine with a 47% reduction on recordable injuries. In Europe, our business in Italy (Magona) registered a 51% reduction in TRIFR compared to FY21.
How are we encouraging our people to intervene and not look the other way?
Fran: Last year we launched the GFG behavioural program “Safety Connect”, which is designed to build a collective belief of the Why, How and What of the Intervention Program. Safety Connect is a modern approach that taps into the key drivers of behaviour change – hearts and minds, social cues and capability – to develop a workforce where everyone is responsible for their safety and the safety of others.
Over the last 12 months 1500 people across InfraBuild, Liberty USA, Liberty UK, MPS have been trained and we are expecting to train at least 5000 more employees over the next 12 months.
Is there anything you’d like us all to think more about this year to keep ourselves and our colleagues safe?
Fran: As we discuss in the Safety Connect program: “What can happen, will happen. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but one day. Maybe not to you or someone close to you, but to someone”. Let’s not look the other way, let’s intervene. It only takes a few minutes to save a life. Safety is a team effort.
Thanks Fran and thank you to everyone who works hard to keep us safe. Following safety protocols, reporting hazards, and looking out for our fellow workers can be life saving.
Caption: Below are some of the 1,500 colleagues across LIBERTY Steel Group globally who have taken part in GFG’s behavioural safety program Safety Connect