At the beginning of this month the Datamars Brisbane team reached a whopping 1308 lost time injury free days, and those numbers continue to grow. This is no mean feat, so we spoke to the Datamars Australia Operations Manager, Grant McVie, about how he cultivates a safety-first culture in the workplace to achieve this.

He says quite emphatically it’s not what they are doing, it’s how we work.

“Making a difference is something we do both internally and externally. We want our people to get home safe and well every day.”

Grant shared that while everyone has it in their KPIs, safety is the first topic in every single meeting and there is ongoing training. There’s also an openness to discussing and calling out safety issues in their workplace. In fact, it’s encouraged.

How does that look?

Grant has empowered all employees to speak out about safety concerns. “For example, if someone more senior than you isn’t wearing a high-res vis jacket, it’s encouraged you call out your colleague, kindly, or raise it with a manager promptly. We praise that kind of behaviour and just expect it of each other”

“It’s about talk and action,” Grant said. “Each month I meet with my team and share the next Safety House topic, and they pass these down to their teams for on the ground training.”

Datamars Australia have developed a ‘Safety House’ methodology which contains daily and monthly management routines. There are eighteen Safe Work Procedures (SWP’s) – documents used to train teams on the latest best safe practices, such as Chain of Responsibility, Manual Handling and Fatigue Management.

He also encourages a what happened and how do we make sure it never happens again approach across the team. Everyone has easy access to site and safety information. Not all staff have computer access on-site, however, they do all have smartphones. QR codes are utilised so staff can access important information and provide feedback with greater ease.

Making it easy to speak up and report health and safety matters is key.

“Instead of having to go searching for that mysterious document online that, let’s face it, no one can ever find, you can simply scan the QR codes on first aid boxes with your phone. It then opens a simple Microsoft office form that’s easy to complete and submit. No printing, no signing, no fuss.”

Lastly, Grant shared they are always looking for ways to improve especially during operational peak periods – their busiest times of the year.