Genesis Energy credits its strengthening health and safety focus, and particularly the implementation of the ZIP and ISEE.IT programmes, for the considerable improvements it has made in workplace health and safety over the past year.
The company’s injury frequency rate at March 31 was 2.91, a 60 per cent improvement on the year before, and a 90 per cent improvement since 2010. According to the Business Leaders’ Health and Safety Forum in January 2013, Genesis’ injury frequency rate was 90 per cent lower than the benchmark overall, and 89 per cent lower than the industry benchmark.
The company is targeting a ‘world-class’ health and safety performance by 2014/15 and has designed a comprehensive H&S management framework centred around people, process, and plant and equipment design to meet this aim. Vital to this framework are the ZIP and ISEE.IT initiatives.
The $2 million implementation of the ZIP - Zero Incident Process training - programme in the past two years has transformed the way employees view their H&S at work. Of the 913 employees who had been through the training as of March 31, 88.8 per cent believed the training would make a difference to their personal safety, and 89 per cent were keen to put their learnings into action.
The ISEE.IT reporting tool, implemented in October 2012, works in tandem with ZIP by encouraging employees to take responsibility for H&S risks they see in the workplace. Since its introduction, near miss and safety reporting has increased by 77 per cent compared with the previous year.
‘Furnace ashing’, a high-risk activity at the company’s Huntly power station, has been the target of a special H&S project in the past year. The process involves transferring coal ash from the boiler to a safe disposal area. In the past the majority of injuries were burns and sprain or strain injuries.
Genesis identified that ashing out more regularly and changing the water lancing procedure would lead to H&S improvements. Procedures were changed and burn injuries have since been virtually eliminated. Sprains and strains have been significantly reduced.
Particular H&S efforts were also made during the $145 million-$155 million Tekapo Canal remediation project, which at its peak involved 400 contractors. Actions taken included translating safety inductions into Hungarian for the international contractors from lining supplier CARPITECH. No lost time injuries and no medical treatment injuries were recorded during the six-month project, and just five injuries requiring first aid occurred.
In another major project, no injuries were recorded during the 65,000 man-hour maintenance of Huntly 5, thanks largely to strategies in place mitigating the impact of fatigue. These included having health nurses present at the first and last shift every day, and team talks about signs of fatigue.
The Excellence in Health & Safety award category is sponsored by Siemens.