Genesis Energy has achieved a 93 per cent reduction in its total recordable injury frequency rate since 2010.
The number of injuries reported per million hours worked dropped 29 per cent to 2.43 in the year to March. Genesis says that rate, down from 31.3 in 2010, is among the lowest of all similar companies in the energy, utility and mining sectors in Australia and New Zealand.
Genesis credits those on-going improvements to the investment it continues to make in getting all staff at all levels of the organisation to think more about safety and the role they can play in keeping themselves and their colleagues safe.
Genesis says it has invested $2 million in the Zero Incident Process (ZIP) programme provided by SENTIS. In tandem with ZIP, Genesis introduced the I.SEE.IT reporting tool in October 2012. Near miss and safety observation reporting has increased by 77 per cent as a result.
The company’s goal is to achieve world-class performance in health and safety within the coming year.
Genesis says it values human life above all else. A safe and healthy workplace is also a place “where talent wants to work” and also has other business benefits. Active workers are more productive, while projects that are planned for safety are usually better planned generally, improving quality and profitability.
As of March this year, 1,227 Genesis employees have completed ZIP training, including the company’s leadership team.
A survey of employees carried out by Genesis found that 89 per cent of employees thought ZIP would increase personal safety as well as the safety of the company. The same number of employees were eager to put ZIP learnings into practice. This has seen an increase in employee enthusiasm and proactive safety attitudes according to leaders at Genesis.
Almost all participants surveyed – 98 per cent – said they would recommend the programme to others.
An example of a health and safety project undertaken by Genesis was the way it tackled the burns and strains and sprains typically associated with the process of ‘furnace ashing’ at Huntly. Furnace ashing involves transferring coal ash from the boilers to a safe disposal area.
After seven weeks and 1,900 hours of internal labour dedicated to the project, the investigation resulted in ‘ashing out’ being carried out more regularly, reducing the need for heavy equipment. Manual water lancing was also eliminated from one of the higher risk areas of the furnaces.
Twelve months on there has been no repeat of the earlier injuries and contractors and staff are working closely to manage hazards on a daily basis.
An example of the firm’s focus on safety by design was the $145 million Tekapo Canal remediation project, which involved more than 400 contractors at its peak and 60 items of mobile plant on site. The work was completed with no lost time injuries or any injuries requiring medical attention, despite 243,896 man-hours being compressed into two three-month work programmes.
Genesis says the decline in the firm’s ACC costs is a tangible example of the benefits the business is gaining from its efforts.
Its average ACC Partnership Programme claim cost for the last financial year was $3,460, compared to WellNZ’s average claim cost of $6,204 and ACC’s cost of $24,775.
The Excellence in Health and Safety Award category is sponsored by the Electricity Networks Association