Zero Harm at Work Leadership Forum

A leadership forum which focused at the challenges of building safety into contractor management systems was conducted where construction industry leaders shared their expertise.

McNab hosted a Zero Harm at Work Leadership Program forum for leaders in the construction industry. Representatives from James L. Williams, Lend Lease and BP discussed the importance of strong safety leadership and effective partnership with contractors.

CEO James L. Williams, Gary Deverall recalled a time when workers would neglect safety.

“These days, safety is a part of every construction business, from the executive down to the trainees and apprentices,” said Mr Deverall.

“A safety management system will not be effective unless the senior members of an organisation can demonstrate leadership, a commitment to safety and visibly live and breathe the safety message.

“You need to be passionate and you need to empower your workers by giving them the opportunity to be involved in making strategic decisions.

“Understand that safety operates 24/7, it’s not just in the workplace, not out in the street and in the home. When safety is given the same priority as financial management and project delivery, the difference to the project, the business and to workers is noticeable and measurable.”

Lend Lease said principal contractors have the responsibility to embed safety into their business models and to drive safety through subcontractors to the workers.

“Corporate leaders should recognise that only those projects where, at minimum, compliance and good safety management is achievable, should be considered viable,” said Head of Environmental Health and Safety and Quality Assurance (QLD/NT) from Lend Lease, Darren Sharry.

“Today’s principal contractor succeeds or fails on the back of its subcontractors. The importance of managing these relationships and driving safety as a priority can therefore not be underestimated.”

BP Senior Health, Safety and Environment Officer, Chris Miller said every contractual relationship’s goal should be focused on achieving a win-win relationship.

“Partnerships have to be built on the basis of trust and equality. If either party feels as though they cannot speak the truth or raise objections, then everything will suffer – safety especially,” said Mr Miller.

“No client wants a worker injured on their site. But many clients fail to acknowledge the role they play in ensuring that the contractors they engage share the same values and the same safety objectives.”

Discussions during the forum are summarised into Ten tips for embedding safety into contractor management.’

Further information on the Zero Harm at Work Leadership program can be accessed through the WHSQ website.

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