Queensland businesses are reaping the rewards of working with our Injury Prevention and Management program to overcome safety issues at their workplaces.

The Injury Prevention and Management (IPaM) team worked with ETS Vegetation Management over two years after being referred by WorkCover Queensland. During this time, the business formed a very productive working relationship with IPaM, with ETS’s Glenn Spring saying the business was grateful for the support, guidance and encouragement provided.

ETS implemented practical improvements and systems changes, including a range of new work health and safety policies and procedures and the appointment of safety advocates in each work area. There is now a major focus on traffic management, paint storage, sandblasting and spray booth operations, flash screening for welding areas, installation of new pallet racking systems, and falls protection.

The business is keen to spread the good news about how IPaM worked for them, and how other companies like them can benefit.

Mr Spring shared his IPaM experience at a Sunshine Coast Area Network for Work Health and Safety meeting, revealing how the company had evolved since 1981 when it was a ‘one man band’ – just him, his ute and his chainsaw for tree trimming and removal services in Melbourne. Now, the company services every state in Australia, undertaking tree trimming, electricity installation projects, meter reading, street light replacement and water utility contracts. In all, there are 377 staff, including sub-contractors.

“The business’s safety culture has come a long way. We learnt quickly that we needed to do much more to learn about our safety risks, and make improvements across our business to make it safer for all our workers,” Mr Spring said.

“Safety in the workplace is like dieting to get down to your ideal weight. It is not a target that you reach which then allows you to go back to your old ways.

“As with weight loss, to keep the weight off you must adopt a totally new lifestyle, one made up of regular exercise and nutritious eating. Safety is the same. To keep a safe workplace we must adopt a safety conscious attitude, we must have buy-in from all levels of the business and we must make it just as much a part of the goal as profits, otherwise old habits sneak back in and (in the organisational context) we become overweight and lazy.”

Mr Spring said that working with IPaM was a positive experience he would highly recommend to others. ETS has even accepted an offer to continue working with the IPaM program.

“The guidance was exceptional and their approach is excellent. They are always just a phone call away for advice and practical guidance,” he said.

originally published: https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/forms-and-resources/newsletter/esafe-newsletters/esafe-editions/esafe/april-2008/a-safety-cultural-shift-pays-dividends-for-ets-vegetation-management