Creating a
culture of safety

Safety is at the forefront of what we do, whether you work out on the water, on the port or at a desk. It has been very pleasing to see the progress we have made in improving safety for our staff.

67%

LOST-TIME INJURIES

As a result of new initiatives and work done in previous years, lost time injuries are down by 67%, with only four this year compared to 12 the previous year. Injuries requiring medical treatment were down 21% to 45. Although we still have further to go, and we recognise the need for vigilance and continual improvement, we are proud that the numbers are heading in the right direction.

This year we launched ‘Portsafe’, an online health and safety reporting and monitoring tool. Portsafe has given us better visibility of health and safety incidents and improved the way we respond to them. It will help us identify weaknesses and then address them.

An example of how Portsafe can be used is in the reporting of ‘near-miss’ incidents. A near-miss is an unplanned event which didn’t result in injuries or harm, but had the potential to do so. We all need to take responsibility for our own and others safety, so all staff are encouraged to report any near miss incidents they see through Portsafe. By evaluating near-miss incidents, we can look at what could have happened, determine how the near-miss happened and take corrective action to prevent the same thing happening again in the future.

This initiative recognises that everyone needs to take responsibility for safety, so all staff are encouraged to report any incidents they see through PortSafe.

Having a good health and safety culture is vital if we are to get our injury rates down further. To that end, in February 627 staff were offered the opportunity to take part in an online and paper based safety culture survey designed by the company Global Safety Index. 362 took part, a high participation rate.

There were 56 standard statements based on a number of safety culture indicators in the survey. Each of the statements was scored according to what extent the participant agreed or disagreed with the statement. From this, a total safety culture score was calculated for each business unit. As expected, there was variability in the score, dependent on the area of the business.

People view their environment according to their own personal frame of reference so in order to gain a greater understanding of some of the commonalities displayed in responses, the survey was followed up with a series of focus group interviews to give more in depth understanding of the responses. Those who took part in the interviews were universally appreciative of the opportunity to participate and provided some great insights into how they perceive safety in their work environment.

We will use the information gained from this process to develop strategies to ensure continuous improvement in health and safety engagement and achieve a truly mature safety culture.

Our focus for the future will continue to be on developing a strong safety culture at the port. We will also be placing more emphasis on our lead safety indicators so that we can predict the best way to keep us all safe.

Note: Health and safety metrics depict the numbers at the Waitematā seaport only.