Embedding a positive road safety culture in your workplace (1 hour, 2 minutes, 44 seconds)
Jerome Carslake: Good afternoon and welcome to today's web panel. Road safety in your workplace. Embedding a positive road safety culture in your workplace. My name is Jerome Carslake, I'm Principal Professional Leader, the Transport Safety for the National Road Safety Partnership Program which is delivered by Monash University Accident Research Centre. And today I have the pleasure of being the facilitator for the web panel. Joining me today, we have three panellists. You can only see two of them here at the moment because one of them is under travel restrictions. So our first person, Bernard, welcome.
Bernard Carlon: Yeah, thanks Jerome. Nice to be here.
Jerome Carslake: Fantastic. And Bernard is the Executive Director for the Centre for Road Safety and Maritime Safety. So, we'll be hearing a lot more from him very very soon. Chris Dhu welcome.
Chris Dhu: Welcome Jerome. Chris Dhu, Head of Fleet at Essential Energy and we've got a short clip explaining to everyone what we do.
Narrator of short video: To empower more than 840,000 people like you safely, we maintain the poles and wires. We fix power outages and we're on call 24/7. From local schools and hospitals, to businesses and homes. We work in communities like yours everyday. That's what we do. For bill enquiries, contact your electricity retailer. To find out more, visit essentialenergy.com.au.
Jerome Carslake: Thank you to Chris. And our third panellist is Michael Johnson, he's Site Manager for Capital and Woodlawn Wind Farms and unfortunately, they're on a bit of a travel restriction due to the Coronavirus at the moment and he's locked in at the moment at Bungendore. So welcome to you Michael.
Michael Johnson: Thanks very much, good afternoon.
Jerome Carslake: And Michael has a bit of a video as well to give us a bit of a context about Infigen. So cue video please.
Short promotional video gives an introduction to wind farm company, Infigen.
Jerome Carslake: Thank you for that great video Michael. For those of you who don't know, this is a live web panel and we want to hear from you, the audience, we're going to make it as interactive as possible. So any questions, please shoot them through. For those of you who might've missed the intro, please click on the light blue hand icon in the top right hand corner of your screen, enter your name and submit your question. Please note it will be sharing just your full name, not the organisation, or your last name, just your first name and we'll feed them throughout the webinar as we go through it all and where it's appropriate. Now, before we dive into this session, I'd like to get all our audience first to reflect and think about what sort of safety culture does your organisation have. How does, does the same approach to safety flow through to the mobile worker, the vehicle, the road space or is it entirely a different approach. Does it just stop at the front door, which for some organisations is the case. So this conversation we'll be having at the web panel today. We're going to explore how positive is an organisation's road safety culture. Does it even matter? And I guess the best way to really start on this and get some context to the problem and why is it, and why should it matter to an organisation. And more importantly, why is it so important to the New South Wales Centre for Road Safety? Over to your Bernard.
- Yeah, thanks very much Jerome. Look, I think one of the key issues for us is actually understanding the extent of the trauma and so what we know is that around 30 percent of workplace fatalities are actually a result of road crashes. And when we look at the data within New South Wales, 26 percent of our fatalities, that's over the last four years, 380 deaths on our roads, have actually been from fatalities arising from a vehicle being used for business purposes. The majority of those are actually in cars or light trucks. Now light trucks include vans and dual cab utes. And 122 of those 380 fatalities were actually in light trucks. So in that context, it's critical that we actually have organisations share the accountability and responsibility for developing systems, safe systems, that actually take account of the risks when you think about those 380 families where they lost a loved one as a result of a crash on our roads where they were actually using their vehicle for business purposes. And so it is a workplace when people are driving in their vehicles in that context and so it's not just the heavy rigid trucks, 84 of those fatalities, but it's also buses and articulated loader trucks. 91 of those fatalities were actually in cars as well. So it affects all businesses right across the spectrum, in terms of the impact that it has on the community, the individuals but also the businesses themselves. I know that I've met many people in business have actually had to deal with the family trauma and having to deal with the workplace trauma associated with having lost one of their people in their organisation to a fatality on the roads. The most at risk age group in our data for work related is actually the 29 to 50 year old males. And of course that demographic mostly have families and they're in the prime of their working life and what we see as well is a really big increase in the last decade in fatigue related fatal crashes. So we can see that fatigue is actually now the second most contributing factor to the road deaths across our network behind speeding but you know, its actually now in a larger position than our drink driving fatalities. So one of those things that we all see in a workplace with a changing work structure, need to be thinking really cleverly around how do we manage the risk of fatigue, not just in heavy vehicles but right across the sorts of vehicles that people are using for work. So the percentage of people on the road that are driving for work, so in New South Wales, around 13.75 percent of all registered light vehicles would be classified as a work place because around almost 900,000 vehicles are being used as a workplace and that's through our registration process where you get that information. So about 16 percent of all registered vehicles are those that could be classified as a work place. Registration data that we are using in that instance is from September 2019, so it's pretty up to date in terms of our understanding the our exposure that people have using their vehicles as a workplace.
- So what are the benefits? 'Cause this is the important thing, a lot of people just think it's about protecting the workers, keeping them safe. What are sort of the benefits that we sort of see and, I think, we'll really be able to draw on Chris and Michael very soon but what are the benefits from it?
- Look, I think as soon as you start to think more systemically around the sorts of vehicles that people are in, having a five star ANCAP rating policy. Our Secretary of our department made a really forthright decision, that, look we're not just going to have five star vehicles for our people, we're going to have five star with all of the advanced technologies, the driver assist technologies. So when we purchase our vehicles we want to put our people in the safest possible vehicle that's available for them to do their job. Thinking about travel routes and alternatives, that broader way of how we do our work, which actually reduces the risk for people. Road safety is simply good business when we think about that impact on the community but there's an impact on the bottom line in the productivity of an organisation. When we look at the costs, it's about three to four times higher than the actual insurance payouts in terms of the effective cost of having a road trauma incident impact on your business. We also, of course, we want to have organisations fulfil their legal obligations around their work health safety legislative requirements but even more than that, most progressive businesses are thinking about their corporate sustainability. We were talking earlier about the fact that road safety is embedded in the United Nations sustainable development goals, that this is a broader issue around community sustainability, environmental sustainability, social sustainability, economic sustainability in every aspect in terms of road trauma as well and so for those organisations who are thinking about the sustainability of their business, their people and their products and services, this is one of those key elements that they can consider that actually makes their workplace, say motivates workers and employers to see that their organisation cares about them but also it's one of those differentiation points for attracting people into their businesses as well.
- All great reasons. Can you give us an overview of what some of your key messages from New South Wales Centre for Road Safety point of view.
- Yeah so look, that whole theme of road safety being a shared responsibility and every road user has the right to travel safely on our road network. We know that all of the fatality and serious injuries that happen on our roads from crashes, they're preventable and we can put systems in place that actually make road safety a key part of an employers Work Health and Safety Policy. That it will assist the employers, both small and large, manage their social responsibility of providing a safe workplace for their employees. Of course, vehicles are a workplace in that context. Our legislation Work Health and Safety Act 2011 states "employers have a primary duty of care to provide and supervise a safe system of work. A vehicle used for business is considered to be a work place" and so you need to provide that broader safe system approach to how people access, use, embed within the operations of the organisation a safe environment for people. And of course you should contact Safe Work New South Wales or, your own, wherever you happen to be listening from this broadcast and to get further information about those legal requirements. For us, our Future Transport 2056 vision is really clear, we want to aim towards designing a safe system that has zero fatalities and serious injuries by 2056 across all modes including our public transport network. What's really critical is that we need to do that in partnership and so businesses, organisations, we need to work with them and provide resources and systems to support that journey towards zero.
- Wonderful. Now before we dive into panel, just make this interactive, we've got a first question through already. And it's to you Bernard already, surprise surprise. Astina wants to know what is the commitment from Transport for New South Wales to invest in the safer vehicle options. So you mentioned the five star, is it any five star? Does it matter how old the vehicle is? You mentioned a little bit about the technology.
- Yeah, so, as part of our launch of the 2018 new Road Safety Plan in New South Wales, we actually government committed to having a purchasing policy that was not just buy five star vehicles. It actually says, you buy five star and if there are additional safety attributes to the vehicle that are available in that category of vehicle that you are purchasing you must buy the safest vehicle that's available. I'm on the ANCAP Board and we have a policy that says five stars last for six years for a vehicle that has been rated. But our organisation and the state government made a very progressive decision to actually not just a five star but five start with the driver assist technologies if it's available, you must purchase it within the category vehicle that you're purchasing.
- Great. Now couple of points I took notice then, you mention it's just good business, like road safety is good business and that crashes are preventable, so I thought lets now draw in our panellist Chris as a start can you tell us about your journey and is it actually good business?
- Yeah our journey starts with the compelling case that Bernard just made, Jerome. Certainly at Essential Energy we have a thirst for continuous improvement, not only in safety but in performance. Endeavouring, we're chartered with providing safe affordable, reliable electricity to our customers and a big piece of that is making sure we arrive with all the tools and equipment that we certainly need to cover off the job. Our journey into road safety absolutely follows this path of continuous improvement and it makes sure that we're challenging ourselves on particularly desired selection design, application, maintenance and operation of our vehicles throughout their entire life cycle. And certainly inside of our business, we conduct high risk work across regional, rural and remote New South Wales in areas ranging from snow to subtropical. We also cover everything from ranges to flat plains, so it's a really cool challenge and certainly something we take very seriously because we understand that as much as we're in a high risk industry, the most dangerous workplace we have is the cab of our motor vehicles.
- That's great. Michael, what are your thoughts? And also keen to know what some of the biggest behaviour issues, what has your journey been, what's your biggest behaviour issues and is it good business for you as well?
- [Michael] Yeah, it certainly is a good business. So the Infigen company journey into road safety really.
- [Michael] vehicles and driving is actually our highest rate of risk and the 2019 calendar year accounted for 15 percent of all hazards and recorded, of which around half of those were related to vehicle animal strikes. There has been a lot of variables including wildlife interaction, fatigue, interaction with other vehicles, off road, environmental conditions, driver behaviour and uneven ground and roll over et cetera. So all of these factors combine Driving is our highest rate of risk.
- [Michael] Invest in this area and it required a collaborative approach both from Infigen as the Capital and Woodlawn Wind Farms developer, owner and operator and also with our maintenance contractor to move forward on this journey into road safety together.
- So Michael, I'd just like to draw on that a little bit further, so you mentioned animal strikes as one of your key issues and some of those other ones which had popped out as part of the 15 percent, are these preventable incidences you think?
- [Michael] Preventable, not necessarily but the frequency of those hazards can be reduced and the way we go about trying to reduce those is we use in vehicle monitoring systems in all of our vehicles to make drivers aware of their driving behaviour and also allowing more time to drive to and from sites 'cause most of these vehicles strikes have actually occurred whilst driving to and from sites and not necessarily on site. So it's all about creating awareness and having an open and transparent culture.
- That's great. I think, Chris that's a great segue to build onto you. What would be some of your tips as well 'cause I think we heard some good ones from Michael that are around the open and transparent constructive as well and giving plenty of time for your workers. What's your thoughts on some of the tips?
- Yeah. I think the Essential Energy journey into road safety in particular, I think we look at route safety and risk management in its entirety and when we look at our day we have to mobilise to a job site we have to complete a very high risk task and then we have to get ourselves home with all the accompanying tools and equipment to make that happen. Looking at any of those parts in isolation is really really difficult. We've found that in the past we definitely looked at them in isolation. My biggest piece of advice is that it starts with leadership. It starts with leadership building a solid culture around risk and hazard awareness particularly on our roads aside from the fact that it is the most dangerous workplace we operate. We need to be aware of that and be very thoughtful about that when we're not only planning and scheduling our work but also equipping our workers to complete it.
- You work in the, you're part of the maintaining electricity across New South Wales and regional area. Massive area, is it the vehicle or is it electricity? What's the greatest sort of risk to your workers do you think?
- Statistically, certainly road activities or land transport as it's defined. However, one risk certainly does not diminish the other in the way that they're mutually exclusive. What we've found is that we need to spread our focus across those two primary risk channels very, very closely, very, very thoughtfully, make sure we're evaluating our day. Certainly starting from the point of origin, how we get there, what we carry, how we do the work and how we get home particularly from that fatigue point of view.
- There's a great question that has come through from Duncan. Try and keep them short too, audience, it makes it a bit easier if they're nice and targeted. Basically he's sort of pointing out they've reduced the number of crashes significantly in managing the large sort of fleets. There's still a lot of, main problem they're having now is low speed bumps and scrapes. So, they've retrofitted AEB, cameras, sensors and all these sort of things but the low speed crashes are still costing the organisation a million dollars over time and there's also potential to injure vulnerable road users. So, Duncan is keen to know what your thoughts are, around those low speed ones.
- Low speed vehicle incidences are certainly a cause of concern across the industry. If I look at a typical day, within Essential Energy, we'll start out quite often we'll do high mass, high speed transit, then we may go through high mass difficult terrain before dismounting or and then returning the same fashion. Particularly in and around urban areas and our depot locations where we've got vulnerable road users, we're very cautious and it's very difficult to have a one size fits all solution. Certainly traffic segregation from vulnerable road users is very, very important as is the vehicle technology. However, I'm going to come back to that same point certainly starting with leadership and culture that highlights this as a critical risk for the business and understanding that that risk exists as soon as we enter the vehicle operating zone as opposed to when we get to the job site. So that's the critical element.
- All right, thanks. Michael I'd like to hear from you as well 'cause I guess being regionally centred, some of those low speed when you get back into the regional areas, the vulnerable road user risk, keen to know how do you guys sort of manage that?
- [Michael] So I think the key aspect we've done to manage it is really engaging with the workforce and sit down on like a daily basis through morning toolbox meetings to hear the feedback from previous days work and so forth. Another key thing we use is actually data analytics, which provides a really useful benchmark to understand the current situation on site and vehicle movements et cetera. And the data analytics is really pulled from in vehicle monitoring systems which have played a really key role for us into the understanding the current issues and then from that forms the bench mark in which we can apply improvement solutions.
- Thank you very much. Chris, Carl here asks, how does Essential Energy train its drivers in good behaviour, following road rules and being ambassadors, I like that, ambassadors for the company when driving its branded in your Essential Energy trucks and vehicles et cetera.
- That's a really good question. Certainly training is, our approach to training certainly isn't one dimensional. One dimensional approach where we go through a structural, formal process and consider that a controlled risk. We undertake a lot of informal training, informal coaching and we have a fleet division in our business that plays a massive part in that. Certainly the different modes of training make a big difference here. We've obviously got access and off road work versus high speed high mass transit, would be two critical risks for us. And we do considerable work with our incoming apprentices to make sure that particularly, given that the requirements of an Essential Energy vehicle are very different to a private vehicle. So we do a large amount of customisation. That makes the vehicle handle differently. Understanding the differences between that and a private vehicle or a light truck as they're referred to are very, very important in our business.
- Excellent. You mentioned that you don't use a one size fits all and I'll touch on you about this in a tick Michael, how do you actually engage in all your workers around incorporating these sort of practices. I could imagine how varied your workforce is, skill level, roles, exposure, how do you touch, I guess, engage and nudge each of them?
- Certainly at Essential, I'll use language that Michael just cited around the toolbox talks. We start our day at a toolbox talk with every one of our 90 plus locations across the state. Understanding in each individuals needs in those talks is really important. We cover off road safety transit to and from site and also heavy mechanised plant operation, which is just stuff we face every day on top of electrical network risks and work planning and scheduling. That gives us really good insight into what's needed. We also do look at incident trends, vehicle population, asset population and work programmes to educate where we prioritise our efforts. Most notably, recently with the bushfire crisis and focus that has impacted New South Wales, there was a large level of focus around mobilisation to the affected area, operation in the affected area and then getting home safely.
- Thank you. Michael, do you have anything to add from your view as to how your organisation goes about doing those sort of things as well.
- [Michael] One key thing we found very beneficial is actually undergoing professional defensive driver training. And then as I identify as issues become apparent, during our day to day activities. Importantly, I actually sit down and review those incidents or hazards. And then have group discussions at toolbox meetings of how the lessons and education we have learnt through the driving programmes can be applied to better manage those issues going forward. And I think drawing on the knowledge and experience from all of the site teams, for example on my side of the Capital and Woodlawn Wind Farms, I have 13 full time staff including myself. It's really really important to collaborate and draw on improvements from all involved and I think the key thing which I've found from site is by being inclusive and allowing everyone to contribute solutions and mitigate issues has really been a key driver in us being able to reduce our hazards and incidents and experiences and near misses.
- Thank you Michael. And Bernard, I've got a great question here for you from Duan and five star vehicle rating, they're basically a last line of defence a form of PPE. I've haven't heard it being used that way. Are there any plans to bring NHVR or chain of responsibility regulation initiatives to lighter trucks and/or business vehicles in general to help control fatigue related incidences?
- Look, really good question and I think again it's about having that leadership at a policy level within your organisation and the commitment of the leaders in your organisation to set standards for how your workers work within that context. So yeah, to a degree the five star rating is about the protection when a crash happens but increasingly the driver assist technologies are also about avoidance of crashes. And so lane assist technology, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, all of these technologies are actually about preventing the crash happening in the first place as well. And so we shouldn't think of five star just being about the protective measures for when you do have an impact, have a crash, and I think that's a real important part of the five star rating and taking forward and continue to improve the standards that we want to be embedded in a five star car. I think as well, it's really important that we think in a safe systems approach to this as well. So that policy framework in leadership at the very highest level, management of how people actually do do their job, get to their job, get home safely. And some great practical examples that we've just heard as well about how you manage that process with your workforce as well and so I'd say in terms of the heavy vehicle context, very strong regulatory because of the risk factors associated with heavy vehicle crashes but I do think those organisations sort of breaking down their freight task or their work task and using those vehicles now in the light truck area, you have to look very carefully at the things like fatigue management, the distraction factors within those vehicles, those things that are currently regulated in the heavy vehicle sector. To think a bit more progressively and proactively about the use of those vehicles on our road network. We have seen a significant increase in the crash rates for those light trucks and dual cabs over the last five years and that is of concern and we need to make sure that they're getting, those vehicles are getting the safety features that they need. People need to manage the system as well.
- Do you think 'cause they're squeezing a little bit just under the heavy vehicle sort of race. Is that why there is a bit of a focus in that area you think?
- I think the freight task is just innovating and changing and we've seen Amazon and a whole range of other delivery systems, like the way in which we consume and shop and expect services is innovating and changing and so we need to be continuously be looking at the safety systems around those new ways of providing product services and the way in which the industries are developing to make sure that we're focused on those safety outcomes. So we don't let the innovation actually lead to increased trauma. We're managing it within those systems in a really progressive way to ensure that we're reducing risk.
- We've heard the words safe system mentioned a couple of times. Would you like to explain that to everyone?
- Yeah, of course. So internationally there's an agreed principle that in the safe systems approach, that we're looking at the vehicles, the road network, the behaviours of the people and the speed management within the system. And when we talk about speed management, we're talking about the tolerance that the body has for impact speed in a crash, which determines whether you live or die or are seriously injured. And it's the integration of those elements, it's understanding that building in to the vehicle trip for your workers, those technologies that actually acknowledge when they might be fatigued or tracking the speed that people might be driving in the vehicle in the work force and managing that system. That's becoming more and more integrated as we get more advanced technologies. So as we get smarter motorways, as we get technology on the road which the vehicles are going to interact with. That it's about the integration of those elements of the system that eventually drive towards the avoidance of the crash and then the mitigation of the impact of the crash on the human body and the basic principle here is that nobody in just moving around our community, using the road network, when they have a crash, should suffer the ultimate loss of their life or serious injuries. We can design the system so it's to prevent the serious injuries and fatalities.
- That's great. Well Chris, I'd like to hear some of the practical elements that you have been developing in your organisation that actually touches those workers to help reduce the risk when they're out on the road.
- Certainly Jerome. We just touched on a really important point, which is around the gap between heavily regulated heavy vehicles and the light vehicle market which is certainly an area that we play in. We have a lot of vehicles that operate right in that threshold and we do have, we've taken very considered approaches to around selecting the right vehicles to make sure that we're not operating things at the edge of the design and below which is something, that's a journey we've been on for quite some time. The practical applications inside Essential Energy certainly has been taking a very, once again, a very considered approach. We've developed an asset management system or principles and practices around managing a light vehicle as an asset, heavy vehicle as an asset, specialised piece of plant as an asset throughout its entire lifecycle and particularly balancing the three elements of performance, risk and cost very thoughtfully and making sure that we're covering all those off. Certainly inside Essential Energy we don't refer to safety as a priority, it's one of our core values. So it's non-negotiable and comes into the design of every single vehicle and a lot of our consideration is around the balance of a ANCAP five star light class vehicle to carry our heavy mass. This is a custom designed heavy class vehicle that could be of an equal to or greater than standard and be more fit for purpose. Certainly in our business, if the vehicle doesn't fulfil the purpose, then inevitably it won't deliver on our customers needs.
- That's great. And Michael, the point that Chris just made then around how safety is a key value of his organisation, we're keen to know what your thoughts are around those sort of comments and how have you sort of been looking at applying and engaging with your employees out on the road as well. I know you've touched on telematics and other parts, if you could just expand on that a little bit please.
- [Michael] Sure. So the total road network we you use to navigate the Capital and Woodlawn Wind Farms comprises of around 145 kilometres of roads and access tracks, of which around 85 kilometres of that is private internal roads and about 60 kilometres is public roads. Due to the vast variability of the site terrain, many considerations have been given and applied to control any road related risks. This is included but not limited to, installation of signage and alignment markers, they have been used to assist drivers to safely navigate the various crests and curves and also we apply engineering controls such as guard railing et cetera to assist in the management of steep drop offs on edges of roads. Wherever it's feasibly possible, where we approach the management of internal road networks from the hierarchy of controls perspective. So if possible we always try and eliminate the problem, where elimination is not possible, we try and apply substitution methods and then where substitution is not possible, we then apply engineering controls et cetera. We find that's been quite helpful in terms of managing and mitigating many of the issues on site. In addition to that, managing fatigue has been at the core of managing our road safety issues. Importantly on fatigue, it's important to mention that fatigue can be both physically and mentally and there's often many factors which come into play and which can impact on our site staff. For example, it could be during a hot summers day they become dehydrated and so forth and also if they're experiencing issues at home, like whether it might be, for example financial stress or something like that is actually something that people don't often think about but can have significant impact to their performance in the work place.
- That's a great point. I think a lot of people forget how things at home can impact you when you actually transfer 'cause I know they're supposed to segregate basically work and home life but still, things can still happen at home which will impact your lifestyle and how you actually get to work and move around the place. So one thing that road trauma is intricately linked with is speeding, distraction and fatigue and I guess some of those sort of points. Bernard, did you want to give some sort of comments of that?
- Yeah, look. I think that we're always talking about the driver and the behaviours of people on the road network 'cause it's part of the safe systems approach. And we want to design eventually the network of vehicles so that when people make mistakes or even break the rules, that they don't pay for that with their lives. But there's a big part that can be played in the behaviour change that is necessary, that comes from the creation of a culture within organisations as much as it does across the whole of the community. When we see speeding as the biggest factor in terms of deaths on our road, with around 140 people dying every year, 4000 people being injured in speed related crashes, clearly there's both technology and management of the system but there's the behavioural aspects of that and so there's enforcement and systems for the penalty regimes to manage that as well but it is a really significant issue in terms of trauma. And fatigue, as I mentioned earlier, you know, we have 60 people killed every year in New South Wales, where fatigue is a contributing factor and around 750 people seriously injured in fatigue related crashes and we see that increasing over the last decade as the shape of work and casualisation of the work force, 12 hour shifts for people, those sorts of changes that actually, and the research in terms of the sleep debt, that there's people getting less sleep, having health impacts but it's also having impacts in terms of trauma on the road as well. And so managing that, and I think that's a whole of life sort of experience as well that organisations need to come to grips with in terms of their employees home life and then when they're in transitions to driving on the network and using equipment where they might be fatigued and how to manage that. It's great to hear good practical examples that are being used in Essential Energy and Infigen as well. Distraction, and I think this is a, you know, clearly become a really big topic of conversation over the last five years around mobile phones and other distractions within the vehicles but also for vulnerable road users in terms of our use of technologies, both the pedestrians, bicycle riders, motorcycle riders and we see around 10 percent of our trauma affected by distraction factors inside and outside the vehicle. And of course if you're travelling at 60 kilometres an hour, look down at your phone just for two seconds you've travelled 33 metres. And so when you see those increased crashes in the urban environment, the speed at which you travel will dictate the impact on people and so that's another really important factor in terms of managing the whole of the system as well.
- The hard parts in that also is people take those risks, they do it, they eat, they can do things behind the wheel, 'cause it's never happened to them. They've never had a crash, they've never had an incident at all, it's sort of an assumption that I'm impervious. How do you get through that?
- Yeah, look I think you have to have that whole systemic approach to setting policies within organisations about what are your expectations about people working whilst they're driving, controlling a vehicle. Many organisations have set policies that say look, if you need to make a phone call, you pull off to the side of the road, you legally park and then you engage in that conversation. So there are those sorts of policies and systems within organisations that work and of course we get to the point where we've now led the world in introducing mobile phone camera detection programmes and just in the warning letter period of that programme that has just been rolled out. We saw a reduction of from going from 1.2 percent of people offending down to .34 percent of people. So deterrence and enforcement has a role to play as well. It certainly the education that happens within organisations, the policies, the expectations and culture are also a critical part of that. we've got a comment here from Carl, and I've got a few other questions I'll be asking in a moment. Just a comment from Carl, "it's great to see value based leadership being practised". So I think that's one of the constant themes we're hearing from all three of you around how things are going forward. And Brett asks the question, "we have all heard road safety starts with good leadership, what strategies have you put in place to change behaviour of your work force relating to the low risk road use?". So Michael, would you like to open up and provide your thoughts on that one.
- [Michael] My apologies, I missed that question.
- [Jerome] Oh. I'll throw it across to Chris then and we'll get you to open up on that one Chris.
- [Chris] Low speed, low risk, low risk.
- How do you get your CEO, the leadership to buy into those low risk ones? And I guess, that's the thinking around the angle, they travelled just a little bit over, does that matter? So that systemic low level speeding and just pushing those limits, does five, does six k's over the limit really matter?
- Yeah, it's a very subjective term, low risk. I would counter the question, Jerome, by saying certainly senior leadership buy in is arguably the easier part of the equation based of the compelling arguments that Bernard's made today and the stats that we see every day tragically in news. The harder piece for us is actually getting employee buy in, in particular when it comes to low speed, low risk driver behaviours as Essential Energy as a lot of large businesses we battle a level of industrial complacency or professional complacency. Which is Jerome's example of a little, a little bit is the true word of that. Getting driver buy in to that is really important. Certainly, I cited before, the establishment of asset management principles practices at Essential Energy. The way that materialises in the field is a few things that we've implemented. Certainly whenever we talk about vehicle technologies of any style, we're very conscious of driver distraction, certainly modern vehicles a lot of alarms coming in. We're making sure that there is no additional distractions to the driver and certainly any of our driver feedback systems have an absolute focus on driver self-coaching. So it's around actually learning and reflecting on our own driving behaviours to make sure we get home to our own loved ones 'cause they care for us. Another real, real strong piece about in vehicle technologies is the establishment of a duress functionality. Which for us, covering 95% of regional, rural and remote New South Wales and also a piece of Queensland, duress for us, duress response is incredibly important and having a vehicle based system that allows an employee trigger duress or a duress response initiated by our control rooms in the event of a rollover or a collision is, is very, very valuable to every employee. This all drives buy in from, from the driver, which this is the piece we're absolutely talking about. Another big piece within essential energy is we've introduced we're a mobile device enabled business we've introduced an app based system that allows our employees to engage directly with our fleet division, report defects on the asset, complete pre starts, provide feedback, provide input. As far as customer engagement goes, it's a fantastic tool and it drives up discretionary maintenance and discretionary care which is absolutely where we need to be focusing 'cause the game is gonna be won and lost in the four kilos above the shoulders, which is a piece we need to engage. The other the other big change in approach at Essential Energy is we've, we understood, we firmly understand with a level of customisation and the unique need of our vehicles that we do, we do do a fair amount of the design ourselves. We base it on the best possible apparatus we can find on market and then we build it to suit our needs. That requires us to have an internal engineering and maintenance function. Having that service there, on hand, with a fleet of our size, for our drivers, absolutely drives up that engagement. So I would actually counter the question and say senior leadership buy in is the easier of the two. Certainly talking with conviction and making meaningful change that at the core phase, the proverbial core phase, where the games won and lost.
- Great, thank you Chris And Michael, I'd love to know from you, what benefits have you seen since you have implemented road safety strategies in your workplace. So what have you seen within Inergen. Infigen I should say.
- [Michael] One of the keys, one of the key benefits has really been the positive safety cultural change. Where site staff have really opened up and are now willing and able to to talk about road safety on a daily basis and specifically, where we see any identified issues or opportunity for improvement, we actually see them as improvement or as an opportunity for improvement rather than as a problem. I know something I've actually been really proud of to witness, from the site team and importantly to mention as, as we see the transition where the safety culture does actually improve, if it's been implemented effectively what we should expect to see is a subsequent corresponding increase in reporting of incidents and concerns out on the road networks and which is great because where we see an increase in reporting it then gives us an opportunity to act on and implement solutions to mitigate against those problems, where otherwise if we didn't have a positive safety culture, they otherwise may not have been recorded, so I've seen a great increase in safety culture really, everything has been critical and is evidence of getting the buy in with the work force.
- I see that as a real fascinating point, the maturity of your organisation and through creating a culture where people were willing to report and then you actually deal with them as well, incentivises workers to give more feedback so that that's a, was it hard to create? Has that taken long to get to that point?
- [Michael] Yeah, it has happened, it has evolved over the years and it has been really really terrific to see and just as a side note that by engaging a workforce and giving them the opportunity to contribute to solutions. For example, if they're out on the road network if they previously have reported a problem and then we work together with the team to actually implement a solution to that problem, next time they're out on site and they try to pass that previously reported problem and they can see that the solutions being implemented it gives them much better buy in and much better incentive to report problems, knowing that they will actually be acted on and fixed. All of this contributes to increasing their reporting culture.
- Thank you very much and I've got a question here from Mel and this is one of the tough ones. I think this is always a tough issue for a lot of organisations. "How do you manage fatigue at the workplace?" And are you a provide Mel with some great examples and we talked about this just earlier before we came in here. Chris, I'll start with you.
- Fatigue management is certainly a broad house, Jerome. That doesn't mean, that doesn't mean that we stop trying, it means we try harder. Certainly I would discourage the thinking around there being a one-size-fits-all solution to fatigue. If I think of Essential Energy, Essential Energy's case, fatigue can come in many forms. Could be from the physical act of driving, particularly heavy plants through demanding terrain, it could be the work, the high-risk work on the electrical distribution network, it could be emotional fatigue and it could be a lack of a lack of like sleep or self-care in the after hours. Certainly we have a fatigue management policy that spans our entire business. It talks about work and it does, it certainly acknowledges the legislative requirements of the various groups that we, that we partake with, we sit at the nexus of multiple industries, particularly electrical and road going plant. Once again I'm going to come back to the same point we need to start thinking about fatigue from the perspectives that our people, our people aren't the problem, our people are the solution. We really need to start asking them the intelligent questions and similar to Michael's point around incident reporting, you're still having proactive outcomes.
- And you just had the bushfires coming through and being a energy provider a lot of your workforce will be living out in the bush in those sort of areas and they'll be passionate to get power back to those sort of people, back to the communities they live in. How do you balance fatigue and gain power back and the enthusiasm of workers and pressure from the community? How do you do that?
- Certainly this is, a fantastic piece of this Jerome has been the fleet transformation project we've undertaken at Essential Energy. You're exactly right. We're a big part of the communities we operate in and we acknowledge that. We're incredibly thankful and we're proud of that as well. In terms of the the bushfire response, there's, there's naturally a strong emotive pool. We call it emotion when we don't like it, passion when we do. And it was very difficult when the crisis was on to make sure that we had appropriate controls in place particularly with the fatigue debt building up over multiple weeks and if anyone is familiar with the bushfire crisis, you'll know that certainly across it was two distinct periods prior to and post-Christmas, that affected Essential Energy in both but in our franchise area. Having strong controls in place around operating rhythm and I use the word rhythm there with intent. We have regimented of, mentioned we have regimented toolbox meetings, making sure we get together. We're checking on each other each morning and certainly having a rhythm where we finish a shift knowing that this is, this, we were referring to it internally as not an outage, it was just a very big piece of unplanned work. That was our approach. Certainly knowing that the work was going to be there the next day and we more important than establishing power at that point in time was making sure that the members of our community that happened to be our workers go home safe and healthy. A real big enabler of this was the fact that we did have internal fleet support. We were able to provide after hours servicing, fueling, inspection and repairs of our heavy machines and the light machines as well. That made a machines much safer on the road, we certainly there's new, in the hundreds of tyres hundreds of repairs and inspections that were done that kept unsafe vehicles off the road but the additional benefit was that by having that function available people had a need, a draw, to return to the base locations, the hubs, at a predetermined time to make, to take advantage of that service. Getting a routine was really really important but certainly something and calling it out is really important as well. Lets name it lets say we are we all want to do this, let's make sure we do it safely.
- That comes down to that culture and Michael, what's your thoughts? How have you actually gone about dealing with fatigue as well?
- [Michael] Sure. Most of our wind farm activities can be planned and operated within the standard shift hours which is typically 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. However, there are risks involved when we're doing more major works et cetera and we always try and plan ahead to mitigate against the risk of fatigue and one key way we do that is to actually stay a shift So we may bring in say half the workforce at the normal starting time, say 7:00 a.m. and then we'll actually bring in another shift to change over from say around midday on that day so we can actually extend the coverage to deal with the major work without necessarily putting the workforce at risk Typically we don't allow people to work longer than a 10 hour shift and by staggering those shifts is really a key way we can go about managing the longer duration of tasks.
- Thank you very much Michael and just got a comment came through here from Carl which I'll just share with everyone that's great. "We start our meetings with safety moments can I suggest a driving safety moment for your next management meeting". So I guess that'll be looking at raising it up and getting the leadership. And for those of you, if you ever looking for resources please go check out the NSRPP website you'll find a plethora of material, that's easy to use, quick facts and all sorts of things. So if you need any information to prompt those sort of things, you'll find a lot of resources there. So we've heard a lot about industry and I'd like to now sort of go across to Bernard to say what is Transport for New South Wales currently doing to its, to better facilitate the outcomes for employers in in their workplace.
- Yeah, look we we saw this is a really critical part of the road safety plan, the five-year road safety plan up to 2021 that we really needed to focus in on, how do we support fleet owners, employers to embed positive road safety cultures within their workplace. You know, cue prop, which is the the document that we've produced in terms of Road Safety in your work, a guide for employers but we also have guidance material on developing road safety policies within your organisation. A really helpful tool for employers to guide them on developing their own internal policies for workers and to assess risks and to determine where to put your effort. I think that one of the key things that we've attempted to do is also to roll out amongst our network of road safety professionals across the state so whether they be in local government organisations, working with local businesses or they're in our regional offices that we have people who have been trained up and capable of supporting and facilitating the use of the systems and documents that we've produced, the guidance that we produced, so that every business has access now. So that right across our community, whether it's a small business or a, you know an international business that we are embedding within our systems the support for people to actually be able to use those central resources in a really effective way and also then working with employers and guiding them around a whole range of things they may not have actually encountered before which are you know, the different ways of planning work journeys, the you know safest routes that people can do, the way in which they might manage teleconferencing and remote working and those other, you know, new ways of thinking. I think one of the big innovative things that's happening within larger organisations that we see that's providing great leadership is the increased use of telematics as a monitoring tools for, not necessarily as a, you know, a mechanism to find the person who's doing the wrong thing but more how do we improve the whole of the system and I think it's clear that's the approach has been taken in places like Essential and Infigen. It's that how do we use those support systems and new technologies to improve the overall management of our risks and monitor how the system's working so that we can then engage our staff in a way that actually changes the way they work and manage those risks. So, good example of that is fatigue and we're seeing a really significant shift in the trauma over the last decade from those long trips being the primary issue about people getting tired from driving to people actually getting in their vehicle tired and the risk associated with that has actually manifest itself in much more trauma associated with tired driving rather than people's long trips. So managing that, giving people tools and resources, really critically important, case studies for good practice, which we've been also trying to develop with our partners and those sorts of systems, resources are all available on our website.
- Excellent, thank you very much for that Bernard. Got a question here from Peter, just around the telematics and you mentioned how a lot of other governments, some fleets have it, some of them don't have it. , what's New South Wales government's thoughts with regards to appliance for your vehicles.
- Yeah so we have actually done, I think about seven years ago a trial telematics and monitoring our system, you wouldn't see a lot of government agencies, you'll see telematics being used on our bus fleet currently and you can see organisations like Essential that are using it for management of their systems as well so it's you know a fairly widespread use of telematics across the fleet in different sectors, managing that risk and monitoring the performance and using it as a a way to improve the safety risk. Certainly we've done some great projects with Western Area Health Service as well. So it's being used across the sector as one of the tools for assessing and managing the risks and monitoring and getting improved performance.
- That's great. We're sort of coming towards the end now but before we move on I'd like to go to each of our industry panellists and sort of give a bit of a chance to have a bit of closing comments but as part of that tired questioning and got a question here from Greer. Vehicle emissions, obviously we're talking be about safety and I love the focus that we mentioned, I think the two of them can combine together, do you guys have a target around reducing your emissions as well as sort of working with safety at the same time.
- A specific target, to specifically answer the question Jerome, we haven't set a target. Certainly from that cost and risk performance perspective, naturally if we reduce consumption, we reduce exposure which improves our risk profile, so it's certainly on our agenda. There's two elements to that, one is the more efficient use inside our business and there's another element of that which is research of more effective technologies of which we certainly do a lot of and we're keen to continue contributing to pushing the industry forward in that regard.
- Thanks Chris. Michael would you have any sort of closing comments and what are your thoughts about the link with environments and safety as well with regards to targets around your vehicles.
- [Michael] Sure. Similar to Chris' comment, Infigen doesn't have a specific target set. However, what we have seen is through being able to monitor our own driving behaviour and performance, you know, through telematics with managing acceleration and so forth we have actually definitely seen a reduction in fuel consumption et cetera. So that does have a corresponding benefit for the environment.
- And I think that's a key message, it doesn't have to be either/or, I think the two of them can be done the right way if you focus on safety, you get a natural environmental benefit as well which means we all sort of win in both cases. So thank you guys very much. Bernard, I'd like to go through closing sort of comments to you if you don't mind and thank you all for the opportunity.
- Yeah. So I might move from that last question as well where you know the New South Wales government does have a net target for emissions and a net zero target as well. Really exciting to hear recent announcements in the work that's going on around the electrification of our bus network as well. So I know that both our Minister and our Secretary, you know, had a look at what was happening in Europe and in London in particular, you know, there are some plans around that which are how are you going to make a significant difference to the sustainability of our system and you know, that's all part of it, as I started off, you know, recognising that our road safety agenda is actually embedded in that United Nations sustainable development goals. We can get both all of these social economic and environmental benefits from looking at the integration of a system and focusing on that safe systems approach in this instance that we're really drivers forward towards zero. And that whole notion that actually this is a shared responsibility across the community and so employers and workers designing safer systems for the use of vehicles on our network is absolutely critical to that. It can't just be about general public, you know, it's like we're building, we're investing, an additional six hundred million dollars in improving the safety features of the road network over five years in order to add safety barriers, wire rope and audio tactile and wide centre lines to reduce the risk for people of a network, you know, and when they make mistakes or break the law so they don't pay for that with their lives and so those sorts of investment the whole drive towards five star vehicles and increasingly improving the safety standards of those, not just in the passenger but we publish regularly new technologies for heavy vehicles as well that can be used for safety features on heavy vehicles. And so I think it's been really great to be involved, thanks Jerome for the invite to come along and the National Partnership is fantastic. You can see lots of great organisations doing very innovative things and embedding a safety culture around the reduction of trauma. Of course employers have an accountability in terms of vehicles as a workplace but it's great to see that it's going beyond that. That it's about the culture of the organisation and the support for a more sustainable way of actually running businesses and engaging with their staff. As I said we've got a lot of great resources that are available on our websites at the Centre for Road Safety. And thank the panellists, inform people where to download the webinar, you no doubt will look at that.
- The link will be going out afterwards. There will be a survey during it as well.
- Yeah. So, look it's been great to be involved and you know, I think that when we strip all of this back and we realised that you know as I said in the beginning, that we've lost 380 people to crashes where they were driving a vehicle for work purposes over the last four years. It's that real human impact, that's real in our community and in our our work places that we want to try and eliminate and drive towards zero.
- Excellent and thank you very much to our audience for being active and participating, for the great questions that have been flowing in. Thank you very much Chris from Essential Energy.
- Thank you Jerome, thank you Bernard.
- Thank you Michael from Infigen for dialling in.
- [Michael] Pleasure.
- And thank you Bernard and to the Centre for Road Safety for organising. This has been a fantastic session and for creating more resources and look I just wanted to highlight again it's a shared responsibility everyone can do their bit. Organisations can really mobilise quickly and to help sort of reduce road trauma. So thank you all very much for being part of today's session.
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