O’Donnell Griffin employees work under the most demanding conditions in terms of maintaining safety. In Western Australia, part of those conditions are extreme temperatures and rugged conditions as O’Donnell Griffin carries out electrical and communications engineering contracts at remote sites in the state’s north-west, as well as metropolitan locations.
Despite the pressures of such conditions, says the company’s CEO, Mr David Rafter, “the significant milestone of one million hours free of lost time injury has just been achieved by the Western Australia business unit.
“Such a milestone is something that you strive for, but don’t always achieve. It is an achievement that stems from a combination of factors which includes not only O’Donnell Griffin’s exemplary health, safety and environment (HSE) programs, but points to the genuine cameraderie and care the employees take for each other.
“O’Donnell Griffin has a ‘can do’ positive culture that is fostered by our focus on safety and wellbeing.”
In fact, Mr Rafter said, now that this threshold of 1 million LTI free hours has been reached, the company is strengthening its health and safety approach to aim for ‘beyond zero’, with strategies underway to encourage 24-hour health and safety, both at work and outside of work, for all employees. This will include encouraging workers to improve their health and fitness, he said.
He said the industry conditions of O’Donnell Griffin contracts often include employees working on complex detail under timeline pressures, and in environments where full-time operations have to be maintained for clients. In the case of north-west environments, there are extreme temperatures and a cyclone season that needs to be taken into account.
“This milestone also is significant for present and future clients – it demonstrates that safety is integrated into our approach,” he said.
The one million hours were achieved in the time-frame of June 2008 to November 2010, he said. Many of the hours were accrued on projects for clients such as BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Fortescue Metals Group and Atlas Iron by O’Donnell Griffin employees from its offices in Port Hedland, Karratha and Perth.
“The works for BHP Billiton in its RPG5 project is also a great example of how O’Donnell Griffin applies safety standards,” said Mr Rafter.
“O’Donnell Griffin - Rail is the principal signalling contractor, and the project is being fulfilled by individuals who understand, and actively support our fitness for work policy.”
O’Donnell Griffin WA is triple-certified in terms of HSEQ, says its HSEC and Compliance Manager – WA, Mr Ron Vallve: “This includes an integrated management system that is being constantly reviewed, modified and upgraded.”
The triple-certification, to Australian standards, is AS4801 (Occupational Health & Safety), AS14001 (Environment) and AS9001 (Quality).
“This certification endorses the quality of our work, and at the same time, the fact that we take into consideration the safety of our people, and also the environment, into what we build,” said Mr Vallve.
Mr Vallve said that while all companies have their safety rules, he also attributes the one million hours LTI free achievement to commitment by all the staff and the outstanding principles contained in the O’Donnell Griffin “10 Cardinal Rules”, which are considered of “vital importance for safety at work.
“For example, in the first rule it emphasises to employees that they must not use cost as a reason to compromise safety.
“It really is about actively caring for yourself and others on a job,” he said.
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