Safety Culture

Find out about the Growing our Safety Culture programme “We saw the safety culture programme as a great mechanism to initiate and develop our safety dialogue.” Robert Green, CEO, Timberlands Limited

Growing Our Safety Culture programme

This programme was developed specifically for the forestry industry. It helps businesses create a workplace culture that supports good health and safety.

Sign up for the programme

Email to sign up for the programme and get a list of approved facilitators.

The benefits of the programme

See how Port Blakey has benefited from investing in growing its safety culture Watch the video Read the story

See the resources

You can get a taste of the programme from the resources used in it. These resources contain really useful information to help you improve your workplace culture, whether or not you use the programme. Shown them to your teams and discuss the questions contained in the resources. See the resources

Find out more

What is the Growing our Safety Culture programme? How will it help my business? What does the programme involve? What will happen? What’s the investment? Why are the reports confidential? How was the programme developed? Can I run the programme myself, using the resources on the website? Can I choose my own facilitator? Download this information

What is the Growing our Safety Culture programme?

This programme helps you understand the true state of health and safety in your business, and what’s really going on in your teams. It helps you harness the expertise in your teams to identify ways of improving. It also enables you to reap the wider business benefits of having motivated teams engaged in health and safety.

How will it help my business?

The programme will help you:

  • Understand work as done, versus work as imagined: Often, there’s a big difference between how we think work is being done and how it’s actually being done. This programme shines a light on that variability.
  • Get workers engaged: This programme is an effective way to give workers a ‘voice’ in health and safety. It has been shown to be a highly effective way to get them involved and engaged in coming up with better ways of working.
  • Reap wider business benefits: Feedback from those who’ve used the programme is that, in addition to improving safety, it can improve planning, staff morale and productivity. The programme’s potential is reflected by the fact that it is now being used by forestry operations in Australia and the United States.

What does the programme involve?

It involves:

  • A team assessment to uncover what’s really going on with health and safety
  • A report-back on the results of the assessment that highlights what’s going well and what can be improved
  • A feedback session to identify ways to make improvements and develop action plans.

The programme is not an audit. It’s about identifying practices that support or undermine health and safety, then supporting team members to come up with improvements.

What will happen?

Ideally the programme should be done by all teams in the business – not just crews. It has three parts:

  • Growing our Safety Culture assessment: The assessments are run by an approved Growing our Safety Culture facilitator. They spend about half an hour with each crew, guiding them through the assessment. The assessment focuses on 12 areas essential to good health and safety. For each area, there are four statements that describe safe practices relevant to that area. Teams rate how often they and others do these practices based on a scale of: ‘Never, Seldom, Sometimes, Often, Always’. There are slightly different versions of the assessment for crews; contractors/crew bosses; and forest owners.
  • Report back: Each team’s results are analysed by an independent expert, Leading Safety, who helped develop the programme. The results are reported back to the team using an easy to understand ‘traffic light’ tree. This ‘tree’ has green lights to show them what’s working well, and red and orange for what needs improvement. The report is confidential to the team and is not sent to anyone else. Teams can (and usually do) choose to share them with others, including the crew boss, contractor or forest owner.
  • Feedback session: The facilitator then does another session of about an hour with each team where they discuss the results. The goal is to identify one or two areas where the team would like to make improvements, and to come up with a plan for doing this. Note, there might not be enough time to complete a detailed action plan. This might involve another session, either with or without the facilitator.

What’s the investment?

Project administration: $300 Printing of assessments and resources: At cost; depends on numbers involved Facilitation: $800 – $1,000 per day, with a maximum of three workshops a day. (Indicative only. Final amount to be decided between client and facilitator.) Growing Our Safety Culture report: $500 per report (per crew or team)

Why are the reports confidential?

For the assessments to uncover what’s really going on, people need to be able to speak freely. So, the programme includes measures to ensure confidentiality. That’s why each team’s report is confidential to them. However, they can choose to share it with bosses and forest owners. Experience to date is that all crews have been willing to do this. Participants are asked to agree to their reports being used by Leading Safety to develop an anonymised sector-wide report. This report will identify what safety culture areas are supporting or hindering safe, healthy forestry operations.

How was the programme developed?

The Growing our Safety Culture initiative was originally developed by the forestry industry and Leading Safety. In 2017 it was updated and piloted by several forestry businesses to ensure it meets current industry needs. It was rolled out to the industry in 2018.

Can I run the programme myself, using the resources on the website?

Testing has shown that businesses get much more out of the programme if they use independent facilitators. Staff talk more freely to someone independent, and the facilitators are trained to draw people out, and guide the conversation in the most useful direction.

Contact Safetree for a list of facilitators in your area:

Facilitators operate to this Code of Conduct (PDF 62KB)

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