A national association has recognised Watercare’s collaborative approach to health, safety and wellbeing.
Watercare major projects engineering manager, Craig Matthewson, says Civil Contractors New Zealand (CCNZ) awarded the special recognition to Watercare and their eight construction partners for the collaborative health, safety and wellbeing toolbox programme, Back 2 Basics.
The programme was born out of our leadership working group with eight construction partners to provide on-site feedback and ideas on health, safety and wellbeing outcomes.
“We meet to tackle common problems with health and safety. We had some successes, incorporated Back 2 Basics into it, and saw its benefits. It’s done on the understanding that we’re all equal partners.”
Matthewson says as part of the collaborative partnership, we have also formed a workers group that empowers each construction partner to send two representatives to a monthly meeting run by our frontline workers.
“They discuss similar issues from their perspective. Danny Dennehy from Fulton Hogan and Stu Lawrie from Pipeline and Civil come to the leadership group meetings to provide feedback and ideas from the workers’ group.”
“The initiatives that have come from the collaboration include Civilpedia, a booklet that is being developed to help newcomers recognise specific tools and equipment.”
“It will save them feeling awkward if they’ve been asked to find a tool they don’t know. They can look it up in the booklet,” says Matthewson.”
“The group has also requested that we get safety posters in Pacific Island languages and Filipino.” Matthewson focused on the workers’ group in the award application.
“It’s a direct line from the guys on the shovels to the senior leaders. You wouldn’t usually have that. They can give feedback and have their say on what works and what doesn’t.”
“Where we’ve found the most benefit is educating the leaders about how they think things should be done compared to how they are done.”
Hugh Goddard, chair of the Auckland branch of CCNZ, says Watercare demonstrated great client leadership.”It’s a great initiative in client leadership and commitment to improving health and safety by engaging in conversations across the supply chain.”
He says the award was part of the Auckland branch’s health, safety and wellbeing subcommittee’s initiative to encourage members and client organisations to share the good stuff.
“Members can fill in an online form to share the good stuff they’ve been doing to influence better health, safety and wellbeing on site. That gets shared with the membership through our newsletter, and we highlight the winners at our branch meetings.
“It’s about encouraging good practice to be shared.”