resourceful-feb-2021-story-5-hero-image-1024x400.jpg

Back to Resourceful February 2021

SafeStart ensures employees go home safely at the end of their shift

With the successful move to a single management structure, Glencore’s Queensland Metals will soon begin to roll out the SafeStart safety initiative across its copper and zinc operations.

In 2018, following a successful trial at Ernest Henry Mine, Glencore’s North Queensland Copper Operations introduced SafeStart, a new pre-shift safety meeting, to overhaul our safety engagement and improve the way employees prepare for their day. It will now be introduced to all Queensland Metals operations.

SafeStart protects a values-based safety approach and was rolled out after a comprehensive survey of the workforce to gauge their views on how we could improve safety at our operations.

As a pre-shift safety program, SafeStart encourages us to stop, think and talk about safety before every shift.

As a mandatory pre-shift safety program, SafeStart encourages us to stop, think and talk about safety before every shift. The model, designed in collaboration with workers, allows every team and individual to own, share and better control safety outcomes.

The SafeStart meetings are designed to be a group discussion led by a trained SafeStart facilitator utilising a simple process for recommending improvements and reporting issues that require escalation. This ensures ideas and information from operational areas are actioned quickly and effectively.

Amber slips are used to identify hazards and issues that need to be actioned to maintain a safe working environment, while green slips are about capturing and recognising the positive safety improvements by team members or individual employees.

SafeStart meetings are designed to be a group discussion to ensure ideas and information from operational areas are actioned quickly and effectively.

Glencore’s Queensland Metals Manager for Safety and Health Operations, Miranda Giuliano, says SafeStart is an important tool to help keep our employees safe.

“To keep our people safe, we all need to raise our safety expectations and SafeStart provides an important forum for the development of this proactive safety culture at the beginning of each shift,” says Miranda.

Key actions are captured on a physical or electronic SafeStart board which prompts meeting participants to discuss safety improvements and issues, outline mandatory notifications, discuss information briefs and share learnings from incidents.

“It encourages participants to talk to, and reflect on, the day’s work activities, identify relevant hazards and controls, and target safety interactions on tasks,” Miranda says.

At the end of the day the goal is simple: You and your mates go home safely.

“It also ensures issues and improvement opportunities are communicated.”

“Safety is everyone’s responsibility and pre-shift meetings effectively prompt employees to ‘switch on’ for the day ahead and think about their reasons for going home safe,” says Miranda.

SafeStart continued to prove its worth as an invaluable safety model when remote working arrangements were introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both critical onsite employees and those working remotely were able to continue to catch up pre-shift, exchanging important information via video and telephone conferencing platforms.