A collaborative initiative to reduce hot works injuries saw KiwiRail win the Engagement category of the 2017 New Zealand Workplace Health and Safety Awards in Auckland last night.
The winning Hotworks project was a co-operative effort with KiwiRail’s union partner the RMTU, and was led by a High Performance-High Engagement (HPHE) team made up of frontline employees, managers, engineering staff, safety advisors, RMTU delegates and technical experts.
“We’re committed to getting New Zealanders home safely, including not only our customers and passengers but the 3500 people who make up the KiwiRail team,” says Chief Executive Peter Reidy.
“These awards are welcome recognition of the importance we place on Zero Harm and on investing in our people, which has led to a significant reduction in injury rates.”
The Engagement category recognises the best initiative to encourage worker involvement in health and safety.
“It’s proven that involving frontline employees in decision-making makes sustainable and workable solutions,” says HPHE facilitator Strachan Crang.
Since KiwiRail’s Hotworks project was introduced, there’s been a decrease in injuries caused by gas-cutting and welding.
“Safety is a proxy for leadership so the fact we are seeing improvement in key health and safety metrics reflects really positively on our people across the business,” says Mr Reidy.
“We couldn’t have won without the commitment of the entire KiwiRail team, all of whom take the health and safety of themselves and their colleagues very seriously.”
More than 180 entries were received for this year’s awards.
KiwiRail was also a finalist for the best initiative to address a work-related safety risk, while Chief Executive Peter Reidy was a finalist for health and safety leader of the year.