Thinking differently about health and safety

Crew member in Personal Protective Equipment carrying a ladder.


Powerco has developed a new health and safety strategy that focuses on improving safety outcomes through data-led decision making.

As part of its commitment to keeping people safe, Powerco is always looking for opportunities to drive improvement across its practices.

To support this, the company undertook its largest independent health and safety review in late 2019 which has been used to shape its new strategy.

It will see Powerco shift away from measuring health and safety performance on workplace incidents and, instead, will focus on examples of great health and safety in practice, Julie McAvoy, General Manager Health and Safety, says.

“Learning from success is key for us. Our contractors are the ones who are working on our networks every day and are the experts at doing so safely, therefore it’s vital we engage and listen to them more.

“In most cases, things go well 98% of the time for us at Powerco. But instead of better understanding and learning from these successes, we tend to focus on the instances when something has gone wrong,” Julie McAvoy says.

As part of Powerco’s new strategy, the company will focus on building a resilient system.

“Human error means that it’s inevitable we will make some mistakes – that’s not to say we don’t need to understand how and why incidents occur to prevent them from happening again but, rather than putting all of our focus on eliminating minor accidents, we’ll concentrate on situations that present the risk of serious harm.

“This means accepting that minor mistakes and injuries will happen as a natural part of our work. This will then impact the way that we measure our success by moving away from metrics on injuries, to leading indicators that show great health and safety practices are present,” Julie McAvoy says.

Along with its focus on data-led decision making and learning from success, Powerco’s health and safety strategy includes a continued focus on managing critical risks across its network, and its ongoing public safety awareness.

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