Ku-ring-gai Council is responsible for civic leadership, integrated planning, community development, corporate services, natural and built environment, and financial sustainability in Sydney’s leafy North Shore.
Following the commencement of the NSW Work Health and Safety Act 2011, Kur-ring-gai Council updated its WHS Management System (WHSMS) to reflect the new legislative environment.
However, incidents were still occurring despite a well-trained and experienced workforce and a reinvigorated WHSMS. Management began to recognize that compliance with the new WHSMS, although necessary and desirable, wasn’t going to prevent many of the incidents they were having. They also noticed that many people thought that their personal safety could be left to someone else to take care of.
As a result, they turned to SafeStart because it deals with safety from a different perspective. The SafeStart human error prevention skills gave staff more personal responsibility and addressed the human error causes for the types of incidents that were occurring. SafeStart was initially rolled out in their 180-person Operations Department because it had the highest incident rates.
Graph A shows that the number of LTIs was reduced by 78% within three years of implementing SafeStart.
Graph B shows that the number of hours lost to injury was reduced by 74% within the same period.
Two years prior to implementing SafeStart, Ku-ring-gai was dedicating 5.49% of its payroll to workers’ compensation premiums. Three years after completing SafeStart, Ku-ring-gai spent only 2.16% of its payroll on workers’ compensation premiums, the lowest rate in 10 years. As a result, they have saved approximately $1.02 million.
According to Peter Maitland, Health and Safety Coordinator for Ku-ring-gai Council:
SafeStart has not only reduced incidents but also introduced a common language that has enabled our staff and managers to talk positively about the cause of injury and what each of us can do about it.
Ku-ring-gai Council will continue to embed SafeStart into its WHSMS, progressively spending fewer resources on injury management and more on keeping people safe and productive in the workplace.
Ku-ring-gai Council was one of the first local governments to implement SafeStart in Australia. Three years after implementation, Ku-ring-gai Council achieved:
- 78% reduction in the number of LTIs
- 80% reduction in workers’ compensation claims
- Greater than $1 million reduction in workers’ compensation annual premium payments