Health and Safety are not just for lip service, or to tick regulatory boxes… it really can be the difference between life and death. This case study profiles one of our first customers; a family owned business on the journey to move from ‘the way they’d always done things’ to a new attitude to WHS.
The Andrews Group
Health & Safety
May 25, 2022
The Andrews Group found this out tragically, when in June 2009, during a routine house relocation, a building being craned over a barrier in wet conditions, sustained damage when it was hit by a digger working at the same location. The resulting collision between the digger and the building jolted the building off its lifting apparatus, it subsequently fell and landed on a team of house movers, killing two and seriously injuring two others.
The family owned company had recently hired a new GM, Dave Askew, who had noticed some issues around vehicle and staff safety, in addition to a strong risk-taking culture across the company, heard from staff with sentiments like ‘this is how we’ve always done things around here’. His initial attempts to make changes met with strong resistance amongst staff and other management.
However, this awful Health and Safety incident, whilst not the fault of Andrew’s, galvanised the management team into action and in support of Dave’s recommendations,
A thorough review of the company’s policies and procedures got underway. Throughout 2010 Dave and the management team became increasingly frustrated at their inability to get messages out to the staff and to gauge employees’ thoughts about initiatives, let alone change their behaviours. A major concern for Dave was that most of his staff acted instinctively when it came to safety. Towards the end of the year, Dave was invited to take part in the initial Traction Programme trial by Lumley Insurance, and he quickly agreed.
Early on Dave recognised that the Traction Programme would enable him to actively lead change at Andrews and take the business to a higher level of performance, whilst mitigating the current risk to staff and assets.
The survey results were a complete eye-opener for the director and other management team members and supported Dave’s view of what was happening around them.
Dave said “We knew there was an issue with Fleet Maintenance, but the report gave the info needed to take practical steps. We also believed that all H+S meetings were taking place and were effective; the reports indicated this was not the case throughout the business; (and we were) grateful for that information.”
It’s not just the leadership that saw the benefit of the Traction Programme, Dave mentions “the guys are getting behind Traction – they see it as a worthwhile programme, I’ve laminated six copies of the report and spread around the bazaars and the guys are reading and asking questions.” By creating an environment where everyone is driving toward a single goal the Andrews group was able to make headway quickly.
To the Andrews team, the data and recommendations our team presented was not only impactful and made a tangible change in their Health and Safety culture but showed an organisational commitment to ensure every single person gets home safely at the end of every day.