Workplace Health and Safety Strategy
Mackie Signs and Complete Safety Management
Even when you have a really comprehensive health and safety system in place, it can be hard to get the people on the shop floor enthusiastic and involved.
Mackie Signs has a number of signage contracts with fuel stations around the country and has an extensive network of contractors nationally. The Head office in Te Puke employs people with a range of skills and roles in design, manufacturing, installation, as well as admin staff and managers.
Phil Sexton, of Complete Safety Management, had worked with company director Tim Wykes to put robust health and safety systems in place, but staff were reluctant to get involved, with a belief that health and safety was low value and not much fun.
To try to shift their reluctance to get involved, Phil developed a game based on Snakes and Ladders. Phil set up a large magnetic game board in the smoko room. Every time someone participated in an aspect of health and safety management they got a roll of the dice to move their token up the board.
Rolls of the dice are awarded for activities such as attending a tool box meeting, reporting a hazard or accident and general displays of good H&S practice such as wearing correct personal protective equipment etc.
The spirit of competition that exists in any workplace was quite evident, Phil recalls. ‘Now some of the most avid hazard reporters are the ones who were initially reluctant to be involved in health and safety matters.’
And managers are not immune. Everyone in the company has a token and is expected to get it moving.
Phil says it was a great way for the shop floor workers to ‘beat’ management – and for managers to demonstrate that health and safety is everyone’s responsibility. “We even incorporated an area of the board called ‘the zone of shame’ for anyone who had not even moved to square one.’
The game was trialled for three months. Director Tim Wykes was delighted with the results. “We were pleased to see that performance had really improved, that something so simple has such a profound effect on health and safety in our workplace.”
Mackie signs saw the following improvements following the trial:
- 13% increase in toolbox meeting attendees
- 76% increase in the number of accident/near miss reports and
- 158% increase in the number of hazard reports.
And what did the players say? ....
“It got people talking about safety”
“After a while making reports became second nature”
“It put a bit of fun into safety and has been a great success.”
Phil is proud of what he calls his Section 19 game ‘I feel that it is a good example of how a simple and cost effective idea - developed by a very small company with limited resources - can have a major impact on performance. It could be adapted to be used by any size company, from two to thousands of employees.’