New Zealand Workplace Health and Safety Awards

KiwiRail took the supreme award at the New Zealand Workplace Health and Safety Awards 2009 gala dinner, held at SKYCITY Convention Centre in Auckland last night. The awards, in their fifth year, are organised by Safeguard magazine and proudly supported by the New Zealand Department of Labour.

Safeguard managing editor Peter Bateman, who was on the judging panel, says KiwiRail impressed the judges with its commitment to measure its own safety culture by engaging an outside facilitator to conduct confidential focus groups involving staff. The facilitation was undertaken by New Zealand distributor for The Keil Centre using our Safety Culture Maturity® method.

Said Peter, "This sophisticated project generated an impressive list of roadblocks to better health and safety, but also ways to overcome them. More than this, the process helped to seriously engage staff and management in health and safety concerns and served to underpin the success of other safety initiatives. This was quite a brave project for management to approve, as to some extent it handed over power to an outsider working confidentially with ordinary staff, with no way to control or predict the outcomes. But the outcomes prove the risk was worthwhile."

The winner of the supreme award - the Department of Labour/ACC Best Overall Contribution to Improving Health and Safety in New Zealand - was decided from among the winners of the eight award categories open to organisations. KiwiRail's initiative also won the category NZ Safety Best Initiative to Encourage Engagement in Health & Safety.

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