No barriers to safety

Jason McLaughlin, GM Injury Prevention and Pricing announces the latest icare aware award winner, Life Without Barriers

Life Without Barriers

Workplace injuries can happen anywhere, anytime, regardless of industry. It’s great to see that organisations across NSW are not only developing a safety mindset, but truly coming up with innovative ways to prevent injuries and build a sustainable safety culture.

Recent icare aware award winner ‘Life without Barriers’ has an inspiring story to tell about how they are developing a safety culture, which is backed by the right people using smart strategies and clever systems.

Who is Life Without Barriers (LWB)?

 LWB is a national social purpose organisation supporting over 400 communities across Australia. It provides social support and services to:  

  • Children and young people
  • Families
  • People with disabilities
  • People who are ageing
  • People living with mental illness
  • People experiencing homelessness

As a provider of essential services to a diverse range of communities, the safety of the more than 5000 staff at LWB who deliver these services is paramount. Two years ago, LWB recognised the need to make changes within the organisation after analysing high injury rates - particularly soft tissue injuries. LWB wanted to ensure they provided a safer environment for their workers.

Faced with a relatively low awareness of safety among its diverse and growing workforce and increasing workers insurance premiums, LWB embarked on a two-year Health, Safety and Wellbeing strategy back in 2016.

Acknowledging they needed to act quickly to implement wide-reaching change, LWB set up a team of experienced safety and health professionals and introduced a new campaign to ensure the importance of strategy resonated with their people. This kicked off “Live Safe – Home Safe and Healthy Every Day” (Live Safe) – a new safety message across the organisation. LWB’s investment in safety is paying off, resulting in ongoing reduction in injuries and some robust governance around health and safety across the organisation. Over the first 12 months of their two-year strategy LWB saw a 20% reduction in the number of safety incidents reported. Meanwhile, the average days off from work after an injury reduced by 50% over the same period. 

“Live Safe”

In bringing to life the ‘Live Safe’ strategy LWB recognised the importance of accountability and commitment from senior management. KPIs around workplace incident rate reduction, regular training and safety culture awareness were immediately put in place at LWB for multiple levels of management.

Improving the organisation’s injury reporting capabilities was also a priority so LWB implemented a new system called ISIGHT. The system can be accessed 24/7 and enables employees to report on a near miss or non-injury incidents, giving greater clarity on actual risks and providing further opportunities to address them.

With an expert team, systems, a strategy and a strong safety culture in place LWB was equipped with everything they needed to bring about real change.

Key Learnings

Apart from real improvements in workplace safety, LWB values the learnings they gained from their experience.

Executive Director of People, Safety and Culture Scott Orpin said, “Safety starts with the leadership of an organisation. By creating a safety culture, it is clear to everyone that safety matters. We want our teams and clients to be able to focus on improving lives. We can do that best when everyone is safe and healthy.

“Even though we have seen improvements, our commitment to safety continues. It is an ongoing responsibility you need to make to continue to keep safety top of mind for staff as they go about their day supporting people.  Our Strategic Plan for WHS will continue to allow for a coordinated and outcome based approach”.  

If you’d like to learn more about how LWB brought down the barriers to safety, watch the video below! 

Keep your stories coming…

Your stories play an important part in sharing practical and innovative safety practices with your industry. Keep sending them in and don’t forget to nominate for the icare aware awards.


Video: No barriers to safety

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