Improvements in health and safety in store and on site are achievable on a nationwide scale when the right partnerships are forged.
MITRE 10 HEALTH, Safety and Wellbeing Business Partner Nicky Primrose has led the charge for Mitre 10 in teaming up with Site Safe to help improve in-store safety and change attitudes towards health and safety (H&S).
With different types of stores across the country operating as Mitre 10, Mitre 10 MEGA or Hammer Hardware as well as with off-site storage facilities, keeping on top of H&S across the cooperative is no mean feat.
Mitre 10 considers H&S to be everybody’s responsibility and commits significant time and resources to ensuring best practice in this area. The safety of team members, suppliers and customers is paramount.
Each store is audited once a year by a Site Safe auditor, who looks at safety features such as traffic management, sign-in processes, hazard registers, site inductions, emergency procedures, safe layout and storage of stock and safe use of tools and equipment.
A feature of the reviews, says Nicky, is that they can be tailored to hone in on specific focus areas that have been identified as either a high priority or a critical risk. ‘This gives us the ability to channel our energy into particular areas, so if we notice trends, we can look at what actions the stores can implement to improve and check back in on this during the next round of reviews.’
A coaching approach
Nicky says the Site Safe advisors provide advice in a format that really allows their team members to understand how they can make changes and manage the issues.
‘The advisors have been really good to deal with. They give a list of priorities that should be tackled right away and others that need to be done in the next couple of months – it’s really much more of a coaching approach.’
Significant improvements over time
In the 6 years the organisation has been working with Site Safe, there’s been a significant improvement in H&S across the board, Nicky says.
‘We track the results, and although they may fluctuate slightly, stores now generally score in the 90% bracket. They have certainly increased from an average around the 70% mark when we first launched the Site Safe assessments.’
And not only have processes improved, but the attitudes of the team members have also changed.
‘H&S is definitely taken more seriously now. It used to be seen as more paperwork and box ticking, and now that mindset is changing. Our team members are realising that, if they get the behaviours right, the rest happens naturally.
‘It’s switched from being compliance-focused to a people-focused approach.’
Working with Site Safe at a national level also means Mitre 10 can keep track of the H&S performance of all the stores in one online system and monitor performance over time. This is even simpler with the new ecoPortal platform recently introduced by Site Safe.
Nicky finds the benchmarking tool useful for stores to view their performance over time and see how they compare with other stores.
‘It’s useful for them to see how they’re tracking against previous results and each other because they are all really quite competitive!’
Results from the assessments are used to help decide the winners of Mitre 10’s annual store awards.
Nicky says one of the benefits of the relationship with Site Safe has been the ability to tailor the system to suit Mitre 10’s needs, and they’re looking forward to seeing more features being rolled out soon.
For more information on Site Safe site reviews, visit www.sitesafe.org.nz.
Articles are correct at the time of publication but may have since become outdated.