Wessels Mine experienced 2 fatalities in a short space of time one in November 2010 and another in February 2011, this following from what was thought to be a relatively stable safety performance. Wessels embarked on a comprehensive culture change initiative, using BHP Billiton values as the platform.
Wessels mine achieved 299 white flag days (without any injuries) on the 30th July 2013 and has achieved a record of 445 recordable injury free days on the 31st July 2013.
Post the fatalities, Leadership undertook a critical review of the leadership culture and organisational failures which led to the events. Specific issues identified included:
To enable an immediate culture change and improve their safety performance, the Wessels Leadership implemented a number of specific and targeted changes in the organisation. The program did not entail the implementation of a new safety program, but rather focussed on:
The Wessels approach aligned well with Casey’s model (2012) which proposes 8 behavioural dimensions which would provide employees with safety performance expectations and will increase motivation to engage in safety beyond compliance.
The review of Wessels’ successes confirmed that the 5yr key focus areas for MnSA1 are aligned and will deliver improved safety performance, but specifically the following permanent culture changes need to be effected:
The MnSA 5year focus areas are clearly aligned, but in order to achieve sustained improvement Leadership levels at all levels should be aligned, therefore the Leadership development initiative becomes key for MnSA success
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