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Our safety philosophy

Safety is vital to Aurizon; we cannot achieve operational performance or maintain our social license to operate unless we ensure the safety of our employees, contractors and our communities. At Aurizon, the safety of ourselves and others is our number one priority. With safety as our core value, we have a relentless focus to achieve our goal of ZEROHarm.

Aurizon has five Safety Principles:

1. Safety is the core Aurizon value.
2. All injuries can be prevented. 
3. Management is accountable for creating and maintaining a safe workplace.
4. We are all responsible for preventing injuries. 
5. Working safely is a condition of employment.

Our safety culture

Aurizon is committed to achieving ZEROHarm. The safety of our employees is our utmost priority and core of all we do.

We operate in hazardous environments and in FY2018 we collaborated with the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator, the Rail Industry Safety and Standards Board, other rail operators, academia and other organisations to search for ways to eliminate or reduce our safety risk as much as possible. Each year, we deliver targeted initiatives to enhance the safety of our employees and our locations. Core to the delivery of these initiatives are policies and procedures to provide clear leadership, expectations, targets and performance monitoring. We have a full-integrated Safety, Health and Environment Management (SHEM) system that supports the management of incidents, hazards, near misses and safety interactions. 

To accelerate towards ZEROHarm and to support the ongoing development of our strong safety culture, we commenced several improvement initiatives in FY2018, including:

  • streamlining and simplifying our Safety Management System
  • bolstering role-specific training provided to frontline leaders
  • improving organisational learning from safety, health and environment incidents.

Aurizon's safety performance

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In 2009, we commenced our journey to ZEROHarm, where the safety of ourselves and others became our number one priority and the core of everything we do in our aspiration to become the safest transport operator in the world. Through our safety journey, we continue to embed a learning culture to ensure the risks and hazards are mitigated and that our people keep safety at the forefront of everything we do. 

To help us learn and improve, we record and investigate all safety incidents. Our key safety metrics are:

  • Total Recordable Injury Frequency Rate (TRIFR)
  • Rail Process Safety
In FY2018, we revised our injury metric TRIFR to include all contractors' injuries and restricted work injuries for both employees and contractors. This change benchmarks us with best practice and is the next step in embedding a learning safety culture. Recent results have shown a decline in safety performance and a comprehensive program of work is being developed to analyse and address underlying causal factors. 
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Our FY2018 Rail Process Safety record, which covers derailments, signals passed at danger, and rollingstock collisions, was also disappointing. Incident investigations identified several ways to improve performance, including a strategic shift from control methods to interdependence and self-sustaining behaviours. To make this shift, we recommend a program of work that includes simplifying our Safety Management System, improving support systems, and developing the safety behaviours and capabilities of our frontline leaders.  



Our culture of continuous improvement

At Aurizon, we never stand still when it comes to safety and strive to achieve ZEROHarm. We continue to work towards building a more mature safety culture, enhanced safety leadership and training, and the ongoing improvement of our systems and processes.

We have worked with rail regulators and our employees across Australia to develop a single safety management system (SMS) with a uniform set of accreditation conditions for above and below rail, road and non-rail safety requirements. This has been critical to improving safety and productivity.

We encourage all employees to actively identify opportunities to improve safety. Having safety interactions between employees at all levels across Aurizon not only identifies unsafe behaviouors in the workplace but also acknowledges good safety practices. A safety interaction is a safety leadership activity, engaging those involved in a task in a constructive conversation about safety.

While we focus on real-time engagement, we also implement preventative measures such as ‘STOP! Take Time and Switch On’. The purpose of these measures is for the worker to switch on to safety and actively look for potential hazards that could impact their safety prior to commencing a task. Once potential hazards are identified, workers must arrange appropriate control measures before commencing the task.

We continue to push the boundaries of achieving ZEROHarm with practices such as real-time efficiency testing. Efficiency testing enables us to assess a worker's task proficiency under normal working conditions. These tests provide evidence that the key operational hazards and risks are being managed.

High Consequence Activity Cards increases focus on high consequence activities and engages employees by providing an opportunity to raise safety concerns, identify safety issues and acknowledge good practice. A High Consequence Activity Card tool is used to establish how effective the risks associated with the high consequence activity are being managed.

One of the critical elements of Aurizon's Safety Governance structure are Communities of Competence (CoC), which are cross functional groups of Aurizon's subject matter experts tasked with addressing major safety risks. They are used to provide a collaborative, coordinated and best-practice approach to targeting critical safety areas with sponsorship and accountability to senior management. At Aurizon, CoCs have been established for SPAD/Safe Working Breach Prevention, Derailment Prevention, Contractor Safety, Electrical Safety, Road Safety and Trackside Safety.

Health and Wellbeing

We understand that ensuring the health and wellbeing of our staff requires us to look beyond the scope of traditional safety programs

Since the inception of our enterprise wide Health and Wellbeing Strategy in FY2017, we have focused on delivering programs across our offices and regional operations that focus on enhancing the physical and mental wellbeing of our employees. this includes the provision of a number of preventative health measures, including fitness for work assessment, influenza vaccinations, discounted corporate health insurance and a comprehensive Employee Assistance Program for employees and their families. 

Safety is at the core of everything we do and ensuring the long-term health and wellbeing of all employees reflects Aurizon's commitment to ZEROHarm.

Contractors

Contractors undertaking work on Aurizon premises are required to be aware of Aurizon’s work health and safety requirements. Contractors gain this understanding through being inducted by Aurizon.