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SAFEmap tackles workplace behaviour

Part of the research for the program stemmed from a report investigating risky positioning behaviour by operators using remote-control mining equipment, which was conducted by SAFEmap chief executive officer Corrie Pitzer for the New South Wales Minerals Council eight years ago. From the study Olive recalled every underground mine, ranging from larger operations to the smaller players, had different systems and processes in place but some workers were still putting themselves in what would be considered very risky positioning by even their own colleagues.“Some places that had great systems had very risky behaviours,” Olive said. He said some people believed that the so-called safe standing zones were, in their minds, the most dangerous places to be positioned.“Now for those people they are real beliefs and will drive their behaviour.”Olive said, without interventions, workers with risky behaviours were likely to continue practising them, especially when under the pump at 3am, until the belief underpinning the behaviour was changed. In a safety value-based, one-day program, DELTA participants are guided through a DVD recording and are involved in team activities and focus group discussions. Olive said the program had been run by various multinational companies.He said the program was delivered in-house by managers and team leaders, not an outside consultant, and reinforced the great underground culture of workers looking after each other. On the program’s results, he said those involved simply walked out as different people with pride in their behaviour. DELTA was not specifically a training course but was a tool to help maintain competency awareness, Olive said, and it involved people sitting down and being honest with each other. The program incorporates a profile system that allows management to measure changes in the safety climate. Olive added the program was cost-effective, between $40 and $50 a person paid as a one-off site licence fee, and could be reused as many times as needed.

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