Key safety initiatives undertaken during the 2023 financial year are detailed below.
Bunnings continued to concentrate on identifying risks in the workplace and measures to control these risks through the implementation of the Life-Threatening Risk program. Bunnings implemented lifesaving controls for forklift and pedestrian interactions across all sites. To complement this, a new Great Saves program was also launched, which encourages team members to call ‘Stop’ when they observe work taking place that does not have the appropriate life-saving controls in place.
Bunnings strengthened incident investigation processes during the year, with a focus on learning and improving from near miss incidents. This saw more than 50 investigations completed, resulting in many business-wide improvement actions implemented to prevent reoccurrence. This included changes to processes for handling and selection of bulky products to help reduce the risk of team member and customer manual handling injuries.
Bunnings is committed to early intervention injury management. In May 2023, Bunnings launched an early intervention program for team members supported by health professionals. This program provides support to leaders and team members should an injury occur, ensuring prompt advice and recovery treatment options are available for team members if required.
A key focus in the 2023 financial year was improving Bunnings’ leaders and support teams’ capabilities to proactively support team members’ mental wellbeing. Key initiatives included training in safety and wellbeing for team members to manage and identify psychosocial hazards and launching a new Mental Health for Leaders learning and development course to complement existing leader-focused training options.
In April 2023, Bunnings launched BWell, a new counselling and wellbeing support service. BWell provides Bunnings team members with access to counselling, coaching and wellbeing support, in addition to a range of wellbeing tools and resources designed to empower team members to be their best.
Bunnings has seen an increase in the frequency of customer violence and aggression related incidents. During the 2023 financial year, Bunnings trialled increased signage in higher risk areas and launched a high-risk working group to support efforts to protect team members.
A key area of focus for Kmart has been the mitigation of customer threatening incidents. Kmart introduced measures including team member training and improved security arrangements. Team member safety cameras are now permanently deployed in 30 high-risk Kmart stores following a successful trial period. Of the team members involved in the trial, 83 per cent reported that they felt safer wearing the cameras.
Kmart continues to invest in hazard reduction initiatives, including store fitting design changes to reduce the risk of customer injuries. Kmart has permanently closed a number of mezzanine deck gate access points to eliminate the risk of a fall from height. Kmart also trialled a new purpose-built ladder in store intended to mitigate falls associated with ‘steppers’ onsite.
Recognising the importance of mental health, Kmart has evolved its comprehensive mental health strategy. The objective is to foster a psychologically safe workplace by applying the principles of psychosocial hazard management, which include preventing harm, intervening early and supporting recovery.
Target continues to explore opportunities to reduce the risk of customer threatening incidents through virtual reality headset and online training. During the 2023 financial year, Target piloted the use of team member safety cameras resulting in a reduction in reported incidents and improvement in team member safety.
The Target your Health program continues to offer support for team members and their families with a 2.9 per cent increase in team members accessing the program this year.
Officeworks’ health and wellbeing program, Your Best Life, continued during the year, with team members provided with tools, resources and initiatives to improve their health and wellbeing. This included the launch of an ‘always on’ health and wellbeing app, Converge Life, to all areas of the business, mental health awareness sessions and the continuation of a Mental Health Oversight Committee. Established in the 2021 financial year, the Mental Health Oversight Committee has expanded to include representation across stores, distribution centres and support offices and aims to focus on the development of strategic mental health and wellbeing processes, including psychosocial risk assessments and crisis protocols.
A focus on hazard reduction was key to improving safety standards and embedding a ‘switch on’ culture. This included implementing traffic management for external receiving areas in all stores, store health checks to support assurance and compliance, trials of wearable technology, such as a deterrent and mitigation of threatening situations, and psychosocial risk assessments. Officeworks continues to review its critical risks through its audit program, analysis of incidents to validate effectiveness of controls and identifying emerging risks as part of its health, safety and wellbeing program.
Chemicals, Energy and Fertilisers
WesCEF’s HiPo risk management program continued throughout the year, which reinforces to team members the importance of having critical controls in place prior to starting a task. There are more than 70 critical controls across multiple activities that are to be verified by team members before starting a work activity, ranging from ensuring a work permit is in place, gas testing when working in confined places, wearing fall protection harnesses to setting up exclusion zones for dropped objects when working at height.
Additional monitoring and data collection was undertaken in the 2023 financial year to enable independent assessment of critical control effectiveness. Reporting metrics provide visibility regarding the effectiveness of critical controls and ongoing monitoring ensures WesCEF can close any gaps in processes to ensure team member safety.
WesCEF has championed recent changes to work health and safety regulations that encourage a greater focus on minimising psychosocial risks (defined as anything that can cause harm to mental health) and gives psychosocial hazards the same importance as other significant hazards, such as working at heights or operating machinery.
An online training program is available to team members and supervisors to raise awareness of mental health and advise what to do if an individual or colleague experiences issues. As of 30 June 2023, team member participation in Building Resilience and Mental Health Awareness training is at 96.8 per cent and supervisor Managing Workplace Mental Health training completion is at 82.3 per cent.
Alongside a suite of wellbeing resources and information on WesCEF’s intranet, the business adopted the NewAccess mental health support service developed by Wesfarmers in partnership with Beyond Blue. It is available across the Group as a free and confidential mental health coaching program.
Industrial and Safety
The Industrial and Safety division delivered mental health first aid training and more than 90 team members were certified in the 2023 financial year. Monthly Health and Happiness communications and live events are shared throughout the division, providing team members with access to resources to promote positive employee wellbeing.
NZ Safety Blackwoods launched a FeelSAFE program in partnership with MATES in Construction to support mental wellbeing. General awareness mental health training has been undertaken by 100 team members.
Blackwoods and Bullivants continue to drive the Stop Access Move (S.A.M) initiative, with the objective to raise awareness of manual handling and slips, trips and falls. This saw positive engagement from team members and the S.A.M. program was nationally recognised by the National Safety Council of Australia with the award for the Best Communication of a Safety Message 2022. S.A.M was launched in 2020 following a spike in sprain and strains injuries. A deep dive into this data identified manual handling was the largest contributor and S.A.M was then developed.
NZ Safety Blackwoods rolled out S.T.A.R (a variation of S.A.M) with positive responses from team members.
This year, Workwear Group developed a standardised training program for mobile handling equipment operators and three-person competency sign-off, permanent barriers in despatch area, and a plan to separate people and mobile handling equipment in the battery charging room.
Coregas launched a Safety Refresh event in October 2022 to align with Safe Work Month. This interactive forum allowed team members to engage in safety conversations on the Golden Rules and high potential events with senior management to reinvigorate their commitment to safe operations in their workplaces.
Following the successful launch of a manual handling initiative last year, Wesfarmers Health launched the Participative Ergonomics for Manual Handling (PErforM) and Manual Task Risk Assessment (ManTRA) programs launched during the year. PErforM seeks team member insights to develop and implement risk controls, while ManTRA engages allied health professionals to assess operational tasks against five manual handling risk factors: repetition, awkward postures, excess force, duration and vibration.
A key safety, health and wellbeing program this year focused on psychosocial risk management to reduce the risk of mental harm to team members, while promoting positive mental health outcomes. The program aligns to the psychosocial risk profile of each business and raises awareness through industry-specific training, guidance materials and changing legislative compliance obligations.
The Wesfarmers Health Mental Wellbeing strategy offers a suite of services for team members, including the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Mental Health Partners network, and NewAccess by Beyond Blue. Each service focuses on the different mental wellbeing challenges that team members may face in their professional or personal lives.
OneDigital, including Catch
OneDigital was integrated into the CatchSAFE Safety Management System during the year to facilitate continuous improvement of safety standards and safety maturity, boost reporting efficiency of safety hazards and incidents and to enable reporting for OneDigital for the 2024 financial year.
Catch seeks to empower all team members to maintain a safer workplace and increase team member engagement with health, safety and wellbeing. During the year, there was a continued to focus on safety leadership development, including implementing an operations safety framework in addition to education and training.
In the May 2023 team engagement survey, team members indicated they had high confidence in their knowledge of health, safety and wellbeing practices across the division.
In December 2022, OneDigital launched its Domestic and Family Violence Support Policy, which is intended to deliver support and workplace flexibility options to team members impacted by domestic and family violence, including paid leave, flexible working, safety planning and counselling and support services.
Over the year, the Thrive Wellbeing program was delivered to team members. It included a series of eight targeted sessions aimed at enhancing health, safety and wellbeing of team members. Themes included nutrition, mental health, motivation and sleep.
Other safety and wellbeing initiatives included skin cancer screenings, flu vaccinations, first aid training and the Employee Assistance Program, which offers confidential employee assistance counselling, available 24/7 to our team members and their immediate families.
GRI 3-3, GRI 403-2, GRI 416-1