Endeavour Energy invited Forge Works to help create a new, user-friendly fatal risk control standard for its workforce, decluttering an inherited system of procedures and creating greater clarity around safety practices.


Making sense of safety standards

2 October, 2019

The opportunity

As the electrical distribution network operator for Greater Western Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Southern Highlands and Illawarra region of New South Wales, Endeavour Energy operates under a raft of safety related legislation, codes of practice, regulatory rules and industry standards.

Having inherited a 40-page document of network fatal risk procedures and requirements for operating in a high-risk environment, the company wanted to distil its processes and best practice around working in construction, transport and with live electricity infrastructure.

In addition, Endeavour Energy had noticed that some of its current safety rules – and their application – varied across the organisation and were in some cases, applied inconsistently.

They were concerned that people weren’t a) aware of the safety hazards and rules at work or b) applying them in all the situations the organisation thought they should be applied. They saw an opportunity to refresh the fatal risk control standards and refocus the safety of work.

Endeavour Energy reached out to Forge Works for guidance around how to declutter the inherited fatal risk control standards and create a new pathway for the safety of their people.

The solution

Forge Works set out to clarify the safety risk controls Endeavour Energy needed to manage their day-to-day work and what it was that supervisors and managers needed to do, to provide the necessary workplace conditions for workers to be able to comply with these controls.

Ivica Ninic, a technical safety and governance professional of 20 years, began by looking at equivalent organisations’ practices, industry standards, regulations and legislation to simplify the procedures needed to support Endeavour Energy’s network fatal risk standards.

While the company was tempted to walk away from their current 40-page stew, Ivica could see there were valuable controls imbedded deep within the content. Sadly, these controls had been overwhelmed by a structure and tone that muddied the messaging.

Ivica distilled all the critical information from the original 40-page network fatal risk control procedure, to clarify the controls required at Endeavour Energy’s worksites and the obligations of supervisors and managers to provide the conditions needed to ensure workers could meet these controls.

In addition, the new fatal risk control standard was written in an active voice, using clear verbs to communicate the key controls – while also clarifying for management who needs to do what to support compliance with the control standards.

The outcome

With a clearer set of fatal risk controls and accompanying procedures in draft form, Forge Works assisted in the consultation processes that included facilitating workshops with groups of supervisors and managers to distil and modify the language even further.

Several people thought we were publishing some of the content for the first time – which was often not the case – it had just not been easily discoverable due to the clutter in the original procedures.

Today, the new fatal risk control standard and procedures make it easier for workers to find and implement the key safety controls and for supervisors and managers to enable this. Endeavour Energy now has a clear path from implementation to compliance to improvement.

By creating a user-friendly document, with the help of Forge Work’s expertise in safety decluttering and knowledge of industry practices, codes of practice, legislation and regulations, this company can now operate with maximum clarity around its safety obligations.

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