Safety Management and Leadership

Regional Queensland Electricity Provider

The team led the development and implementation of a State-wide safety leadership and management program for an organisation with more than 4,500 regionally dispersed employees.

Objectives of the program

The organisation was experiencing very poor safety statistics and an associated high level of injuries to its employees and contractors.  The culture within the organisation was one of complacency, reactive and blame.  The objective of the program was for Executives, General Manager and Line Manager to improve leadership effectiveness and commitment and to increase their knowledge, skills and capability in the health, safety, environment and cultural heritage management system elements.

Approach and Methodology

The program was tailored for the organisation to specifically address the challenges being experienced.  It was developed in two parts.

Part one addressed the culture and leadership attitudes, behaviours and beliefs needed to progress through the safety maturity model towards the “interdependent” stage. 

Part two addressed the management side of safety from a practical perspective, reflecting the organisations policies, procedures and leaders’ duty of care. 

For frontline leaders Part three included a follow up coaching session to support them in implementing the content of the program.

The development was undertaken in partnership with key stakeholders and Health, Safety & Environment (HSE) management system subject matter experts.  To build ownership, demonstrate commitment through leadership visibility, each session (>60) were introduced by a senior leader in the business of an Executive or General Manager level. 

A baseline was undertaken of safety lead and lag performance indicators (e.g. TRIFR, LTI, MTI, Near Miss, Safety interactions, Incident reporting) and culture surveys. 


The attendance rates were very high, and all program session introductions were successfully opened by a senior leader throughout the state.  There was more open discussion throughout the business of safety leadership and how each person has a role to play in keeping safe for their loved ones.  Feedback from the course was very positive with a large response from participants valuing the program and that it made a difference to how they led HSE in their role as a leader.


Within two years the safety management and leadership program contributed to more than a 66 percent improvement in lag indicators and 200 percent improvement in lead indicators.  The culture survey reflected a shift toward the interdependent stage of the culture maturity model.

Referee Details:

Mr Mal Leech
(then Executive General Manager Employee & shared services)  
Ergon Energy Details available upon request