Culture of success

Dematic has a long track record of success in the logistics industry, having won best practice awards for manufacturing, staff development, export, logistics sys­tem design and innovation as well as product design and innovation.

It’s therefore fitting that the com­pany is once again a valued spon­sor of Logistics Magazine’s Mercury Awards in the 2008 Best of the Best category.

Dematic has a diverse business with 350 full time employees and a further 200 to 500 contractors under our control at any time.

Its activities include metal fabrication and component manufacturing, equipment assembly, structural, mechanical, electrical and software engineering, electronic testing and repair laboratories, complex project management, site installation serv­ices and post installation customer support both on site and on a call-out basis.

Dematic understands that investing in innovation and best practice in many aspects of the business is essential to achieving its goal of providing its customers a genuine competitive advantage.

The impor­tance of a safe workplace in an industrial environment has always been high on the company’s agenda.

As Dematic began to embrace best practice in OH&S, it posed the ques­tion: “How does a company engage all staff and develop a safe working culture?”

The idea was to create a “living breathing” workplace culture where all employees are committed to achieving the goal.

Testament to the success of this culture of safety was Dematic maintaining its NSCA 5-star rating for the seventh successive year in 2008.

The overall audit score is 98.6 per cent, being the highest the com­pany has ever attained.

Last year, the factory had achieved 850 days without a lost time industry.

Dematic also received the National Safety Council’s Judges Award in 2003 and was Highly Commended in 2002 for its safe work practices.

So how did Dematic achieve this culture of safety?

By evolving its safety system into a management system with the following features:

• Continual improvement

• True employee involvement

• Comprehensive training programs

• Proactive hazard identification and risk reduction system

In March 1999, the Dematic man­agement team selected the National Safety Council of Australia’s 5-star Safety Management System and set out to implement it.

Dematic believes that commitment from all management is essential, meaning from the CEO down.

It also means appointing a manager whose single responsibility was to coordinate all aspects of the OH&S program.

Dedicated managers encouraged staff to join committees that represented each business unit and functional area of the company.

The safety committee consisted of the general manager champion, a chairman and staff members.

All safety committee members are thoroughly trained on safe work practices, risk assessment, safety inspections, safety observations and the finer details of occupational health.

In addition to ensuring our safety standards are adhered to by our own people, Dematic has been instrumental in mentoring and guiding the other Asia Pacific sister companies in adopting a simi­lar regime and rigour of safety which often exceeds local laws and cultural standards.

Eight years of effort to improve safety within Dematic’s operations has resulted in great improvements:

• An efficient safety management system is in place with very good consultation and wide commitment

• Safety is now managed using the philosophy of hazard identification, risk reduction and safety observations.

• Dematic staff has indicated, in three separate attitude surveys, that safety is the most important aspect of the business and the one that the Company does best.

• A distance learning safety induction program is in place which ensures everyone meets required standards of knowledge in safety.

• Manufacturing has a proven system of work instructions/safe work method statements, which are clearly displayed on especially designed Work Stations.

• Dematic’s products are now safer. This knowledge is also being used in designs to prevent the hazards occurring during design.

• A comprehensive system of Work Permits exists.

• Dematic has well developed and tested emergency readiness.

Dematic has maintained its goal of retaining 5-stars for its Safety Management System since November 2001.

Dematic knows from surveys of its customers and staff that safety is of utmost importance. Everything the company does reflects this con­cern and in the process Dematic has become known in the industry for its exemplary safety standards.

It was a journey well worth taking.

Is your company a leading light in the logistics industry?

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