26 October 2021

Encouraging effective safety performance – Work Safe

October is Safe Work Australia’s (SWA) National Safe Work Month. This year’s theme is “Think Safe, Work Safe, Be Safe” which closely aligns to the safety ethos at NEXTDC where everything we do is centred around keeping everyone safe.

At NEXTDC, working safely across our construction sites, operating facilities and in our offices is a daily expectation of all staff, customers, and visitors. In the first blog of the Safe Work Month series, we explored how we ‘Think Safe’, both physically and psychosocially. In this instalment, we unpack the tools we use to empower our stakeholders to ‘Work Safely’.

Empowering our stakeholders to proactively ensure their safety is never compromised so they can return home in the same condition (if not better) than when they arrived, is our main objective.

Physical safety:

Working safely is more than simply following established policy, procedures, and facility rules when on site. It is about enabling our team to speak up and innovate beyond existing processes and business requirements. Doing things because it’s “the way we’ve always done them” is a mindset we avoid in today’s environment of continuous growth and advancement.

As we design, build and operate the infrastructure platform enabling the digital economy, the tools we use across our sites to ensure work is conducted safely, are constantly reviewed to enable our people to speak up when improvement opportunities are identified, include:

Facility rules

  • Safe work instructions
  • Methods of Procedure
  • Risk assessments
  • Risk Registers
  • Safety incident sharing.

Further to these, all stakeholders have access to NEXTDC’s team of WHS industry experts. Through safety learnings, attendance at team meetings and proactive onsite audits, our teams are encouraged to always approach and discuss safety concerns in an open, collaborative environment.

Psychological safety:

As we mentioned in our ‘Think Safe’ blog, for NEXTDC, psychological safety is just as crucial as physical safety standards to establishing holistic onsite safety. Working safely to control psychological hazards can often be more difficult than physical safety hazards and requires a strong company culture reinforced from the top down.

NEXTDC have six core values that guide us. Living these values each day, provides an environment that encourages people to speak up confidently. We are an organisation that supports innovation and positive change for the better across all functions of the business.

Invoking each of these values in our daily conversations at all levels across our facilities is applied to safety management as much as it is to every other area of the business. They are paramount to ensuring our staff, customers and visitors are provided with a safe and comfortable working environment.

Further to living these values, we share, reflect and discuss our safety lessons learned on company all-hands calls regularly. Openly reviewing and honestly dissecting our findings is essential to uncovering how we can prevent reoccurrences of similar incidents in the future. It’s these sessions, as well as ad-hoc incident debriefs as required, that underpin our no-blame culture across our sites and enable our people to contribute to safety daily.

Read more here about NEXTDC’s commitment to safety.