New Future Alliance wins National Safety Council Award

22 Nov 12

The New Future Alliance (NFA), consisting of Leighton Contractors, Broad Construction, Opus and Ngarda Civil and Mining has been has been recognised for safety innovation by the National Safety Council of Australia after winning the Best Solution of an OHS Workplace Risk (Medium to Large Business) at the 2012 National Safety Awards of Excellence.

This category is awarded for innovative solutions to a safety challenge or invention that significantly eliminates a workplace risk.

The NFA is delivering part of the largest Indigenous housing and infrastructure program ever undertaken in the Northern Territory. Since May 2009 the Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program (SIHIP) has seen the NFA build, rebuild or refurbish 1,577 homes across 49 remote communities.

A key objective of the program is to create employment and training opportunities for Indigenous people. A significant risk identified was the limited experience some of these people and their communities had with construction activity on this scale, and therefore little or no understanding of Occupational, Health and Safety (OHS) principles.

The solution was to implement a user-friendly OHS system and deliver a communication strategy that catered for a broad mix of audiences from children and community elders to our employees on the program. The key was to consult with local Indigenous people and invite them to be part of the solution.

Since May 2009, NFA has employed 626 Indigenous people (which represents 32 per cent of the total workforce), completed 1.7 million man hours of work (of which 15 per cent was completed by Indigenous employees), and delivered 3,324 modules of training, all without a single lost time injury.