Focus on Safety – Boral Asphalt (SA)

Congratulations to the South Australian asphalt team who has achieved more than 500 consecutive days of work without any reported lost time injuries (LTIs) or medically treated incidents (MTIs).

“About four years ago we had one person injured per month and a Recordable Injury Frequency Rate (“RIFR”) of 70,” says John Ralph, Asphalt South Australia’s State Manager.

“Our RIFR is now zero and we believe that this has been achieved through changing people’s attitudes to safety and therefore the safety culture by helping people to believe it is possible to achieve zero harm.”

The last recorded medically treated incident within the South Australian team occurred in June, 2015.

“This is an outstanding achievement and the result of a relentless pursuit of Zero Harm by all members of the team,” John says.

“The safety journey started two years ago with a safety intervention and review of the type of injuries employees were receiving to identify root causes of the injuries,” John explained.

“This was followed with rolling out the behavioural safety program Safe Start and targeted Skilled for Action programs where existing gaps were identified to emphasise safety before production.

“During the journey we have driven hazard identification, empowered and involved everyone. We have rewarded and recognised employees for good safety behaviour and have taken immediate and decisive action when required to improve or change procedures or equipment and supported requests to ‘Stop for Safety’.” ‘Stop for Safety’ means that any employee can stop the production or delivery process to ensure safety.

A cornerstone of the team’s success is their dedication to daily preparation prior to starting work. Each driver within the asphalt team starts their day with an investigation of their vehicles and reviews the traffic management plan before travelling to the site. All employees must ensure they are wearing the correct personal protective equipment and attend a “toolbox talk” meeting to review the job safety analysis and identify hazards and risks. Boral also conducts health days where employees receive medicals, hearing tests, skin checks and sun protection.

Recognition of the team’s efforts were realised recently when they received the Australian Asphalt Pavement Association’s (AAPA) South Australian honours for safety and innovation.

The AAPA SA Safety Initiative Award for 2016 was presented to Ben Richards (Boral Technical Supervisor – Asphalt) for his proactive work in improving the safe use of core cutting saw. Ben designed (and installed) a cage to surround the saw’s exposed spinning blade at no loss to productivity whilst dramatically improving safety.

“We are extremely proud of Boral’s safety improvement,” John says. “We will not take the achievement of 500 days without LTIs or MTIs for granted and we are extremely motivated to further improve and achieve Zero Harm.”

Boral currently operates plants in Whyalla and the Adelaide suburbs of Gepps Cross and Plympton.

For more details about Boral asphalt visit