Collaborating with contractors to lift safety performance
Peter Clark, CEO, PF Olsen
How PF Olsen works with contractors
PF Olsen takes a collaborative approach to working with contractors on health and safety – an approach I believe helped us successfully introduce random drug and alcohol testing for contractors in 2010. We set clear expectations on health and safety, and monitor performance. But we also actively help our contractors build health and safety capability, so they can engage and educate their employees.
Measure it so you can manage it
Our contracts include key performance indicators (KPIs) on safety. Each month contractors are audited against these KPIs and this is a great motivator. The best performers are rewarded at safety events, while the poorest performers know they will be the first to be let go if we get a downturn in log production. Drug and alcohol impairment is a big issue for the forestry industry and a few years ago the industry produced a code of practice on drug and alcohol testing. We wanted to work in partnership with our contractors to introduce this code.
We consulted extensively with them and their employees on how the testing programme might work, and had them vote on preferred options. We also involved contractors in the steering group that oversees the programme. Since then, the percentage of positive tests has fallen from just over 15% to about 7.5% in 2013. So it’s still a problem, but things are improving. I believe the collaborative approach we took with contractors enabled us to successfully introduce drug and alcohol testing. It was crucial to us achieving buy-in from them and their workers. We wouldn’t have this buy-in if we had tried to impose a solution on them.