Case Study

Kerry Ellem

Everyday work learning teams

Kerry Ellem, General Manager, Hancock Forest Management, NZ

The opportunity

HRMNZ decided to use a ‘Safety II’ technique to find out why one of its operations was performing so well on health and safety and productivity. It set up Everyday Work Learning Teams, and asked workers what enabled the work to be done successfully every day, despite varying conditions.


The Safety II approach

Safety II is based on the idea that there is much to be learned from why things go right at work. When we understand what’s necessary to make sure things go right, we can focus on ensuring these factors are present in the workplace every day. Most of these factors would not be identified by traditional auditing processes.

What we learned

In addition to identifying good practices, the process also highlighted some ‘intangibles’ essential for success. These included things like a teamwork approach where everyone understood the next task in the chain, and did their job in a way that ‘set things up for the next guy’. This process provided insights for management and directors we could not have gained from regular audits.