LIFEsavers and Zero Harm - Kicking off Global Safety Week
Safety is a topic that hits close to home for me. Growing up on our family farm in Iowa, we were all expected to pull our weight. Farms can be dangerous places and our farm was no different. We had several accidents and injuries, but thankfully nothing too serious. My father still bares the scars of several injuries and they still cause him some discomfort thirty to forty years after the accident. I now realise that those near misses or minor accidents with my family could have turned out so differently and how devastating that would have been. Others are not so lucky.
I have now lived in Australia for five years and at times it feels I couldn’t be further away from my family in Iowa. In many ways, my Cargill colleagues in Australia are my family-away-from home and the thought of any harm happening to any member of our team is hard to contemplate. So when I was asked to be Managing Director of Cargill in Australia, I decided that safety was going to be one of my top priorities. In fact, we have decided to go well beyond safety as an objective at Cargill. Our aim is zero harm. Some of our team in Cargill are exposed to more obvious risks on a day to day basis, such as our storage and handling sites and at our crushing facilities. But zero harm needs to be the objective for every single employee, customer, contractor and community member.
Zero harm is not only important from a personal perspective, but it is vital from a performance perspective. No organisation can be high achieving in a sustainable sense without caring and protecting for all their stakeholders and doing what they can to ensure harm does not befall anyone. It cannot just be about good processes, it has to be in our culture. Zero harm is baked into our strategy at Cargill in Australia. It is not an add on, but a fundamental way of working and living and continuously improving. We are committed to identifying risks and putting in place measures to reduce or eliminate them completely. We talk about safety at all our town halls and my team is expected to know the Cargill LIFEsavers. So, this Global Safety Week, let’s stop to think about what may have been, how significant the implications of that would have been, and what we can do today to make sure we are preventing harm where we can.
LIFEsavers are the 12 activities that present the highest risk to employees and contractors across all Cargill businesses. Each LIFEsaver identifies key risks and minimum requirements for performing these activities safely. By eliminating risks associated with these activities, we also eliminate the chances of serious injuries or fatalities so that everyone who comes to work at Cargill goes home safely. Links to LIFEsaver content will be added as it is developed.