Sign Foundry is proud to have won the 2022 ACC Workplace injury Prevention Award at the Wellington Gold Awards. This is a fantastic achievement and something that we are so proud of.
The journey to achievement
When two young guys founded Sign Foundry, it was easy to keep on top of Health and Safety. As the company grew, it became harder to be on top of everything. It was clear a system needed to be introduced.
A consultant was used through the sign association to give the run down on the best Health and Safety practices. Everything was printed out into massive binders, the shop was tidied up, and we stocked up the first aid kits and ensured we had ticked the boxes.
The problem was that things got busy, the team grew, and the binders were put into the cupboard and forgotten. While best practices were often followed, there wasn’t a significant focus on Health and Safety. Conversations happened now and then, but not regularly.
Thankfully it didn’t take a close call or accident for that to change.
Knowing that Health and Safety needed to be incorporated into the culture, Steve Logan from SL Safety Consulting was called in to give us a hands-on approach. The first step was for Steve to spend some time in the business and on the Foundry floor. This was the perfect foundation to see what was or wasn’t happening. Some simple changes were introduced after observations and discussions with the team.
Over the years, things have been tweaked, changed and adjusted to suit what was working and what wasn’t. Health and Safety in the workplace is a living, breathing practice that requires consistent reviewing. It needs to be incorporated into the day-to-day running of the business with open communication/feedback loop for maximum impact.
Some of the notable changes that have helped shape our Health and Safety culture have been:
Introducing regular toolbox talks focused on health and safety and business updates have given an excellent forum for everyone to discuss any hazards, near misses, changes in equipment etc. It provides a platform to discuss what we can do better, wins and general company news. This meeting happens each week (rotating who runs it). The minutes are collected digitally, filed, and actionable tasks are immediately worked on.
Incorporating health and safety into our meetings makes it a normal conversation. Awareness of best practices and safety is lived and breathed, not hidden in a cupboard. People have the confidence to speak up if things are not right and no one feels judged.
Within our workshop signage, a fantastic initiative was to digitalise many processes, forms, and checks. To make the process easy to get information. This has been done by introducing QR codes to the signage so the team can scan and access information on their phones. For example, you can review the Safe Operating Procedure for that piece of equipment by scanning a QR code. Site incident forms can be completed on your phone, with management notified immediately. Gone are the days of paper forms. We can react to incidents within moments.
Behind the scenes, Sign Foundry has an in-depth Health and Safety program that monitors equipment and maintenance, staff training and performance. Our health and safety management systems (and related systems) have been independently assessed, and in 2022 Sign Foundry was recognised as an Impact Prequal organisation.
It has taken years of work to incorporate Health and Safety into the Sign Foundry culture. A big thank you to the whole team who have been living, breathing and leading the Sign Foundry way. It has been a combined team effort. A thank you must go out to Steve Logan, Steve and Jen Wilson, Nathan and Chris for their contribution towards Health and Safety over the years.
It is the continual improvement of safety procedures from the team conversations that drive Sign Foundry to strive for greatness. We always ask the question how can we make things easier and better!