Case Studies

We deliver expert health, safety and environment advice backed by real industry experience.

Fruit & Veg section of supermarket

The challenge

A large, Australian-owned retailer self-insured for workers’ compensation engaged Verus after Queensland's Office of Industrial Relations (OIR) stepped up the number of workplace health and safety (WHS) audits self-insurers had to complete for licence renewal. The changes meant a significantly expanded proportion of the client’s sites now needed auditing, an increase largely driven by a desire for increased oversight following a range of industrial disasters.

For consistency across audits and reporting, the client wanted to appoint a consulting firm that had OIR-approved auditors who were practical in engaging with site personnel and reviewing evidence. Timeframes were critical, with self-insurers unable to negotiate revised deadlines and only a finite number of approved auditors available with multiple licences due.

Train at station

Verus worked with a rapidly growing public transport company operating a range of train, bus, ferry and light rail services globally to develop a bespoke, three-year safety strategy. The overall aim was to take the independently operating business units and incorporate them into one universal strategy to improve safety performance.

The challenge

The company wanted to reignite safety performance improvements that had plateaued, and bring all existing operations together into a single culture. They also wanted to expand and easily bring this new culture to new operations, businesses and people as they grew.

This project reflected a tendency across the sector for public transport providers to 'bolt on' new operations when new government contracts are won. This can lead to difficulties when a new safety culture and systems are different from those that exist.

Water bottle manufacturing

Verus’s knowledge and experience in developing, reviewing and implementing health and safety management systems for self-insurers saw us selected as the consultant on a project to streamline a multinational manufacturing organisation’s OHS management framework.

The challenge

The framework had been developed 20 years earlier, and the occupational health and safety management system (OHSMS) had become an administrative burden. It was acknowledged the system had become complex and 'bloated', requiring bureaucratic effort by safety resources rather than focusing on the people and solving safety issues.

Man with mobile phone

WHS legislation across Australia had gone through significant change and placed defined duties on employers’ (PCBU’s) Company Officers. They now had to demonstrate how they met these obligations through establishing governance arrangements to inform themselves of their organisation’s safety performance.

The challenge

The Board of a large national multi-media organisation was keen to understand if they were meeting their duties as Officers of the PCBU. Of particular interest was whether the monthly Board Reports were providing the right information about the organisation’s health and safety performance. They were seeking advice on what additional information should be included so that Board members could remain well informed of past and emerging issues.

Angle grinder

A large Australian retailer was concerned about procurement and contracting process across its organisation as it engaged many contractors that worked independently of any contract or project manager.

The challenge

The organisation knew they were procuring in different ways across the group and that the inconsistency was concerning because it could introduce risks they weren’t aware of. This poor OHS management in procurement and contracting could also put key licences at risk.

Railway tracks at dawn

A major rail freight company who wanted to be both self-insured and hold a separate external certification came to Verus to see if they could combine the two audit programs.

The challenge

For every safety licence or certification, there is usually a separate audit. However, this can mean multiple audits end up assessing the same thing, taking up internal resources as well as financial resources for the external auditor. It can also mean resources diverted from other safety efforts.

Our client wanted both self-insurance for commercial reasons and external certification to demonstrate its industry leadership and class-leading safety program – but wanted to reduce the duplication, time and effort normally required.

Transport semi-trailer

The client – one of Australia’s largest supermarket, retail and consumer services chains – wanted independent advice on whether they were doing enough to properly manage safety risks in their supply chain.

The challenge

For efficiency and reasons of commercial risk, the client’s supply chain operations are highly diversified. They include both internal and third-party warehousing and transport carriers, with safety risk managed differently as a result.

Their supply chain operations had been through significant disruption, with high turnover and little high-level oversight or knowledge of safety within the operational management team. There was a highly reactive rather than proactive safety culture, and the senior leadership had recognised the need for advice in this area.

Bottles of wine in shop

This client, part of a self-insured company, had a safety management system that was old, highly bureaucratic and – not having been designed for the end-user – difficult to follow.

The challenge

The client wanted a new system that was more efficient and easier to use, to better support the safety of their staff. The new system also needed to comply with self-insurance requirements and be developed and rolled out within tight timeframes.

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