Image for LIBERTY team leads at ASI Convention

A strong performance at the recent ASI National Health and Safety Excellence Awards underlined LIBERTY’s commitment to the safety of employees, suppliers and customers.

LIBERTY’s team excelled at the 2017 ASI National Health and Safety Excellence Awards. Of the four categories, LIBERTY’s team topped three.

The team’s award winners included Nik Westbury (Logistics Supervisor, Liberty OneSteel Rod & Bar, Laverton Victoria) who won the Individual award for his transformational approach to the safe unloading of containers, which led to improved safety, productivity and cost savings; Paul Burnell (National Safety Manager, Liberty OneSteel Metalcentre), who won the Individual Practitioner award, and under whose leadership LIBERTY Metalcentre’s record of days without a Medical Treatment Injury at any of its sites improved from 114 to 215; and LIBERTY Metalcentre’s National Overhead Crane Magnet Headlight Team, whose extensive review and action plan encompassed revised procedures and documentation, appointed champions, and re-trained and re-certified operators.

The team’s strong performance at the Awards underlines LIBERTY’s core value of safety, and demonstrates the business’ commitment to the safety of employees, suppliers and customers.

Full details of LIBERTY’s award winners are included below.


Individual Award

WINNER – Nik Westbury (Logistics Supervisor, LIBERTY Rod & Bar, Laverton Victoria)

Nik has worked with LIBERTY for 21 years empowering the team to achieve world class safety in steel supply. He has enabled operations to not only reduce their safety incident frequency rate, but also cultivate the team’s safety culture. For example, typically facilitated through team discussions, safety meetings and documented risk assessments under Nik’s supervision, the team determined best times to safely load containers, which removed all interactions of people and mobile equipment, improving the number of containers being loaded from eight to 12 containers per day, with a cost saving of $180,000 per annum for the past four years. His improvements have been embedded into the team’s processes through a suite of standard operation procedures, updated risk registers and regular auditing processes.


Individual Practitioner Award

WINNER – Paul Burnell (National Safety Manager, LIBERTY Metalcentre)

Paul has provided national oversight of the safety function across LIBERTY Metalcentres for five years, during which the safety performance of the businesses has dramatically improved from a lag indicator perspective. During 2016 the business set its current record of 215 days without a Medical Treatment Injury at any of its sites, surpassing the previous best of 114 days. He is always available to site leaders and goes out of his way to assist the businesses prepare for and excel in rigorous audits. His most notable achievements include development and delivery of a world class load restraint program that has almost eliminated movements of products and falls from trucks, even in accident situations; establishing the Five Safety Basics program; and developing a professional but tailored safety training program directed at the front line operational leaders of the business.


High Commendation – John Bofeldt (Senior Mechanical Engineer, LIBERTY, Rooty Hill NSW)


Improvement Initiative Award

WINNER – Overhead Crane Magnet Headlight Team (LIBERTY Metalcentre, National)

Fifty-five drops from overhead magnet cranes in just over two years with an average of three a month for 2016 prompted the Team to be established. All drops have the potential for serious injury to operators, drivers, contractors, suppliers and other employees onsite. The Team reviewed and investigated incidents, engaging both peers and external experts to understand the capacity of the equipment in use as well as identifying the appropriate process for lifting product. Operators on six sites where the 187 affected magnet cranes are located were either interviewed or observed on multiple occasions. The Team’s action plan encompassed revised procedures and documentation, magnet champions appointed, all operators re-trained and re-certified and a new ‘No-Go’ list collated.