At AGL, we’re serious about safety. Not only is safety important to our AGL workforce and their families, but also to the communities in which we operate.

During October each year, workers and employers across Australia are reminded by Safe Work Australia to commit to building safe and healthy workplaces for all Australians.

We all promote best practice health and safety behaviours at our workplace by stopping unsafe work, conducting Safety Walks, Critical Control Checks, ensuring we live by AGL’s Life Saving Rules, reporting hazards, and questioning things that don’t seem safe or right.


What’s a Safety Walk?

A Health and Safety Walk is a process which can be carried out by any employee, regardless of technical competency. It is used to document observations and conversations specific to health and safety carried out in any setting. It can be focused on a particular task or work environment, but its focus can also be general in nature.

In FY20, we conducted 12,081 Health and Safety Walks.


What’s a Critical Control Check?

Critical Control Checks (CCCs) are a tool used by operational leadership to ensure our critical controls are being implemented. These critical controls focus attention on high-risk areas of our work, and include the following 12 areas: contact with electricity, falls from heights, working in confined spaces, hot work and fire, vehicles and pedestrian interaction, suspended loads, uncontrolled plant interaction, working in and around excavations, working with hazardous chemicals, isolation, loss of containment, and uncontrolled air emissions.

In FY20, we conducted 7,463 HSE technical interactions / CCCs.


What’s a Life Saving Rule?

Our ten Life Saving Rules have been developed to keep our people safe from harm while at work. The rules apply to all AGL people, contractors, and visitors working on an AGL or client site. They are a condition of entry to our sites and must be adhered to at all times. Our Life Saving Rules are:

  1. Be fit for work: come to work unimpaired by drugs, alcohol, or fatigue.
  2. Controls and approvals in place: ensure the correct risk assessments, Job Safety and Environmental Analyses, permits, and controls are in place before you start the work.
  3. Energy sources isolated: ensure all necessary isolations are in place and verified as effective before work starts.
  4. Do not alter safety devices: safety devices shall not be removed, bypassed, modified, or inhibited without authorisation.
  5. Be trained, competent, authorised: only operate equipment that is fit for purpose and for which you are trained, competent, and authorised.
  6. Safe driving: drive to the conditions and comply with all road rules when operating vehicles or mobile plant.
  7. Safe work at heights: ensure you have fall protection and dropped object controls when working at heights.
  8. Safe lifting operations: follow safe lifting procedures and never walk under suspended loads.
  9. Confined space controls in place: ensure you have authorisation, correct permits, and controls in place before entering a confined space.
  10. Stop unsafe work: stop work if you believe you or your colleagues are at risk of injury.

While this year’s Safe Work Month theme is ‘Work Health and Safety through COVID-19’, we’re currently rolling out a new program across sites to proactively prevent high-impact HSE incidents.

The Serious Impact or Fatality (SIF) Prevention program is a significant safety initiative. It’s a new way for us to manage the highest risks in our business and ensuring that we proactively work to eliminate repeat incidents.


What is a serious impact or fatality incident? 

A SIF incident is any work-related injury or illness to an AGL employee or contractor, that:

  • requires immediate life-preserving action, that if not applied immediately would likely result in the death of that person (life-threatening); or
  • results in a permanent and significant loss of a major body part or organ function that permanently alters that person's normal life activity (life altering); or
  • results in a fatality.

SIF incidents are high consequence, low frequency events – therefore potential incidents become important learning events. The causes of SIF incidents are very different to TIFR incidents and the consequences of a SIF incident are enormous on not just the injured worker and their family, but on the broader team, community and AGL itself.


The current metric for HSE performance at AGL is Total Injury Frequency Rate (TIFR), which measures injuries that involve medical treatment, lost time and fatalities.

While TIFR is an industry standard benchmark metric for safety and will remain in our scorecard, it has the disadvantage of being populated by high frequency, low severity injury incidents.

The objective of the SIF program is to use data reported on a more specifically defined subset of incidents that represent the greatest severity, so we can proactively prevent these incidents and keep our people safe.


Safety: the ongoing focus

Our priority is reliably providing essential services for our customers and our communities – but doing so with safety as a non-negotiable consideration. We’re focused on the health and wellbeing of our people.

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented its own set of challenges which need to be faced. It’s essential that we do everything in our power to keep the virus from our sites.

To this end, earlier this year we established the Group Operations Pandemic Working Group (GOPWG) to help develop and deliver on Business Continuity Plans (BCPs) and Trigger Action Response Plans (TARPS). These TARPS are essentially a set of plans on how we ensure we continue to provide services during this time, and what happens if circumstances change – such as an outbreak on site.

Additionally, we have taken a broad range of measures across our sites to ensure that our people and our assets remain as safe as possible, and essential services continue to be provided to our communities – even while circumstances continue to evolve.