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Sydney Water Annual Report 2009
Sustainability indicators: Developing a safe, capable, committed workforce
 
Continued progress towards zero injuries despite an increase in the frequency rate for contractor lost time injuries.
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In this section:

 

 
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Safety
Performance: Continued progress towards zero injuries despite an increase in the frequency rate for contractor lost time injuries.

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Indicator: Lost time injury frequency rate for Sydney Water staff and contractors

During 2008–09, Sydney Water achieved a record low lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) of 3.11, improving on the previous low of 3.51 recorded in 2007–08. No time was lost due to injuries in December, January, February, March and May. The total number of lost time injuries (LTIs) for Sydney Water staff was 18, two fewer than last year. The majority of injuries were from manual handling. The decrease in lost time injuries demonstrates Sydney Water’s commitment to achieving a safe work environment and working towards the goal of zero injuries.

The number of LTIs sustained by contractors increased from 16 to 28 in 2008–09, while the LTIFR increased from 2.09 to 3.62. Sydney Water continues to work closely with its contractors to improve safety. Through workplace inspections, audits and forums, Sydney Water has identified areas where contractors can work more safely. This collaborative approach is expected to reduce LTIs among contractors.

Lost time injury frequence rate 95-09

Note: Results reflect the most recent data at time of reporting. Historical data is updated to include any LTI notifications received subsequent to previous reporting.

Lost time injury frequence rate 07-09

Note: Results reflect the most recent data at time of reporting. Historical data is updated to include any LTI notifications received subsequent to previous reporting.

 

Indicator: Safety corrective actions closed on time for Sydney Water staff and contractors

Sydney Water aims to maintain a workplace culture that puts safety first. Work processes are continually reviewed and incidents are thoroughly investigated. When non-conformances or improvement opportunities are identified, staff members are asked to take corrective action, which is monitored. Timeframes for taking action vary depending on the level of risk identified.

During 2008–09, 91 corrective actions were identified, 20 more than last year. Of these, 57% were closed on time, a five per cent improvement on 2007–08. This is a positive lead indicator of improvement in safety performance.

Safety audit action requests closed on time at 30 June

 

2008

2009

Percentage of requests closed on time

52

57

 

 

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Training and capability
Performance: Staff skills and knowledge improved with access to national competency programs and training.

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Indicator: Percentage of staff covered by a national competency program

Sydney Water’s competency programs recognise the existing skills of staff members and allow staff to develop new skills important to their work through nationally accredited training. In 2008–09, a national competency program was available for 48% of staff, two per cent more than in 2007–08.

During 2008–09, Sydney Water developed additional competency programs for electrical and laboratory staff. These programs complement the existing programs for customer service, project management, civil maintenance, business administration, treatment operations, and metals and engineering.

Sydney Water aims to have competency programs for all business areas to develop workforce capability.

Percentage of staff covered by a national competency program

 

2006–07

2007–08

2008–09

Staff covered by a national competency program (%)

40

46

48

 

Indicator: Staff training hours completed as a percentage of training hours planned

Sydney Water business units develop a yearly training plan and report the percentage of training completed. These plans cover only formal courses attended away from the workplace. They do not include additional courses and seminars that staff may attend at the business unit level.

In 2008–09, business units completed 93% of training planned, a total of 6,600 training days compared to 10,850 days in 2007–08. Fewer training days were planned in 2008–09 because some courses changed from a one-year assessment to a three-year assessment, and training was deferred due to the move of Sydney Water’s head office to Parramatta.

Percentage of planned staff training completed

 

2006–07

2007–08

2008–09

Planned staff training completed (%)

100

91

93

Note: Planned training data include mandatory (compliance, licensing and mandated divisional) training.

 

 

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Entry level employment
Performance: Graduate, trainee and apprenticeship programs in place to meet long-term skills needs.

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Indicator: Average number of staff on entry-level programs (including graduates, apprentices and trainees)

Graduates

The Sydney Water graduate program aims to attract new generations of staff whose ideas, ambition and skills will shape Sydney Water’s future. The program fosters and develops talent and supports the transfer of knowledge within the organisation from generation to generation. It offers university graduates learning and development opportunities including rotational placements, formal training and coaching over three years. Graduates work in various areas and locations on a range of projects.

In 2008–09, Sydney Water invested about $5 million in the graduate program (total operating expenditure) and offered 70 places. Sydney Water received 2,206 applications in 2008–09 compared to 1,500 the previous year.

The program was recognised as a leader in the field when it won the 2discover Best Graduate Intake Program in the 2008 Australian HR Awards.

Trainees and apprentices

In 2008–09, Sydney Water hosted an average of about 24 apprentices and nine trainees.

The apprenticeship/traineeship program aims to develop a pool of workers with accredited skills and knowledge. It gives apprentices and trainees work experience while they complete their formal in-class training and development.

Being trained within the industry means the apprentice is more productive and can better understand the needs of the business. Trainees develop job skills that meet industry workplace and nationally recognised educational standards.