Transforming Safety Practices for Lasting Excellence


In the dynamic world of Shellharbour City Council, a significant safety challenge emerged as workers became complacent reporting procedures for bogging incidents, creating potential hazards and disruptions. This practice not only strained work sites but exposed workers to additional manual handling hazards. The risks, including the use of non-rated slings, presented a threat to the safety of workers.

Identifying the Need for Change

The pressing need for change prompted Council’s Field Safety Officer to spearhead an initiative. Workers going directly to heavy plant operators for self-recovery not only strained resources but also posed severe safety risks. To address this, Council initiated the development of a Bogged Vehicle Framework.

Addressing Challenges and Collaborative Efforts

Challenges were abundant, from initial worker resistance to the absence of recovery strap standards and formalised training. A united effort involving Council’s Parks Manager, Workshop Manager, Senior Management, and various on-site personnel became pivotal. Coordinated change management and ongoing investigations into formalised training opportunities marked the resolve to overcome hurdles.

Achieving the Goal

The goal was clear—develop a comprehensive Bogged Vehicle Framework that included procedures, risk assessments, formalised incident reporting, and the acquisition of registered recovery kits. This involved extensive collaboration and contributions from different stakeholders within Council.

Benefits, Impacts, and Results

The initiative brought about transformative results, including reduced costs in labour hours and equipment, improved safety outcomes, and a transparent framework. The long-term impacts positioned Council to deal effectively with adverse weather cycles, heightened risk awareness among operators, and a reduction in the number of bogging incidents.

Significantly, this initiative led to a remarkable reduction in damage to plant and equipment, lowered risks to the public through controlled and isolated sites, and a decrease in the risk to surrounding buildings and infrastructure.

A special acknowledgment is due to the outstanding team at Shellharbour City Council for their award-winning initiative, recognised with the CivicRisk Mutual Motor Vehicle Safety Award. Their commitment to safety innovation has set a high standard, emphasising operational efficiency and safety in the face of unforeseen challenges.

In conclusion, Shellharbour City Council’s journey in transforming safety practices has been marked by challenges, collaborative efforts, and impactful outcomes. This initiative stands as a beacon, showcasing an unwavering commitment to safety excellence.

For inquiries or to learn more about our member safety initiatives, please contact us today. Our dedicated team is always available to provide you with the information and support you need.