Safety Culture Review at North Queensland Bulk Ports


North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation (NQBP) is a leading port authority responsible for world-class facilities at the working ports of Hay Point, Mackay, Abbot Point and Weipa. NQBP has a multi-user access policy in place at its ports to facilitate the highest possible utilisation of port infrastructure and greatest possible operational efficiency.

Objectives of the WHS Review

To ensure that NQBP fulfilled its governance obligations under the senior leadership commissioned a WHS review, with a focus on the following aspects of safety culture:

  1. Level of demonstrated safety leadership commitment
  2. Degree of trust within the organisation
  3. Competency of leaders at all levels to discharge their safety duties. For example
    1. conducting effective safety walks (interactions)
    2. managing critical safety risks
    3. investigating and learning from incidents
  4. Effectiveness of the safety system and safety team

Assessment Methodology

To uncover the key issues, our approach involved a combination of the following techniques:

  • Confidential deep-structured 1:1 interviews with a cross section of 30 key staff for an hour each.
  • Observations of operations and maintenance functions.
  • Reviews of safety information and the safety management system.
  • A safety culture assessment based on Patrick Hudson’s methodology was completed by a panel of experienced senior staff.

The Output

The output from the assessment was a qualitative report that benchmarked NQBP on Hudson’s safety culture model and identified opportunities to make significant advances in safety culture and performance. The report also formed the basis of a two-year safety plan for the NQBP team.

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