Media release – Monday 20 March 2020

Mill achieves international OHS certification

Mount Gambier-based mill NF McDonnell and Sons is taking its safety to global heights, becoming the first Green Triangle business to achieve internationally recognised Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) certification.

Global-Mark, a nationally recognised Conformity Assessment Body, audited the timber processor’s operations against the highest global standards and granted the company ISO 45001 OHS Management System, an international level certification for its efficient safety management policy and procedures.

NF McDonnell and Sons work health safety manager Richard McLoughlin, who led the certification process, said it was important for the mill to surpass Australian standards to provide the highest level of compliance for the health and safety of its 115 staff.

He said the operation was the only business in the Green Triangle, and one of only 1045 workplaces nationwide, to achieve the globally recognised certification, which was first introduced in 2018.

“Continual improvement is a primary focus for the mill and safety is priority number one,” Mr McLoughlin said.

“This international certification was a key objective of our five-year strategic plan which sets a pathway to becoming a more sustainable and efficient operation. We are pleased to be able to deliver these world class safety standards for our hardworking and dedicated staff only two years after it was included in the plan.

“This compliance reinforces to our entire workforce that safety is at the core of our values as an organisation. It’s their health and well-being that drives our work plan.”
Green Triangle Forest Industries Hub (GTFIH) executive general manager Liz McKinnon praised the mill’s focus on gaining international certification, noting safety was a key pillar of the Hub’s strategic action plan.

“Creating and sustaining a culture of workplace safety is pivotal to the success of the Hub’s vision to grow a vibrant and sustainable forestry industry in the Green Triangle,” Ms McKinnon said.

“One of the pillar’s in the hub’s plan is supporting a safe and productive workforce by continuously driving the safety agenda. There is a growing awareness and expectation that safety underpins all business decisions and our forestry sector, across the entire supply chain, is putting OHS and the implementation of new technologies and innovations at the forefront of their work agenda.”

NF McDonnell and Sons’ commitment to safety extends to its own in-house safety award program which incentivises staff with vouchers to promote safe work practice. The program led to the business being named the 2019 Safe Work SA safety champion gold winner for its dedication to safety and workplace well-being.

NF McDonnell and Sons CEO Craig Nisbet said elevating to the international certification standard had further encouraged a “positive workplace culture”.

“These safety initiatives are about going above and beyond for our staff – they are our priority each and every day,” he said.

“From their mental health, fatigue management, hazard and risk management, to work life balance and healthy lifestyle choices – our plan covers every facet of their well-being to ensure each and every worker can be productive, be happy and enjoy their role. But most importantly, it’s about ensuring they go home safely to their family every night – a priority for the entire forestry sector.”

NF McDonnell and Sons work health safety manager Richard McLoughlin, team leader Phillip Lanyon and health and safety representative Dean Hopkins are proud of the mill’s focus on safety and achievement of international OHS certification