Rail industry news (Australia, New Zealand)

Swietelsky Rail Australia takes out gold in 2024 Hunter Safety Awards

Swietelsky Rail Australia (SRA) have walked away from the 2024 Hunter Safety Awards as a double winner, taking out the award for Best Health and Wellbeing Program (SME) and the prestigious WHS Business of the Year award.

The Hunter Safety Awards recognises local businesses and individuals in the Hunter region who have integrated work, health and safety as part of their core business.

Following a major shift in their team values in 2023, SRA took the leap to enter the awards for the first time, with the hope its business would be recognised in at least one category.

Sponsored by Tomago Aluminium, the win for the Best Health and Wellbeing Program (SME) was in relation to their collaboration with Check5 Wellbeing, founded by Dean Noonan.

The program is an ongoing part of SRA’s wellbeing focus internally and was implemented as a proactive approach to providing support for their team.

“The Check5 Wellbeing Program is all about identifying areas of improvement before it becomes a problem,” Noonan said.

“Check5 focuses on five areas of wellbeing – mental, physical, financial, relationships and work. We use a check in system four times a year to gauge how staff are feeling in these areas and provide resources for support if they request for help.

“When measured on a Performance Impact Scale, most wellbeing programs or single events run in workplaces result in initially high impact, but then decrease quickly over time. This program is a continuous process that requires ongoing action and self-assessment by individuals, which results in increased engagement over time with regular check-ins and visible reminders of support resources available.”

The Check5 Wellbeing program was tailored to suit the needs of SRA and has continued to result in a high successes rate, with over 95 per cent of team members actively participating.

The judges of the Hunter Safety Awards were extremely impressed with the proactive approach of the program within SRA and the evidence of the increased staff participation.

Managing Director of SRA, Anne Modderno said they were overwhelmed and overjoyed with the win, and thanked the team for embracing the program and Dean for his ongoing help with tailoring it for SRA.

“Dean’s approach and commitment to tailoring the CHECK 5 system to suit our people has been amazing,” Modderno said.

“The award win also wouldn’t have been possible without our HR Manager, Tahnee Sumner who has been essential to successfully implementing the program.”

The excitement didn’t stop there for the SRA team.

At the end of the awards night, SRA was awarded the WHS Business of the Year award, complete with a 24-carat gold safety helmet trophy.

WHS Business of the Year is awarded to a company who has shown high level of commitment to WHS and have integrated this into their daily activities. It is sponsored by the Major Sponsor of the Awards, AGL.

The organisation is committed to not only providing safety currently, but safety for the future and cementing this as an integral part of their corporate culture.

The win was a testament to SRA’s focus on building a culture of safety across their team that begins at the top with leadership, all the way to staff working on the ground.

Their Employee Value Proposition (EVP) showcases SRA’s dedication to safety beyond their day to day, offering additional leave days for those in need and investment into training and a flexible work environment for all staff members.

SRA was blown away with the win and Modderno couldn’t be prouder of her team.

“Those who know me, know I’m very rarely speechless but after winning WHS Business of the Year, I was lost for words,” Modderno said.

“In the last year we have done so much work to create a space, a team and a culture that brings out the best in everyone. I am so proud of this achievement for our business and of course, for our entire team who the award wouldn’t have been possible without.”

SRA were among 10 other winners at the Gala Night, all of which can be found here.