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Prioritising health, safety and wellbeing

Maintaining a safe workplace for team members and keeping customers, suppliers and other visitors safe is a paramount consideration across all Coles' businesses.

Coles’ total recordable injury frequency rate (TRIFR) for FY18 was 33.3, a 14.2 per cent improvement on the previous year.

In FY18, there was continued focus on safety under the pillars of Leadership and Culture, Critical Risk Reduction and Mind Your Health.

The focus on leadership and culture was highlighted by training initiatives with more than 77,000 team members participating in role specific safety training. Due diligence training was also provided for senior leaders emphasising the importance of proactive safety management and their roles in influencing safety improvements. Safety training was also reviewed to enable it to be more accessible and interactive.

Three transport safety forums  were held with external partners including transport companies and carriers, road regulators and police. The objective was to build relationships and work together to improve safety for the transport industry and the wider community.

Within critical risk reduction there was ongoing focus on immediate reporting, investigations and implementation of corrective actions. There were also significant investments in safety improvements including the provision of protective footwear to over 55,000 team members, the introduction of improved carton cutters to reduce laceration risk and the introduction of new assistive manual handling equipment such as electric pallet jacks, milk trolleys and wine baskets. Bollards were also installed in Coles Express forecourts and an infrastructure review of bulkheads and electrical switchboards resulted in replacements and upgrades where required.

New processes for stock management in Coles supermarkets resulted in a 10 per cent decrease in manual handling injuries for team members in FY18. The business also undertook a risk review of threatening situations in supermarkets during the year to support its goal to provide a safe environment for team members and customers.

Initiatives under the Mind Your Health pillar centred on increasing the sense of connection for remote store managers, younger team members and team members in general. Coles partnered with Orygen to look at ways of increasing connections with youth and has entered into a two-year research program with beyondblue regarding developing mentally healthy workplaces.

Through a partnership with Converge International, Coles continued to provide an Employee Assistance Program. This free and confidential counselling supports team members and their families. It also assists managers to provide advice and support to their teams.

Mental health education was also a focus with team members offered online tutorials, wellbeing learning sessions and podcasts. Topics included men’s health, sleep, mindfulness and life as a carer.

These three pillars will continue to drive the health, safety and wellbeing strategy. In FY19, key programs will include leadership risk-based decision-making, contractor management, threatening situations, manual handling and mental health. Coles will continue to create a culture where health, safety and wellbeing is proactively reported and discussed, while also simplifying processes to drive efficiency and improvements.

Safety performance


total recordable injury frequency rate
2018   33.3
2017   38.81
2016   44.1
2015   53.9
2014   57.2
1Restated due to the maturation of data