Safety Performance

Safety Performance

Our Approach

Building on our strong safety culture, the business has continued to succeed in achieving lagging and leading performance improvements, notwithstanding the substantial increase in the workforce size over time and the number of operations and activities within our portfolio.

We focus on ensuring that both our employees and contractors at our operations understand and participate actively in all elements of our Safety Management System (SMS). This enables us to develop and improve our standards, procedures, inspections, audits and programs of work.

Northern Star has continued to focus on a range of programs and initiatives to engage our workforce, align and streamline our safety processes and bring about increased utilisation of technological opportunities.

Safety Leadership

Safety leadership is a core expectation of Northern Star supervisors, “leading” our people and operating with the STARR Core Values at the forefront of every task we approach.

By creating environments where our people proactively question the safe systems of work to ensure adequacy, we can increase our ability to identify potential hazards in our processes before incident timelines begin. In leading the greater work groups to understand “why” processes are followed to ensure safe systems of work, our leaders can provide our people additional scope and guidance to maintain their own safety, and the safety of the people around them.

Northern Star’s Safety Leadership Training Program aims to provide simple and clear direction to our leaders on the array of safety tools available to them within the business, and also provide them with a critical understanding of “why” our safety tools exist. Providing our leaders with a clear understanding of how these tools also intricately make up our SMS, empowers them to utilise these tools to their full potential.

Critical Risk Standards

The safety of our employees and contractors is our first priority always. The Northern Star risk registers, both strategic corporate and operational, are updated regularly utilising a systematic risk management approach to identify the Company’s material risks. For high rated health and safety critical risks, the Company develops standards with specified performance requirements to eliminate, prevent, or mitigate the risks.

Critical Risk Standards

These Critical Risk Standards are regularly reviewed internally and by subject matter experts to ensure they meet regulatory requirements and align with industry best practices and outline critical controls for each critical risk area necessary to keep our workforce safe.

These controls are captured in checklists and used as guidance during in- field observations conducted by Northern Star management and supervisors to verify effectiveness and compliance by the workforce.

Compliance with these Critical Risk Standards is regularly audited and reported to identify opportunities for improvement across the Company.

Further information on Northern Star’s Critical Risk Standards is available in our Annual Sustainability Reports.

Safety Management Systems

The SMS comprises 14 elements and sets out the key features and application of the health and safety management processes through which Northern Star establishes and assesses its commitment, objectives, plans and procedures for compliance with legislation and regulations.

The SMS operates within our overarching corporate governance documents including the Board Charter, STARR Core Values, Code of Conduct, Safety and Health Policy, Risk Management Policy and operational Cardinal Rules. The SMS applies to all sites and activities within Northern Star’s operational control.

The SMS also provides a framework for the identification, reporting and rectification of work-related hazards or hazardous situations identified by all employees and contractors using Northern Star’s HAZID (Hazard ID), STARR reporting initiatives and the INX InControl reporting database.

By using this SMS framework, hazards and their rectification are documented to more effectively reduce risks to our employees. The SMS provides auditable criteria against which Northern Star’s health and safety performance, risk reduction and continuous improvement can be measured.

Incident Reporting and Investigations

Northern Star has in place a set of systems and procedures to ensure that incidents can be effectively reported by all employees and contractors and communicated in a timely manner to ensure lessons learned are captured and circulated to reduce the risk of a repeat event.

Incident investigations are undertaken in accordance with our Reporting Standard requirements and are led by a trained Supervisor or Manager and include a Health and Safety Representative. Northern Star utilises a step-by-step process that follows the ICAM methodology and allows for either a basic or complex investigation depending upon the nature, actual or probable outcome of an incident or near miss.

Quality incident investigations and the implementation of SMART corrective actions with Northern Star can eliminate or reduce the chances of similar incidents re-occurring in the future by allowing us to identify deficiencies or potential improvements in our management system which can be addressed.

Emergency and Crisis Management

Northern Star has in place detailed crisis and emergency management plans which aim to prepare personnel for a range of emergency situations. Understanding the likelihood of an emergency and the potential consequences and mitigation strategies needed is at the core of our plans and structure.

Plans for foreseeable scenarios are in place and regularly audited and tested by external specialists to ensure they are appropriate. Teams at site and corporate levels undertake regular emergency scenario drills to ensure that we are prepared to respond appropriately to any real event and recover quickly after.

Northern Star’s Crisis and Emergency Management Organisational Structure

Emergency Response Teams

In conjunction with Northern Star’s emergency management system, our Emergency Response Teams (ERT) play a critical role in managing significant events and alleviating threats to life, our assets, the environment and business continuity.

As such, our emergency response departments across the Company are provided with ongoing support from the corporate health and safety team to ensure effective competency is maintained across the business.

Providing scenario training opportunities to our emergency response teams is a critical part of their skills development, and we actively support our teams to participate in regional emergency response competitions.

Further information on Northern Star’s Emergency Response Teams is available in our Annual Sustainability Reports.

Health and Wellness

We understand that the health and wellbeing of our employees extends beyond the workplace, and we recognise that an integrated approach is necessary to ensure both their physical and mental health.

Northern Star’s integrated approach offers a practical structure to address the needs of our personnel on an individual basis. The mental and physical health and resilience of our workforce remains a priority. In addition to the support offered by our Employee Assistance Programs and the presence of our mental health first aid training employees at all sites, we have provided dedicated resources across our sites to support and educate our teams on health and wellbeing. At each of our operations, employees and contractors are also offered opportunities and are encouraged to engage in social activities and services.

This integrated approach increases engagement and the sense of community and connectedness our employees and contractor feel whilst at work, with the overall goal of ensuring that a safe and healthy work environment is provided to all our employees, contractors and those visiting our operations.

Mental Health First Aid

Northern Star is recognised as a Skilled Workplace in the Mental Health First Aid Workplace Recognition Program.

By supporting our people to undertake this training we help them to provide timely interventions at home and at work to support good mental health with everyone they connect with.

The training equips them to provide immediate assistance and encourage their colleagues, family and friends to seek professional mental health assistance as needed.

Access to Non-Occupational Medical and Healthcare Services

Northern Star undertakes a range of programs across our sites to ensure our employees have access to non-occupational medical and healthcare services to supplement their own personal services and our work-related services.

Each year we offer a range of health-related services at our regional operational centres, which can include:

  • influenza vaccination programs;
  • health and fitness assessments and exercise support programs by dedicated exercise physiologists;
  • skin check clinics; and
  • support and information on healthy eating and drinking options.

Northern Star has also partnered with a private health insurance provider to offer a subsidised health plan with extensive benefits for our eligible workforce, which supplements existing programs in place.

Occupational Health & Hygiene

Northern Star has established a monitoring program to reduce and manage hygiene risks utilising a specialised team who measure and report on potential hazardous workplace exposures.

Each year the monitoring program schedule is revised and adjusted to match the outcomes and priorities of the annual risk-based review of workplace exposure standards and regulatory requirements for measuring and monitoring. Workplace exposure monitoring assists us to identify and reduce hygiene-based risks on our sites.

Further information on Northern Star’s occupational health and hygiene programs is available in our Annual Sustainability Reports.