Gavin Merriman Presentation

Can We Influence Behaviour or is it Hard Controls Only?

Mr. Gavin Merriman, MAppSc University of Ballarat Australia

Current HSE Manager Warakirri Asset Management. A company that manages 38 farms across 5 states of Australia. Previously OHS consultant in coal seam gas and construction. Worked in HSE for the Australian Workers Union.

Learning objectives:
Participants will understand if we can impact on behaviour and the impact of having quality data.
Participants will understand if behaviour change is sustainable, does it become the “norm”.
Participants will understand how we measured the risk and the potential risk reduction.

View the presentation online anytime and discuss it with the author on Friday, November 20 from noon – 12:30 on the Zoom Live-stream


We have a range of questions to answer 1) can we alter behaviour through conversations, 2) if we modify the behaviour is it sustainable 3) does the quality of the data impact, and 4) does the new behaviour reduce our risk profile.  My employer has 55 side by sides, 2-wheel motor bikes and quad bikes in its fleet. These devices pose a safety risk to our employees. Research indicates speed and steep terrain are the major cause of incidents.  We geo-fenced our steep terrain and applied a 35KPH speed limit on our farms. We installed GPS tracking devices. Farm Managers received live notifications on their smart phone if someone was operating outside of our safety parameters.  We were trying to reduce speed via influencing human behaviour. In May 2020 we installed speed restrictors on devices at certain farms.  For 3 – months we relied on conversations alone to reduce speed, were we successful? Did the quality of the data impact on these conversations? Those farms we have not installed speed restrictors, can we demonstrate sustained lower speeds through discussions alone?  My employer has invested in its people and its safety program. Has this investment returned a qualitative risk reduction?

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