On May 26, members and guests of the Recruitment and Consulting Services Association descended on Melbourne’s Park Hyatt for the 2016 Australia Gala Ball and Awards Ceremony, and for one West Australian not-for-profit provider the night was particularly special.
Called up to the podium to accept the coveted McLean Award for Workplace Safety was Dave Clare from ATC Midwest. Named after dedicated workplace safety advocate and pioneer Malcolm ‘Macka’ McLean, the nationally recognised award speaks volumes about ATC Midwest’s commitment to safe practices, something which Dave was keen to speak about.
Who is ATC Midwest?
“Our core business is as an apprentice and trainee services provider,” says Dave.
“We’re probably the largest employer of youth in the midwest, with just under 80 students and young people under our care between the ages of 15 and 21.”
The people at ATC Midwest consider themselves a values-based organisation, with safety of their trainees and apprentices always the most important core concern.
“We cover virtually every industry imaginable, from mining to agriculture to offices to construction sites to metal fabricators – you name it. With the demographic of people we deal with and the diverse range of industries, safety is incredibly important,” says Dave.
What sets ATC Midwest apart?
According to Dave, the safety element of their courses goes beyond being a program – rather than simply being another component of their training it’s a philosophy deeply embedded in everything ATC Midwest does.
“We’re working at a committed level of safety, not just a compliant level. It’s just the right thing to do, there is no other way to work,” he says.
“In the last four years we have worked hard to improve our safety record. We’re trying to change the culture, and that includes getting everyone to buy into the fact that safety is a part of everything we do, not just another component.”
The initiative that saw ATC Midwest pick up the McLean Award was based on a two-pronged approach to ensuring safety accountability. This included the introduction of a new Host Sit Safety Booklet to identify hazards on worksites, and a Daily Pre-Start Meeting Booklet, which provides workers an opportunity to discuss the working day ahead and any possible hazards that may present.
Recognition on a national level
The road hasn’t been easy for ATC Midwest, but Dave says winning the McLean Award is a testament to the dedication and belief the team has held over the last four years.
“Winning the award validates the work that we do here. It’s awesome recognition, but also a sign that everything the team has gone through has been worthwhile.”
The goal, at least as far as ATC Midwest sees it, is to improve workplace safety right across the nation, and Dave offers advice to other businesses looking to change their culture.
“Every organisation should question if they’re just being compliant, or if they’re really at the committed stage for safety,” he says. “Meeting the minimum standards and benchmarks isn’t good enough, everyone needs to do the right thing.”
It’s fantastic to see sentiments like that being celebrated at the national level. Congratulations to Dave and the team at ATC Midwest.