Health, safety and wellbeing
Caring for the health and safety of our people is at the heart of nbn.
We are committed to ensuring that:
- Our people and those we work with go home safely every day; and
- Our employees’ health and wellbeing are valued and enhanced.
The Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) Policy describes our dedication to ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of our people and those we work with.
The HSE Policy is endorsed by our Board of Directors and operationalised in the business through our HSE Management System.
Key HSE improvement initiatives
We are committed to ensuring that material changes in our business are reflected in the HSE risk management approach. We have undertaken a number of initiatives to mitigate the HSE risks associated with the build, operation and maintenance of the nbn™ broadband access network:
- Conducting a range of HSE inspections and audits through the national HSE assurance program – the purpose of these assurance activities is to ensure that controls to manage critical HSE risks are implemented within the business and by delivery partners;
- Completing a review of HSE critical risk controls – this involved industry benchmarking and consideration of material changes to the nbn™ access network and operations;
- Embedding HSE into commercial governance forums with service delivery partners – we use these forums to engage with our delivery partners on their performance against contractual health, safety and environment KPIs; and
- Utilising HSE reporting and data analytics processes to identify trends in performance and areas for improvement.
We have completed a number of initiatives to support the health, safety and wellbeing of our people:
- Embedding a company-wide health, safety and wellbeing program – Initiatives focused on improving the physical health, diet, nutrition and mental health of our employees.
- Developing working groups made up of our employees and delivery partners – The working groups aimed to deliver a safer and more sustainable nbn™ access network by covering topics such as; preventing accidental damage to utilities; and protecting workers and members of the public when undertaking work near traffic.
- Implementing the nbn Travel Safe Program – This program gives our travellers 24/7 access to security, medical and logistical advice, as well as providing an international emergency response capability.
- Centralising our monitoring capability for security and emergency response – This includes centralisation of 24/7 monitoring and response capabilities for; building alarms; vehicle; and emergency alerts – as well as welfare checks for workers conducting remote or isolated activities.
Working safely in the environment
Pits and pipes
The rollout of the nbn™ access network involves the installation of cables and presence of related equipment in public streets – to minimise the need for any digging in streets, we use existing pits and pipes whenever possible. Workers will barricade the area to restrict access to open pits and manholes. We encourage the public to be watchful for hazards and inform us of any concerns.
Older pit and pipe telecommunications infrastructure may contain asbestos, which was a commonly used building material until the 1980s. As part of the upgrade to Australia’s telecommunication network, nbn and delivery partner workers may come across asbestos while working with the existing infrastructure.
We have strict requirements for working with materials which may contain asbestos. These include procedures regarding its management and safe removal – our workers must comply with all relevant laws and regulations when doing this work, including those dealing with asbestos.
If you have a concern about specific work being conducted in your area, we encourage you to let us know by calling 1800 687 626.
Safety in the home
Where a technician is required to visit your home to activate your service, you can assist by advising the technician of any safety issues you are aware of on the property, for example:
- Any electrical faults that you are aware of. Your technician may need to turn off your electrical power for a short time. They will discuss this with you beforehand to make sure that they do not impact critical electrical equipment, such as medical devices.
- Known or suspected material on your property that many contain asbestos.
- Structural issues or renovations you may have completed.
- Dogs or other pets that may interfere with the home visit.
- Recent pest treatments on the property.
- Endangered or protected plants and wildlife.
- Aboriginal or other heritage requirements, or restrictions that might be relevant.
Where hazards are identified, the technician may consider options to control or avoid the risk which may lead to alternate installation options.
The safety of everyone is most important to us, so it is important that all home occupants are kept clear of the technician’s work area at all times.