As one of Australia’s largest aluminium smelters, Tomago Aluminium is acutely aware that a safe and secure workplace is vital to keeping the wheels of production in motion.

The challenge, though, was how to create a new way of thinking about safety that didn’t simply focus on maintaining productivity but instead created a workplace culture that put its’ people first. 

The result was ‘Mates Looking After Mates’, now a highly respected program that has made a significant impact on the health and safety of Tomago Aluminium’s 1000+ employees and contractors.

In 2015, the first ‘Mates Looking After Mates’ program was rolled out to all Tomago Aluminium employees and contractors with the aim of changing mindsets and behaviour from that of just looking after yourself to also looking after the safety of your workmates.

Two years later, the second ‘Mates Looking After Mates’ program was developed to further strengthen and embed the ‘mates’ philosophy and culture in their workplace.

It was this commitment to creating and embedding safety leadership in all aspects of the business which led to Tomago Aluminium being awarded our 2019 WHS Business of the Year award.

Tomago Aluminium WHS Advisor, Trish Rapley, said it was a great honour to be recognised as WHS Business of the Year.

“We are very proud of all the work that has been done to create a culture of ‘Mates Looking After Mates’ within our workplace,” Mrs. Rapley said.

“It is a great privilege to be recognised by our peers through the Hunter Safety Awards.”

Tomago Aluminium is not only committed to promoting safety among their employees but also within the industry.

“Creating a ‘Mates Looking After Mates’ culture stimulates attitudes and behaviours that affect everyone, not just at work but also in the wider community,” Mrs. Rapley said.

“Tomago Aluminium is always open to sharing ideas with other likeminded businesses to improve safety for everyone.”

With next year’s Hunter Safety Awards fast approaching, Tomago Aluminium shared some advice for 2020 applicants.

“We would encourage all businesses that value safety to take the time to enter these prestigious awards and be proud to share what they are doing within their organisation,” Mrs. Rapley said.

“It just goes to show that many small steps can make a huge difference to how people think and act at work to ensure they, and their workmates, can go home the same way they came to work.”