Safety first

Making sure that our people, clients and community stakeholders go home safely every day is important to us. That’s why safety is GHD’s number one core value.

In the past decade, our safety culture has evolved considerably. We have embedded Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) into every aspect of our operations.

Our focus on prioritising safety, implementation of risk based management systems and in recent years Lead Indicators has established a solid platform for the next phase of improvement: embedding behaviours.

SMART Behaviours Model

In 2016, GHD solidified a global HSE framework, connecting all elements of our operations, instilling shared purpose and aligning performance expectations. This gave rise to the introduction of the SMART Behaviours Model, which empowers our people to seek out and reward desired behaviours, and proactively avoid undesired actions that adversely affect our safety culture.

According to Clayton Harrison, Group Manager – Health, Safety and Environment, “Safety is often seen as a search for an ‘absence of negatives’. Building on the culture and habits created by focusing our operations on Lead Indicators, GHD’s SMART Behaviours Model promotes the engagement of our people as part of the solution, rather than as the part of the problem – changing mindsets towards safety as a ‘presence of positives’.”

As a result, our SMART Behaviours Model is underpinned by four key principles:

  1. Recognising our people are the solution – not the problem
  2. Focusing on the things we do well as a catalyst to learn and improve
  3. Providing authentic leadership which nurtures empowerment and accountability
  4. Becoming a proactive and resilient organisation, continually improving our approach (proactive vs reactive)

Clayton adds, “Our consistency of purpose, focus and execution in continually striving to improve safety are major contributors to the success of our projects and wider connection with the community.”

Client and industry recognition

Our clients and industry associations continue to recognise the vital role we play in keeping their people, projects and communities safe. Recent achievements include:


Golden Shovel Standard

We have achieved Gold Shovel Standard certification status, a North America-wide initiative to dramatically avoid subsurface utility strikes associated with ground-disturbing activities, such as drilling and excavation.

One of our longstanding clients, Kinder Morgan, initiated this effort in order to maintain safety-worthiness amongst its contractors and subcontractors.

Gas Processors Supplier Association

Our Mid-Continent group in the USA was awarded the 2016 Excellence in Safety Award by the Gas Processors Supplier Association. The award recognises our outstanding safety record and ongoing efforts to develop an exemplary safety program, covering work performed for all environmental, compliance, and permitting phases associated with the midstream oil and gas industry.


For the third consecutive year, GHD has been honoured through the Chevron Environmental Management Company’s supplier recognition program, which acknowledges key suppliers who have achieved high safety standards throughout the year.

We received a Best in Class award, which acknowledges that we have maintained an A rating for safety and execution on Chevron’s quarterly scorecard for four consecutive quarters, have had no corporate reportable incidents during that time, and have worked 50,000 hours or more in the field within that period.


Award-winning responses to safety incidents as part of our retail environmental cleanup portfolio for Shell reflect our commitment to safety as one of our core values.

Former GHD project manager Steve Rasmussen and subcontractor Jeremiah Jenkins, of Cascade Drilling, were recently named the 2016 recipients of Shell’s Annual Health, Safety, Security, Environment, and Social Protection Award in the USA. Brian Peters from our Seattle office in Washington also won the First Quarter 2017 Health, Safety, Security, and Environment Award from Shell.

Allen Register, Shell’s US Region Manager for Downstream Soil and Groundwater Focused Delivery Group commented that each winner, “Portrayed an excellent example of intervention and looking out for the safety and wellbeing of others.”

CSX Corporation

We recently earned two awards from CSX Corporation, a leading rail-based and intermodal transportation services provider, operating about 21,000 route miles of track in the USA and Canada.

CSX recognised Jake Jones, Environmental Scientist in Little Rock, Arkansas, for demonstrating excellent customer service in taking on the project of developing chemical libraries for chemical agents related to the most commonly transported hazardous materials. GHD also received an Award of Excellence.

CSX noted in the awards program that, “While relatively new to the CSX world, [GHD has] quickly become an integral part of our emergency response efforts, from routine TestNet calls to derailments and other incidents in railyards. GHD always shows their value through their innovative solutions and capability in the field.”


John Holland

The upgrade of the Malabar Wastewater Treatment Plant, the largest such facility in Sydney, has been recognised for outstanding safety performance. The Malabar Process and Reliability Renewal (PARR) project is being delivered by an alliance of Sydney Water, John Holland, UGL and GHD. Following an intensive audit, the project recently received the 2016 John Holland Chairman’s Award for Safety Excellence.

According to Margaret Riley, Sydney Water Senior Project Manager, “The award dove into all aspects of our safety management at Malabar PARR from leadership, to innovation and best practice approach, collaboration and system compliance. This is fantastic recognition for the consistent commitment to safety excellence by all members of the Malabar PARR team.”