Pilbara Aboriginal business celebrates safety milestone
Roebourne-based Aboriginal business Brida marked a huge safety milestone last Tuesday, celebrating reaching half a million hours of work without a significant safety issue.
Staff and business partners gathered at a ceremony at the Dampier Palms to acknowledge the business making it to 500,000 hours without lost-time injury, with leaders saying it was the first Aboriginal business they knew of that had achieved such a milestone.
Brida chairman David Walker said the achievement was a moment of great pride.
“This milestone makes me and the rest of the board so proud, and the men and women (with Brida) too,” he said.
“This is an honour for our people and it brings hard-earned dignity to everyone that is a part of Brida’s 20-year history — even back to 1974 when we were Ieramugadu Gardening.
“I wish those old people from the beginning were around to see this day.”
Brida general manger Francois Langlois said the company had developed a strong safety culture from working with major resources companies over the years.
“Our employees face a large number of risks and hazards in our everyday operations,” he said.
“This team is handling chemicals every day, they’re operating with open blades and rotating machinery and they drive well over 50 vehicles on the road every day, plus they do it all in this heat when it is 45C in summer every day.”
“Nonetheless, our guys continue to do it safely, for 500,000 hours and counting, so it’s a huge credit to the way they operate.”
Brida is a part of Roebourne’s Ngarliyarndu Bindirri Aboriginal Corporation and provides cleaning, gardening, infrastructure maintenance and plant hire at a range of Pilbara sites.
It began in 1974, then called Ieramugadu Gardening, and has since grown to accommodate a workforce of 150 people and major clients including Rio Tinto, Woodside and BBI Group.
The 500,000 hours LTI-free figure dates back to 2008, when the concept of lost-time injury was first announced.
Brida reached the milestone in December last year and has since surpassed it.
Rio Tinto and Woodside congratulated Brida on the achievement and Rio Tinto acting general manager for Dampier ports and marine Tim McDougall presented company leaders with a plaque to mark the occasion.
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