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A Friday Note - 21 July 2017

Dear all,

More cold weather, but the rain hasn’t reached many areas of our state our farmers desperately need it.

SAFETY

A safety-first culture is central to what we as a department do and stand for, and is something all staff contribute towards. Together we should take every reasonable step to deliver a safe work environment.

Our draft Drug and Alcohol Policy and Program is a key platform in this safety-first culture, part of our commitment to employees and their families for zero harm in our operations. It is also an important part of us presenting as a modern public service.

We have undergone a long period of consultation on this policy. We have listened to feedback and are making some changes based on that feedback. However, the intent of the policy remains the same:

To ensure a consistent approach to all staff across our department and reflect the high standards expected of us by the community as a modern public service.

This policy already applies to many of our staff in their work, for example in our rail area and those operating plant. The same standards are rightly expected by our customers as we make critical decisions on road safety, personal files which impact on our and the public’s safety, and respond to their enquiries as part of our daily work duties. We must do so not only with sound judgement, but with the public confidence that we place safety first and will uphold the highest standards in all safety decisions for our employees and for the public good.

We believe it is reasonable and right to have a zero tolerance policy against illicit drugs and alcohol, with an accompanying education and awareness program to support its introduction. We are confident this measure will save employees from injury and harm due to the application of poor judgement brought about by the consumption of drugs and alcohol. It is also plays a role in the department’s overall commitment to employees’ health and wellbeing. Due to the different ways that alcohol can affect people, there is no amount of alcohol that can be said to be safe for everyone.  

The policy is not designed to be punitive; it is part of a broader safety-first approach and all staff will undergo an education, awareness and training program before it is implemented. We will assist employees to understand what their roles and responsibilities are in relation to drugs and alcohol in the workplace.

You can seek support and access counselling, if required, through the department’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Rehabilitation and treatment programs are encouraged and will be supported where appropriate in a confidential and sensitive manner.

As of midnight on Thursday, July 20 there had been 50 fatalities on South Australian roads this year.

RAIL INFRASTRUCTURE MAINTENANCE AND MANAGEMENT

Our Rail Infrastructure Maintenance and Management teams have made some significant achievements in the past financial year. These include a 60 per cent increase in recorded staff site safety observations, with plans underway for an all-staff Safety Day at Mile End.

They significantly contributed to a large number of annual programs and projects, including upgrading the tram tracks on Jetty Road, replacement of the Port River Bridge superstructure as well as many station lighting and CCTV upgrades.

FOND FAREWELLS

We offer best wishes to Richard Herraman, who is leaving DPTI today after many years with the department. Richard has provided outstanding service to the geotechnical discipline for DPTI and has made a strong point of training new staff and sharing his knowledge.

He has provided quality advice during times of crisis such as major storms or floods. Many of Adelaide’s roads through the Hills and rural areas have examples of Richard’s slope stabilisation techniques.

He is an outstanding engineer who is well respected across industry and Australia.

We also farewell Piero Rinna, the contract manager in Pavement Marking. He has worked for DPTI for more than 20 years in areas as diverse as the former TransAdelaide, Regency Park, road construction, street lighting, traffic signals and finally in pavement marking. There is nothing about the white lines on the road that Piero does not know about.

We wish both a very happy and rewarding retirement.

VALE RICHARD BOWYER

It is with sadness we recognise the death of Richard Bowyer, who passed away over the weekend aged 80. He was a long standing departmental employee who served as Regional Manager in Murray Bridge and Naracoorte for many years. As such, he was responsible for the construction of a number of the state's arterial roads in the eastern part of the state. His area of responsibility extended from the Riverland to Mount Gambier.

PLANNING

Last week our Planning team took centre stage at the annual Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) South Australian conference in the Barossa Valley, talking about the implementation of the new planning system and its impact on the development sector.

Representatives included the Chair of the SA Planning Commission, Tim Anderson, and the only three women presenting at the conference – Sally Smith, Kirsteen MacKay and Eleanor Freeman.

FLASHBACK FRIDAY

Thanks to Nelson Mendoza, Senior Road Asset Engineer, for sending in this week’s Flashback Friday, which is of Henley Beach Jetty in the 1930s.

Historic photo of Henley Beach Jetty circa 1930s

Have a good weekend

Michael Deegan