Creating a safer sporting environment

Hockey NSW

An action photograph of a field hockey match

Sport and Recreation

Use Cases

Team Culture & Engagement
Systems & Processes
Reporting Performance

How Hockey NSW drove dramatic change to their health and safety practices

From 45% to 65% Safety Index Score

Blue taxt and graphic logo for Hockey NSW, a Safe365 client

“As soon as we started leveraging Safe365, the door was swung open. It started off as an initiative to get the right systems and processes in place for our business, but then we realised it’s potential to make a significant cultural change within our team, and which would ultimately keep more people safe.” 

Nathan Walker, Competitions & Officiating Manager, Hockey NSW

The Challenge

Hockey is a hazardous sport, and Hockey NSW takes a serious responsibility to ensure the health and safety of their team and players – by minimising harm and delivering a caring, nurturing and safe sporting environment. Through Hockey NSW’s programs, competitions, and events – volunteers and officials are required to regularly complete risk assessments of venues, health and safety checks on the ground, and report incidents at training sessions and games. 

While Hockey NSW had health and safety policies and procedures written up for leadership, people, and risk response, but after Hockey NSW’s Finance and Risk Committee identified a gap in their health and safety capability, the leadership team instigated a shift towards more proactive and consistent health and safety management – utilising Safe365’s suite of digital tools.

An action photograph of a field hockey match
An action photograph of a field hockey match

The Result

After completing a health and safety maturity assessment and identifying their health and safety strengths and areas for improvement, Hockey NSW implemented a number of changes to their health and safety practices, including: 

Bringing their health and safety practices and policies to life
By utilising the Safe365 Smartphone app for easy, on-the-go, risk and incident reporting, safety checks and training records. 

A standardised process and curriculum
This was implemented for Worker, Contractor and Director health and safety training and education. It included training regional participation coordinators, officials and volunteers to utilise the Safe365 Smartphone App.

Company wide visibility.
Providing visibility to the entire Hockey NSW team around health and safety performance. Staff members at all levels can access performance data and read into incident reports and risk assessments for a big picture view.

Improved culture and focus on health and safety.
Health and Safety Committee meetings
 are held every month, where a self-assessment is completed and a report generated to check in on how they are tracking towards their health and safety goals.

Impact Made

After 18 months of using Safe365 and implementing the recommended improvements, Hockey NSW moved from a 45% to 62% Safety Index Score, resulting in a dramatic improvement to their health and safety performance. Key outcomes include: 

An increase in risk and hazard reporting
They received 15 ‘near miss’ reports in the first 5 months of utilising the Safe365 app, compared to only 3 or 4 in the previous year. The increase was a positive result – indicating staff were comfortable using the Safe365 Smartphone App and reporting incidents both big and small.  

Effective systems and processes
Incidents were no longer reported via an ad-hoc phone call to the CEO, but on-the-go and in real-time via the smartphone app, and with a clear process for follow-up and action.  

Greater visibility on health and safety performance
Via Safe365’s Performance Dashboard the Health and Safety Committee could get a consolidated, centralised view to monitor all health and safety risks and reports from one place – supporting better follow-through. Here they could monitor risks, report on progress and provide visibility to the Board, management and staff on health and safety performance.

Improved team culture and engagement
By enabling greater accessibility and visibility across Hockey NSW’s health and safety performance, there’s now less resistance and more engagement around health and safety. Staff are buying-in, taking ownership, talking openly about health and safety (which was previously ‘taboo’), and are driven to improve Hockey NSW’s Safety Index Score.

A photograph of the NSW field hockey team during a match break

When it comes to health and safety, the volume of things you need to consider can be overwhelming. Safe365 cut through the complexity and gave us 8 or 9 priority areas to focus on improving, clearly broken down into small steps that were digestible and actionable. Over the next year, we drilled down into those areas and made the changes necessary to improve our Safety Index Score.”

Nathan Walker, Competitions & Officiating Manager, Hockey NSW 

What’s next?

Hockey NSW are now working towards their next milestone of a 70% Safety Index Score, with a clear roadmap ahead that tells them exactly what they need to do to get there.

Hockey NSW also conducts independent health and safety auditevery two yearsAfter their most recent audit, the auditor commented that she hadn’t seen a sporting organisation improve so dramatically in such a short space of time.

She was really quite surprised at how far we’d come. For us, the key was the implementation side – having an improvement plan with clear, actionable steps. It gave us, our Board and our wider team visibility on what we needed to do to incrementally and continually improve our health and safety practices.

– Rachel Tremain, Member Services Manager, Hockey NSW 

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An action photograph of a field hockey match