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Coates: Building a culture of safety

Building a culture of safety

This case study investigates and highlights Coates' commitment to safety as an integrated part of its people and business strategies. Promoting a safe workplace has major benefits to all stakeholders of a business. Implementing a safety strategy requires the engagement of employees to be effective. For change to be effective at Coates, the safety strategy also needed to be embedded within the company culture and aligned closely with the company goals and values.

As a result of reading this case study, students should be able to:

  • Outline how the Coates' safety strategy has been aligned with the Coates' values
  • Understand how a culture of safety is being integrated throughout the business 
  • Explain the importance of employee engagement to the implementation of a culture of safety
  • Identify different modes of communication used to deliver the safety message at Coates.


Established in 1885, Coates Hire Limited is Australia's largest hire equipment company, employing over 2,000 staff across Australia and operating in more than 200 branches and satellite locations.

Safety and the Coates Way

The Coates Way came about in 200It provides the strategic direction for the company.

The safety journey - implementing a safety strategy

The management team at Coates sees the new safety strategy as a journey.

Engaging the workforce

Implementing a culture of safety at Coates required effective employee engagement to be successful.

Use of communication and technology

The management of Coates understands and recognises the importance of providing a safe environment.


Coates has taken a proactive approach to occupational health and safety.

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Associated with:
Learning Area(s):
  • Business Environment | Developing organisational culture
  • Business Environment | Mission and Objectives
  • Business Environment | Stakeholders
  • Business Law | Business obligations under selected legislation
  • Business Law | Impact on business
  • Business Law | Proactive business and the law
  • Change Management | Change issues for business
  • Change Management | Leadership and change
  • Change Management | Managing change effectively
  • Change Management | Sources of change
  • Communication | Team-based communication
  • Employee Relations | Proactive employee relations
  • Ethics and Social Responsibility | Corporate governance
  • Ethics and Social Responsibility | Risk Management
  • Ethics and Social Responsibility | Socially responsible programs and approaches
  • Human Resource Management | Human resource planning
  • Human Resource Management | Induction
  • Human Resource Management | Performance management
  • Human Resource Management | Training and development systems and programs
  • Management Skills | Managing in a team environment
  • Management Skills | Role of leadership
From: Edition 3

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