Blog > September 2013 > Telstra Case Study

Telstra Case Study

In June this year, the Queensland government announced asbestos had been discovered at three NBN work sites, which was followed by a full-scale sweep of NBN sites across the state. Following this announcement, Telstra's chief executive officer David Thodey met with Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy and representatives from NBN Co to discuss the establishment of a compensation fund for workers potentially exposed to asbestos in the rollout.

The telecommunications giant also employed PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as independent advisers to help review its safety systems and processes. The appointment follows allegations that Telstra had cut corners before handing over the work sites to network builder NBN Co. and that contract workers were not properly equipped with the skills and training necessary to complete the job. A national taskforce has also been set up to monitor exposure prevention and ensure training and supervision of contractors working on the NBN rollout.

New laws passed the lower house of federal parliament earlier this year that involved setting up an independent Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency to eliminate asbestos-related diseases. Australia would become the first nation to take such action against asbestos diseases, which are forecast to kill more than 700 people in Australia this year alone.

Meanwhile, asbestos related incidents have come at a steep cost for the telecommunications giant. The Australian Financial Review reported over 23 asbestos claims have been made against the company between 1999 and 2009, costing Telstra approximately $30 million in compensation payouts.
The Telstra case study is a perfect example of the significant cost of failing to provide adequate workplace health and safety training to your employees. Keys Human Resources is at the forefront of innovative and progressive employee training and induction processes including online white card, online RSA and RSG courses.

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