25 September 2015

Opus International Consultants (Opus) received two honours at the 2015 NZ Transport Agency GEM awards for its Health & Safety and Environmental work.

The Health & Safety award recognised Opus for the safe way it manages and maintains the Western Bay of Plenty State Highways and Western Bay of Plenty District Council roads.

Opus is the lead contractor of WestLink Bay of Plenty, a contract team with Downer, J. Swap and a number of other SME sub-contractors, which manages the joint One Network Maintenance Contract (ONMC) in the Western Bay of Plenty.

Continuous improvement and a zero harm goal are behind the success says Opus’ New Zealand Managing Director Peter Mathewson.  “We know that there’s always room for improvement with our health and safety practices.  We have a zero harm goal at Opus and that applies equally to our own staff as it does to the people that are impacted by our work, whether that’s clients, partners or communities.”

“It’s great to see the WestLink team rewarded by the Transport Agency for going the extra mile.  The team’s proactive approach to health and safety has created a robust culture and has prevented many incidents and accidents from happening in the first place – and this is reflected in WestLink’s total recordable injury frequency rate which is still sitting at zero since starting back in November last year,” said Mr Mathewson.

Opus was the inaugural winner in the Protecting the Environment category for its innovative approach in managing the environmental impact of Auckland Harbour Bridge maintenance activities.

“Building on our relationship with the NZ Transport Agency, we worked with our industry partners to come up with a novel framework approach that embraces innovation and allows flexibility to adopt more environmentally friendly solutions,” said Mr Mathewson.

Opus received the award as part of the Auckland Harbour Bridge Alliance (AHBA), a multi-disciplinary team of planners, engineers, scientists and maintenance operators.  The framework is estimated to save the NZ Transport Agency $65m in maintenance costs over the next 10 years.

“These awards represent the benefit of taking a collaborative approach and engaging with a wide range of stakeholders to achieve best practice health and safety and environmental outcomes.  It’s also great to see the Transport Agency recognising the outstanding creativity, innovation, and service across our industry,” added Mr Mathewson.

The NZ Transport Agency’s GEM Awards (Going the Extra Mile) recognise and celebrate contractors and suppliers who go the extra mile for customer service and safety, and who show their commitment to the Agency’s priorities and quality industry standards.