Guy Mead is currently the Safety Manager on the Albany Ring Road project in Albany, Western Australia.
I approach safety very differently from many others. I strongly believe that safety is about people and behaviours, with a personal and hands-on approach required.
Guy’s working career began at 17 years old when he started as a miner in an underground mine in Leinster, in WA’s Gold Fields region. Guy worked underground for several years and then went on to join the army when he was around 20 years old. Guy then passed the SAS selection test and worked for the SAS for nearly 10 years. The Special Air Service Regiment, officially abbreviated SASR though commonly known as the SAS, is a special forces unit of the Australian Army. In the SAS, the position of Risk Management Officer was not very popular and was often assigned more as a punishment. However, Guy found that he really enjoyed doing risk management, and this started his career in managing safety risks.
After leaving the SAS, Guy went back into underground mining, eventually moving across to Mt Isa in Queensland where he studied metallurgy. He worked in smelters in Australia and across the world, including India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.
Guy also worked for Orica Explosives managing their contracts in the Goldfields. He has also worked for IFAP (Industrial Foundation for Accident Prevention) as their Operations Manager, where he managed their safety teams across large global construction projects, including India, Thailand and Vietnam. Some projects had 16,000 people working on them.
Guy enjoys working on major projects that are team based, where it takes a whole team to successfully deliver a project. Guy also enjoys working on long term projects, where the project team feels more like a family rather than just work colleagues.
Guy says that he approaches safety very different from many others. Guy believes that safety is all about people and behaviours, and that although systems from a critical part of safety management, a hands-on approach to managing safety on the ground is what is required.
When it comes to safety management with subcontractors, Guy spends a lot of time with them on site, particularly when new subbies come on site. Experience and skills are often lacking in the region where the Albany Ring Road is being constructed, so Guy ensures that all subbies are well inducted, and helps them to find safe solutions to work on site.
Frequent inspections occur on site for the Albany Ring Road, and Guy instills the motto that safety rules apply to everyone on site regardless of their job. Take 5’s are completed across the whole project, with the office administrative staff also completing Take 5’s frequently. The Project has achieved a fantastic safety record, with zero lost time injuries since the project commenced almost 2 years ago.
Guy spends a lot of his spare time coaching the Stryka Fight Club in Northam, which he founded in 2018. Guy started the club with the aim of engaging the youth and creating a club to provide them with a sense of belonging and pride. Guy is President and Head Coach of STRYKA, and his wife Fi also coaches and assists the team.