Making Westpac branches safer.

Productivity Matters developed a new training program to help employees manage customers with mental health and substance abuse concerns.

Distressing incidents in retail branches

The Westpac Group had identified a rise in the number of aggressive customer incidents at retail branches across Australia.

These incidents were caused by customers or the public entering branches affected by drugs and alcohol, or with mental health issues. These interactions were distressing for Westpac employees and their customers alike.

Training for branch staff nationwide

Employees had already received training in managing aggressive customers. This was extended to understanding how people with mental health or substance abuse present, and how an early and supportive response can reduce the likelihood of these interactions getting out of hand.

The training also enhanced the support employees receive during and after an incident.


Productivity Matters has now provided this training to over 50 branches in each of the state’s larger cities and in regional locations.

Staff report feeling safer and more in control of difficult customer interactions.

This is what surveyed attendees had to say about the sessions we ran.

Would you recommend this training to colleagues?
YES 100%

KPMG’s Safety Auditing Partner.

KPMG needed the assistance of a subject matter expert in Health and Safety Auditing to develop their Audit, Assurance and Risk Consulting division nationally.

22 Major Audits and counting…

Productivity Matters formed a strategic alliance with KPMG in 2016. We are now their preferred alliance partner providing WHS auditing services to support their Risk Assurance Division.

What our clients say.

“Productivity Matters are the leading subject matter experts with physicality in the workplace.”

“They work from an evidence-based framework. If I receive a report, I know it will be factually correct.”

“Their technical knowledge is phenomenal.”

“The relationships they have built with our brands are excellent, and the transfer of knowledge.”

“They’re very efficient at getting things done and getting reports out – it always stands out to me.”

“They have phenomenal client engagement. It’s definitely not a transactional relationship.”

“They are the first people we think of when we need outside help.”

“They are my go to consultancy, particularly for ergonomics and complex matters.”

Reducing Hazards at Life Blood.

The Australian Red Cross Blood Service introduced a nationwide programme to tackle hazardous manual tasks in both their processing and donor centres.

Identifying and controlling the risks

Productivity Matters were engaged in Victoria and New South Wales in both the Processing facilities and Blood Donor Centres over a 6-month basis to engage and identify hazardous manual tasks and collaborate with Australian Red Cross Blood Service Managers and Employees to come up with controls or solutions that would assist in reducing the risks these proposed.

Reduced Employees on modified duties

A key outcome of our ergonomists involvement was the establishment of a new job rotation guideline for supervisors and staff of the processing facility that saw a 75% reduction in employees on modified duties. Employees also reported reduced overall discomfort levels because of the job rotation changes.

One of our engagements saw the implementation of job redesign guidelines in their Melbourne Processing centre, which resulted in nine employees no longer requiring restricted duties and a collaborative approach that saw perceived exertion scores lowered by up to 50%.


The Australian Red Cross Lifeblood together with Productivity Matters and, with clinical direction from LaTrobe University, have commenced the introduction of the APHIRM Toolkit to three of their donor centres.

This has already created an uplift in overall culture and a change in language around risk. Full results will be known at the end of 2021.

What is the APHIRM Toolkit?

A Participative Hazard Identification and Risk Management toolkit for improving the risk management of musculoskeletal disorders.

Safety and Wellbeing at Reece.

In 2017, the Reece Group’s People Experience team engaged Productivity Matters to assist in the development of a 12-week program of safety and wellbeing activities.

A Suite of Measures

Through the partnership with Reece, we have helped gather key health and wellbeing insights through employee surveys, identified ways to reduce risks in branches, developed site traffic management plans, and started the conversation on mental health.

Net Promoter Score 9

This commenced a four-year partnership which has included the delivery of:

  • Support to the safety team
  • Support to the Injury Management team
  • Development of a Hazardous Manual risk assessment tool
  • Training their Injury Management team in Mental Health First Aid
  • Training their Regional Leadership team and the Business Management team in Mental Health and Wellbeing

Long term partnership

Since our initial assignment, we have also assisted the Reece Group with their launch of training on mental awareness and fitness, and provided support to their safety and wellbeing team.

The Reece Group have relied on us as a trusted partner, and we have delivered with no less than 9 scored on all Net Promoter Score feedback.

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