Chloe Rees is a national WHS Manager for Kane Constructions. She’s been in the industry for 10 years and her role involves the oversight of safety implementation and culture across Kane Constructions nationally. She balances her time between the Kane Melbourne Head Office and attending various projects around Victoria and interstate.
On a day to day basis her role involves improving Kane’s proactive approach to safety, focusing as much of her time as she can on lead indicators such as safety inspections, task observations and engaging with staff and the workforce on site.
Her exposure to construction started while she was working part time at a concrete subcontractor whilst she was completing her Bachelor of Science. She quickly learnt that she loved the people, the fast-paced nature of the industry and the constantly changing and challenging environment of construction. This early exposure turned into a passion for safety and a career in the construction industry. When she completed her Bachelor of Science, she secured her first role in safety at a construction company which she worked at full time whilst studying and completing her post graduate degree in WHS.
In her 10 years within construction she has seen a shift in perceptions of quality and safety – from a side issue to now becoming more important than ever. She observes that people’s attitudes have changed, and safety in particular has become seen as less of a burden and more as an inherent part of the way they do things.
“Just because we have been doing something a certain way for a long time, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best way! New perspective and ways of thinking for safety and quality are key to improvement and continuing to uphold high standards.”
Kicking goals in safety and construction is one thing but being a woman in this industry and doing it is another. Chloe wants to change the perception that women “don’t belong” on a construction site and she’s a testament to this statement, “We have come a long way and diversity (of many more things than just gender) is so important and beneficial to the industry.”
For Chloe, the success of safety within any organisation is dependent on staff involvement and belief in the system and culture of the people. Chloe says “To successfully achieve change you need to ensure that you consult with your staff and workforce particularly those who the change will affect the most. Ask their opinions on how to best approach changes and actually listen to their views and ideas as they are often invaluable.”