Sharing knowledge towards infrastructure safety improvement


The environments in and around essential infrastructure often involve interaction between large civil structures and operating systems, the transportation of commodities and manufactured goods, and a range of people – workers, customers, suppliers, tenants, visitors and community members. Providing a safe environment is a primary focus for IFM and the companies in our Infrastructure portfolio.

We know the safe operation of infrastructure and creating safe workplaces require a continuous and vigilant focus. Our Infrastructure team works with portfolio companies to support and continuously improve safety performance.

One of the safety-focused programs the Infrastructure team has implemented across the portfolio is safety roundtables. Launched in 2019, we host the roundtables in conjunction with global safety consultants. The roundtables aim to share and leverage knowledge across our portfolio about best practice safety management and solutions to mitigate occupational health and safety hazards.

Late last year, we hosted a roundtable on the topic of contractor and subcontractor safety and risk management. The focus of this session was establishing the responsibilities and interventions of different stakeholder groups across the contractor/subcontractor engagement lifecycle and how to maintain effective collaboration and oversight across parties. This session was a continuation of IFM’s focus on contractor and subcontractor safety management, as our first three roundtables covered the contractor management lifecycle from Pre-qualification and Selection to Execution and Close Out.

Previous roundtables have focused on:

  • Electricity and energised components, with particular emphasis on administrative and preventive control measures when working with electrical hazards.

  • Hazardous material risk management, with emphasis on storage and handling.

  • Business operational sustainability and implications for human capital and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Risk management frameworks to help mitigate risks relating to live traffic, moving vehicles and working at heights have also been discussed in the roundtable setting.

Infrastructure safety benchmarking

We continue to undertake our annual safety risk management performance benchmarking study. The study, which commenced in FY2019/20 and was developed in partnership with global safety consultants, measures our combined Australian and Global Infrastructure portfolios against a composite benchmark on overall employee and contractor safety performance. The most recent analysis of FY2020/21 data continued to demonstrate that the safety performance of these IFM infrastructure portfolios is significantly better than representative benchmarks.1 The lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) for employees and direct contractors, a key indicator used in the study, was 60% better than a comparable representative industry benchmark for FY2020/21.2

An enterprise approach to best practice safety management

Our Asset Management Specialist team takes a portfolio-wide approach to best practice safety management, which governs how we identify potential risks and mitigation measures, seek to manage risks through our asset management framework and assess safety culture and maturity of portfolio companies.

The safety and wellbeing of the people who work at, use or live near the infrastructure that our portfolio companies operate is one of our most important obligations as an asset manager. The safety of these people underpins long-term potential value of our investments and is critical to the smooth running and sustainability of the asset. We are committed to the safety of these people as we pursue our purpose, which is to invest, protect and grow the retirement savings of working people around the world.

Explore this topic further in our 2023 Infrastructure Outlook Report piece, Managing infrastructure safety requires long-term focus.



1 Primary benchmarks used are OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), EUROSTAT (European Commissions Safety Database) and Safe Work Australia.

2 Includes annual data from 27 assets across IFM’s Infrastructure portfolios, averaged over five years (or since acquisition) and compared with appropriate benchmark averages. Frequency rate is normalized as the number of lost time injuries occurring per 100 full time workers/200,0000 hours worked.