Prime Mover Magazine


Walking the walk

  • Posted on Tuesday 1st, August 2017
Walking the walk

FBT Transwest’s Cameron Dunn is one of a rare breed of executives that have managed to weave safety into the very fabric of an organisation. He reveals how safety culture has to transcend the confines of a company to make an impact.

Cameron Dunn has never been a man to beat around the bush. Be it as a young clerk for the original United Tankers business in Western Australia, as Managing Director of award-winning Victorian transport company, FBT Transwest, or as President of the Victorian Transport Association (VTA) – Cameron’s talent to distil complex issues down to a simple message and articulate it in a powerful and compelling way has helped him forge a reputation as one of the most outspoken and passionate people in commercial road transport.

Fuelled by his unique rhetoric talent – a quality that ultimately put him on the VTA’s leadership radar in 2015 – challenging the status quo has become a trademark feature of the young executive, albeit with a twist. “I’m not a politician,” he says with the stern resolve of a man whose place in the corporate hierarchy had to be earned the hard way. “If I say something, I’ll also act on it. If you talk the talk, you need to walk the walk.”

In his role as Managing Director of Melbourne bulk transport business, FBT Transwest, Cameron says his commitment to taking action is put to the test every day, most notably in an Occupational Health and Safety context. “Driven by my mantra – only safe businesses are good businesses, and good businesses are sustainable businesses – I set myself a single most important KPI when I joined FBT Transwest – reducing our Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR, ed.) to zero,” he says. “Everything I’ve done since then, every truck I’ve bought and every contract I’ve signed, was with that commitment in mind.”

Cameron doesn’t hold back when it comes to advocating safety. “[It] has to be a group effort involving everyone you work with, from subcontractors through to suppliers, otherwise you’ll always end up compromising. That’s why safety ultimately has to be considered in every business decision you make – talk alone simply won’t cut it. You need to stand up for yourself and your people and provide them with the best equipment, the best processes and the best culture. There’s no shortcut.”

With ‘zero harm’ his main focus, Cameron has implemented a strict procurement policy at FBT Transwest that is all about challenging suppliers to add to the company’s safety agenda, he elaborates – admitting that his directness and ability to verbalise his vision have helped him find the ideal set-up for the FBT Transwest organisation.

On the trailer front, Cameron says working with Melbourne family business, Vawdrey Australia, not only helped the company raise its safety rating, but also helped the company achieve significant economic benefits in the transport of ISO containers, an increasingly crucial part of the FBT Transwest business.

“Again, it was all about finding a supplier that would buy into our philosophy,” he says. ”The B-doubles we developed with Vawdrey have played an essential role in getting us to where we are today. It’s a great example of how safety has influenced our purchasing processes and led to a positive business outcome.”

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