UGL – Safety Conversations For A Positive Work Culture

May 21, 2024

Matthew Simons - BPsych (Hons)

The ADA Australia facilitation team recently took its AOD Training Program to UGL sites in Victoria and Queensland to talk about workplace risk and health challenges around substance use, and misuse.

With over 9000 employees, UGL, a specialist end-to-end engineering, services and operations provider, recognises it has a role to play in fostering a positive work culture focussed on safety and personal wellbeing. And with the UGL website claiming to have “32,000 safety conversations per year”, it’s safe to say UGL takes this role seriously.

For a good work culture these are important conversations.

With this series of toolbox talks, the key focus is on the health impacts of drugs and alcohol, of the hazards they pose to safe work practices, and of employee obligations under a Workplace Drugs and Alcohol Policy.

An ADA Australia toolbox talk can be an easy first step to getting ‘the workplace culture’ right, particularly around alcohol and drugs, but also around relationships, work stress, and looking after mental health. It can also get discussion going around these difficult topics.

Truth be told, every job, to a greater or lesser degree, comes with physical, mental and emotional demands. Work stress, if prolonged, can lead to host of wellbeing problems. (See ADA’s A Handbook of Workplace Mental Health p.25) It is also a recognised causal factor in anxiety and depression and increased risk of substance use and heavy drinking.

Conversation, being able to talk about these things, whether it be with a colleague, friend or family member, is key to promoting help-seeking behaviours and in encouraging and supporting someone who may need a little help.

An ADA Australia Toolbox Talk can be a really productive and unintrusive 15, 20 or 30 minutes for your team (we’re happy to fit with your operational demands). And, after all, happy workplaces are productive workplaces.

If you’d like to learn more about this program, or any of the other training programs we offer, please call ADA Australia on 1300 378 429 or email:

Additionally, if this information raised any concerns for you, please do speak to your GP, they can help you back to good health, or call a helpline: LIFELINE 13 11 14 or BeyondBlue 1300 22 4636.

Article by
Matthew Simons - BPsych (Hons)