Winners named in prestigious safety awards

The winners of the prestigious 2015 WorkSafe Awards were named yesterday on the final day of Health and Safety Week.
News article published

Thursday 29 Oct 2015

A Gippsland forestry company, a Narre Warren nursery, a Bundoora bus company employee and a school in Victoria’s southwest were among the winners honoured at a special ceremony at the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre.

The ceremony was attended by more than 300 people, which included all 20 finalists, as well as colleagues, families and friends and senior WorkSafe staff.

WorkSafe Chief executive Clare Amies thanked the winners and the finalists for their commitment to workplace health and safety.

“All our finalists have shown great dedication to improving workplace health and safety and their achievements are truly inspiring,” Ms Amies said. “It is the unflagging efforts of organisations and people such as these that are helping Victorian workplaces become even safer.”

The winners are:

BEST SOLUTION TO A SPECIFIC WORKPLACE HEALTH AND SAFETY ISSUE: ANC Forestry Group (Morwell). The harvest and haulage company has created a new chain restraint system to prevent logs shifting or slipping off trucks during transit.

HEALTH AND SAFETY INVENTION OF THE YEAR: Whelans Group Investments (Bairnsdale). The company, which operates an earthmoving, road construction, and quarry operating business, has developed a quad dog trailer that eliminates the need for the trailer to be elevated to unload material. The system eliminates falls from heights, a range of manual handling issues and the risk of coming into contact with overhead power lines.

OHS ACHIEVEMENT: Timboon P-12 School (Timboon). With the support of WestVic Dairy, it has created the Timboon Agriculture Project to link the school more closely to the farming community and to promote farm safety among its students.

COMMITMENT TO WORKPLACE HEALTH AND WELLBEING: Warners Nursery (Narre Warren). One of Victoria’s most successful wholesale nurseries, it has created a positive and safe work and social environment for staff. Initiatives include engaging a physiotherapist to assess manual handling systems, offering health checks, providing flu vaccines, employing a massage therapist, using the CFA to check its fire plan and seeking advice from independent OHS auditors.

HEALTH AND SAFETY REPRESENTATIVE OF THE YEAR: Sean Mathews, Eastern Health (Ringwood). As the HSR for [email protected], Sean took on a leadership role to support oncology nurses who had been working in an unsafe environment. Sean was involved in identifying solutions to a number of critical issues and was instrumental in the design of a new work environment.

EMPLOYER EXCELLENCE IN RETURN TO WORK: City of Yarra (Richmond). The City of Yarra has adopted a new OHS model in relation to injury management that has included a detailed job task analysis for high risk areas, free medical treatment for workplace injuries with InjuryNET, comprehensive injury management toolkits, and a partnership approach to claims management with its insurer/agent. As a result, there has been a 40 per cent reduction in standard claims, and a 55 per cent reduction in lost days due to injury.

RETURN TO WORK COORDINATOR EXCELLENCE: Paula King, Dyson Group of Companies (Bundoora). Paula has been responsible for RTW at the Dyson Group, which is a family owned and operated bus company with more than 750 staff. As well as managing the safe and sustainable return to work of injured staff, Paula has been instrumental in initiatives such as the development and delivery of injury management training to managers and supervisors, completing a task analysis and comprehensive job dictionary to assist RTW, and implementing on-site physiotherapy to manage and reduce injuries.

All winners are available for interview. For details, contact WorkSafe media manager Peter Flaherty on (03) 9641 1216 or 0478 881 664.